Newark bishop disputes Roman Catholic colleague's stance on marriage equality

By ENS staff
Posted Oct 3, 2012

[Episcopal News Service] Diocese of Newark Bishop Mark Beckwith recently told readers of the Newark, New Jersey, Star-Ledger newspaper that society needs to “move beyond arguments about unfounded threats to the flourishing of families and focus our attention on the real threats, such as the rising tide of unemployment of poverty.”

His comments came in response to a Sept. 25 pastoral letter by Roman Catholic Archbishop of Newark John Meyers in which the archbishop urged the 1 million members of his northern New Jersey flock to vote next month “in defense of marriage and life.” He also said that those Roman Catholics who do not support their church’s teaching on marriage ought to refrain from taking Holy Communion.

Beckwith said that in his experience during 33 years of ordained life the act of blessing and supporting “relationships that are marked by love, fidelity and commitment — whether they are headed by a man and a women, two women or two men — provide a foundation of social stability that supports all families. Marginalizing people has never been a pathway to community stability.”

The text of Beckwith’s blog post on the newspaper’s website is here.


Comments (8)

  1. Bob Van Keuren says:

    Clearly the prelates of some denominations think they have a copyright on the eucharist. They do not. The eucharist belongs to God and to the faithful. Interfering with that is sacrilege. I like the way our Baptismal Covenant puts it: “…share with us in his eternal priesthood.”

  2. Bruce Smith says:

    …. And respect the dignity of every human being.. ( adding to what Bob said above)

    I wonder if the Archdiocese of Newark ever regrets selling their chancery building on Mulberry St. to the Diocese of Newark.

  3. Fr. Harry Brant says:

    I would rcommend that the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Newark and the Episcopal Bishop of Newark have lunch together sometime and have a chat about these things. The General Convention of the Episcopal Church at its last meeting recommended a Service of Blessing on a Covenant between two people of the same sex. By the title this is not a same-sex marriage. Marriage in both Roman and Anglican parts of the Catholic Church teach that Marriage is a Sacrament between a man and a woman and as a result of their intimate sexual relation a human being in God’s creation can result. Perhaps this could be a part of the prelate’s luncheon discussion. Fr. Harry

  4. Fr. Jay Pierce says:

    It seems the Bishops of the Roma Catholic Church are experiencing heated instruction from the Holy Father as it regards both the question of marriage and the outcome of the political process in the US. The day has long passed since a directive from the pulpit will determine the voting of a congregation–at least any denomination I’m aware of. In the matter of marriage, we Episcopalians have danced around the issue by persuading ourselves that there is a difference between blessing a same sex relationship and blessing a marriage. In that regard, at least the Roman Bishop is consistent with the teaching and canon of one group of the followers of Christ. Concerning the withholding of the Sacrament, its contrary to the purpose of the gift of the Body and Blood of Christ, and its ineffective. History teaches folks will soon find another server of God’s grace.

  5. Rev. Robert T. Yeager says:

    Thank you, Bishop Beckwith, for speaking out on this issue. Marriage between opposite sex couples is not “defended” by denying marriage between same sex couples. Rather, the whole community is strengthened by extending the benefits and responsibilities of marriage to our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.

  6. dr.peter long says:

    the bishop of newark is biblically incorrect and could learn much from his catholic brother.

  7. Adam Bowers says:

    Bishop Beckwith has reminded us why the Episcopal Church will soon be extinct. It has replaced Christ with an entirely false idol. Because of that, your churches are empty. Your morality is non-existent. Your tolerance is intolerant. Your liturgy is nothing more than an aesthetic. Your “sacraments” are devoid of grace. Your “love” condemns souls to hell. You make me sorry that I can’t leave the Episcopal Church again. And again.

  8. Jesse Glenn says:

    I think it is time we start remembering that the Eucharist is the sacrifice of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is our gift from Him. None of us own it, Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, or the Orthodox. We must remember that we belong to God. None of us own God or our vision of Him. We do not have all the answers; just our faith and our frailty, which He in His mercy understands and forgives.

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