October 26, 2016

Archbishop Cordileone’s Powerful Defense of Marriage: "The Question of Our Civilization is at Stake."

Orthodox priest, Father Josiah Trenham, interviews His Excellency, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, Prefect of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco. Although this was recorded prior to the Supreme Court's Obergefell decision legalizing ‘gay marriage’, Archbishop Cordileone powerfully illustrates why redefining marriage is destructive to the health and well-being of marriage and society. The following are Archbishop Cordileone's concluding remarks.

Beginning at 32:35

Fr. Trenham: "Your Excellency… your speaking has been very educational for us. I'm wondering if you could speak directly to us, how can we assume our responsibility also, as an Orthodox community, what can we contribute, how can we co-labor in this?"

Abp. Cordileone: "One sort of side benefit I see to what's going on in the culture is God, in His own way, is bringing His people together. The ecumenical cooperation has been very heartening, and I think we see where we need to stand together in terms of what's happening to our civilization. We all, as people of faith, or whatever Christian tradition we’re coming from, and even non-Christians see, that it's the question of our civilization that's at stake. As huge as that is, there's something even greater at stake, and much deeper, and this is where I think the Orthodox can make a very needed contribution to the effort.

[ ... ]

Our faith is a covenant. Our religion is a religion of covenant. The whole Judeo-Christian religious tradition is one of covenant. God created, at the very beginning, He created them male and female to be fruitful and to multiply, and to subdue the earth. He made a covenant with the people of Israel; that covenant was a marriage covenant. The prophets, when they were excoriating the people for their infidelity to the covenant, compared them to an adulterous wife. It was a marriage covenant. Then, God fulfills that covenant through the blood of his Son; Christ the Bridegroom and the Church is the Bride, and He brings it to fulfillment at the end of the Bible; the wedding feast of the Lamb. And this nuptial imagery is expressed in our Christian liturgy going back to the Jerusalem Temple. Remember? This Holy of Holies was veiled. That veil was sheltering what is sacred, the Holy of Holies.

In Christian liturgy, we use veils because what is sacred is veiled. The veil then, when Christ dies, the veil is torn, because now the marriage is consummated. So, the great Catholic orator, Archbishop Fulton Sheen, even refers to Christ's blood on the cross as His seminal fluid. Christ gives the seed of truth to the Church. The Church receives the seed of truth and, as mother generates new life for God's kingdom through the grace of the sacraments, especially baptism, nurtures that life as a mother nurtures the life from her breast, nurtures that life by the teaching of the truth that Christ guarantees to His Church. Christ is Bridegroom, Church is Bride. …

In classic Christian liturgy, and this is where the Orthodox have a huge contribution to make because, the Orthodox liturgy and the different Eastern Churches it's replete with this, especially with this veiling, that the veil is removed or the great doors are open at the moment of communion, because that is the consummation. Just as in a marriage, what is most sacred about us? What is most sacred is what is most intimate. We wear clothes, but no matter how skimpy our clothes are, we keep the most intimate parts covered because that's what's sacred. But that has to be unveiled for a marriage to be consummated. This is what happens in the Christian liturgy. So, the whole concept of our relationship to God, and who God is to us in the covenant He made with us, is resting on the imagery of marriage. Marriage is everything. We've lost that in the West to a large extent. It’s become a little more academic. In the East, it's still experiential. You can, you can sort of instinctually know that from the liturgy, even if you don't, can't articulate it academically. So, the East with its more mystical spiritual experiential focus on how all this the meaning of all this is expressed in the liturgy which is the very heart of our religion. We need that influence in the West."

1 comment :

jac said...

Archbp Cordileone is a true catholic hero.
In the world's capital town of the gay lifestyle he doesn't hesitate to say aloud the Truth about marriage.