Thursday, October 15, 2015

Ecclesiastical marriage

If the Presbyterian Church of Australia withdraws from a changed Marriage Act and adopts Ecclesiastical marriage, we will have to create extensive guidelines for the following issues:
  1. Pastoral guidelines for ‘de facto couples’ or couples who wish to be married according to the changed Marriage Act instead of Ecclesiastical marriage 
  2. The legal status, if any, of Ecclesiastical marriage: particularly relating to wills and medical decisions 
  3. The overall relationship between Ecclesiastical marriage and the Family Courts 
  4. The expectations around this new system of marriage for ministers and elders 
  5. Re-marrying couples who become Christians from another religious group 
  6. Mutual recognition of Ecclesiastical marriage in other denominations 
  7. Religious groups of whom we wouldn’t recognise their marriage rites
  8. Record keeping and authorisation of celebrants 
  9. Custody of children 
  10. Division of property 
  11. Re-marriage 
  12. Seperation 
  13. Divorce
However if the Presbyterian Church withdraws from a changed Marriage Act and adopts the 'European model', were a couple is sent off to the registry office to get married, we'll have to come up with a coherent and non-embarrassing way to explain why we're being inconsistent. Because on the one hand we will be saying the clergy shouldn't be associated with a changed Marriage Act but on the other hand we will be saying we are happy for the laity to sully themselves by getting married at the registry office. We'll need a succinct way of explaining this inconsistency.  

[Scots' Presbyterian Church]