FGF OP-ED
The Confederate Lawyer
July 17, 2015

Supreme Court Marriage Ruling
Could Have Dire Consequences

by Charles G. Mills
fitzgerald griffin foundation

GLEN COVE, NY  — I have noticed quite a difference of opinion as to whether the Supreme Court’s redefinition of marriage opens the door to persecution. History vindicates the idea that it does. Justices Alito, Scalia, and Thomas seem to think this is a real danger.

 

Who in Paris in 1788 would dare to suggest that within 12 years the government would put the majority of the city’s clergy to death?

 

Matrimony is one of the seven sacraments established by Jesus Christ. Even popes and ecumenical councils deal with it much more carefully than the Supreme Court has. Bad things always follow government tampering with one of the seven sacraments.

Each of the seven sacraments has a minister. Ministers are “necessary” if the Faith limits the administration of one of the sacraments to them. The Church may designate ordinary and extraordinary ministers of a sacrament if they meet the criteria of a necessary minister for that sacrament.

Priests are the necessary ministers of the Eucharist, Reconciliation, and Extreme Unction or Unction of the Sick; they are extraordinary ministers of Confirmation. Bishops are the necessary ministers of Holy Orders and the ordinary ministers of Confirmation.

Anyone can be the minister of Baptism, but priests and deacons are the ordinary ministers of that sacrament.

Matrimony is surprising to many in that priests or deacons are the Church’s witnesses to the sacrament; the necessary ministers are the man and woman marrying each other. The necessary ministers of Matrimony are two people of opposite sexes, not two people of the same sex.

 

Who in England in 1530 would believe that within 50 years it would be a capital offense to celebrate Mass?

One of the great tragedies of history — the loss of England to Protestantism — arose out of government rejection of the permanent nature of Matrimony, namely, King Henry VIII’s hunger for wife after wife in his desperation for a male heir. England’s break with the Catholic Church reached its climax in 1533, with the wedding ceremony of Henry and Anne Boleyn, the coronation of Anne, and the birth of their daughter, Elizabeth. In 1535, the English killed a Bishop and a former chancellor and others for their refusal to compromise the truths of the Faith and the authority of the Church for the sake of political expediency.

In 1552, England was experimenting with the idea that Christ instituted two, not six, sacraments. By 1558, the break became permanent, although the last two Stuarts later made one last attempt at reconciliation. By 1559, under Elizabeth I, England had set in motion the machinery for killing Catholics in large numbers, including all priests. In 1563, the government officially declared that Christ instituted only two sacraments.

 

Who in Russia in 1913 would imagine a government of militant atheism with the mass killing of Christians?

 

The persecution in France was even bloodier. In 1789, the French Revolution brought radical changes and toppled societal, political, and religious institutions that had been the foundation of the state.

By 1790, the revolutionary fanatics tried to make the clergy a tool of the state. The clergy’s steadfast resistance spurred massive persecutions and destruction of churches between 1793 and 1799. This attack on the clergy was also an attack on the sacraments and the authority of the Church.

Perhaps we will see churches and religious schools and hospitals being taxed into insolvency and losing their buildings. Perhaps we will also see photographers and florists in prison for refusing to cooperate in the redefinition of the sacrament of Matrimony. Perhaps it is absurd to imagine Christians dying in the basements of the Equal Opportunity Commission.

Questions remain, however:

• Who in Paris in 1788 would dare to suggest that within 12 years the government would put the majority of the city’s clergy to death?

• Who in England in 1530 would believe that within 50 years it would be a capital offense to celebrate Mass?

• Who in Russia in 1913 would imagine a government of militant atheism with the mass killing of Christians?

Many Americans are now trying to establish a means to defend religious liberty. Let us pray for their success. If we lose, the consequences could be dire.

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The Confederate Lawyer column is copyright © 2015 by Charles G. Mills and the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation, www.fgfBooks.com. All rights reserved.

This column may be forwarded, posted, or published if credit is given to Charles Mills and fgfBooks.com.

Charles G. Mills is the Judge Advocate or general counsel for the New York State American Legion. He has forty years of experience in many trial and appellate courts and has published several articles about the law.

See his biographical sketch and additional columns here.

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