Deacon Greg Kandra provides us with a couple of excellent explanations as to the reasons why two Catholics may only get married in a Church and not in the outdoors or in a hotel or any other place. He also mentions that this restriction is not absolute when a Catholic is marrying a non-Catholic but does not offer an explanation for this difference. Now I can’t help but wonder about what justifies that difference in the way a marriage between two Catholics is treated in comparison to a marriage in which there is what the Church used to call “disparity of cult”. Disparity of cult used to be an impediment to marriage and in general was only allowed in exceptional circumstances. That is no longer the case. Now disparity of cult seems to be, not an exceptional dispensation which is granted no additional benefits, but a privileged condition which grants a certain liberty which is not enjoyed by two Catholics marrying each other. How can this be, and what is the Church saying when She lifts both the general restriction against disparity of cult and also lifts the absolute prohibition of a Catholic getting married anywhere but inside a Catholic church specifically where such disparity exists? It almost seems as if she is saying that a marriage contracted between two Catholics is a very serious thing, but a marriage of a Catholic to a non-Catholic…well, not so much…maybe it’s a real marriage, maybe not. In any case, it’s nothing to get all uptight about, so, fine, go ahead and marry your Jewish fiancée’ on the beach.
~The Thoughts relayed in this post are by both Kevin and Teresa~