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Fr J Champlin Special Signs of Grace
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Author:  eschator83 [ Sat Sep 19, 2015 4:49 am ]
Post subject:  Fr J Champlin Special Signs of Grace

I just finished reading this wonderful small (147pp) book on our Sacraments and Sacramentals. I've been given seven of Fr Joe's books and very much enjoy his direct and concise writing as well as his deep devotion.
There are lots of interesting issues here which I hope someone might like to discuss. Fr Joe discusses origins and history of Sacraments in moderate detail, with strong support to the Church teaching that the Seven Catholic Sacraments were "handed down to us by Christ through His Church."
It has been interesting comparing this history with Fr McSorley's book (still reading, actually mostly rereading, I don't want to finish it), which is limited in the space it can give any subject, although interestingly it covers the topic of marriage specifically, albeit briefly, in every chapter (and century).
The following statement by Father Champlin (p99) sent me briefly wandering about the internet looking for info on marriage customs and law in ancient Greece, Rome, Israel, Persia, and China, which is not the kind of subject that lends itself well to generalizations:
"...during the first ten centuries or so of Christianity...there were no Church (marital) requirements IN THIS REGARD and the secular state (I presume he means the remnants of the Roman Empire) handled all marriage and divorce details. Only with the breakdown of civil society throughout the last part of the initial millenium did the Church enter this picture. However, by the the year 1000, as a consequence, all European marriages IN EFFECT came under Church jurisdiction."
It seems a good lesson to be wary of generalizations, whether you're tempted to propose them or just listening.

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Sat Sep 19, 2015 7:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Fr J Champlin Special Signs of Grace

I don't know if McSorley Fr Champlin states it, but the Church always had jurisdiction over marriages; She has chosen to exercise it in different forms over the years.

Author:  Jack3 [ Sat Sep 19, 2015 8:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Fr J Champlin Special Signs of Grace

Indeed. In the East, not even a deacon, let alone a layperson, could bless marriages.

Author:  eschator83 [ Sat Sep 19, 2015 2:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fr J Champlin Special Signs of Grace

McSorley's History: on Marriage: the first century: the Apostolic Age:
"The Mosaic Law allowed divorce in certain circumstances; but...abuses multiplied...and with the sanction of the school of Hillel, the marriage bond was broken for trifling reasons. Hence the point of the question addressed to our Lord by the Pharisees, 'Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?' (Mt 19:3.) In His reply, "What therefore God hath joined together let no man put asunder,' our Lord stated the principle of indissolubility; and the acceptance of that principle became a condition of membership in His Church.
"A difficulty arises from a clause in Mt 19:9: ' And I say to you, whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for impurity, and shall marry another, committeth adultery.' Catholic teaching interprets 'putting away' to mean separation from bed and board; the Greek Church, however, interprets it to mean rupture of the marriage bond, and the Greeks base their sanction of divorce chiefly on this passage."

the second century: Persecution:
"(Pope) Callistus was reproached for having sanctioned marriage between slaves and members of the Roman nobility...despite prohibition by the state, the Church continued to authorize this type of marriage.
"The Church had to rule on another issue raised by the fact that Roman law recognized not only marriage , properly so called, between social equals, but also a second type, 'concubinage,' in which the wife came from a lower social grade than her husband. The Church condemned the temporal form as immoral, but in the case of two persons free to marry, recognized permanent concubinage as a real marriage, because it included the agreement of a lasting union..."

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