Thursday, June 6, 2013

Fred Clark on Patriarchy and Sacraments: If Patriarchal Notions of Marriage Undermine Validity of Sacraments . . .

At his Slacktivist site, Fred Clark points out that the conservative-leaning Catholic Answers site recently featured commentary by Michelle Arnold which suggests that patriarchal understandings of the sacrament of marriage call into question the validity of the sacrament. What Arnold says is that the traditional Catholic understanding of the sacrament of marriage is that the two spouses give themselves to each other, and the bride is not given to the groom by a father or some other male family member. And she concludes that construing marriage as a contract in which a father or male family member gives away the bride actually militates against the traditional Catholic understanding of this sacrament.

As Fred says, this makes sense.

But it raises other questions, like,

What other patriarchal traditions might be damaging to marriage? 
What other sacraments might have their validity undermined by patriarchal traditions that actually conflict with Christian theology?

And then Fred follows those two questions with the photo at the head of this posting.

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