Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Salvation Army and the Catholic church

I know I have grabbed your attention with the tag line - it is intentional.

I have long maintained, as it states in the bible, that whosoever forbids to marry is not of God.

I just watched an ABC news report of a Captain in the Salvation Army - "Doing the most good" in Wisconsin. He became widowed a year ago. Statistically, men remarry within a year of being widowed. He asked God to send him someone to fill the void - a woman beautiful on the inside and the outside. He met Cia and they fell in love - a perfect match. They cannot be married in the Salvation Army, which is a bona fide church, I learned today - she is not of the faith and so he is giving up his home, job, and pretty much everything in order to be with the woman he loves.

According to the Salvation Army website: "Salvation Army officers must devote full time to Army work. An officer who marries must marry another Salvation Army officer or leave his or her officer status. Married captains and majors will individually carry the rank applicable to their own length of service, not that of their spouse. In case of married officers, the conferred ranks of lieutenant colonel, colonel and commissioner will be held jointly. As ordained ministers of the gospel, they are authorized to perform marriage ceremonies, funeral services, and infant dedications. They also provide counseling and consolation to the bereaved." This strikes me as unfair on so many levels.

The story reminds me of father Joe - he is the minister at St. Andrews church in Hartsdale where I worship. He was a Catholic priest for decades. He met a widower, Joanne and they fell in love. He left the priesthood and they are happy in their life together. Indeed, Joanne is now attending seminary to become an Episcopal priest.

Why do these stories continue to surface? When will religions recognize that a man and/or a woman are more effective in their pastoral duties when they have a help meet. That person is not necessarily of their faith, but shares many things in common.

I repeat - whosoever forbids to marry is not of God.

No comments: