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U.S. Catholic Magazine: A betrothal proposal
The following letter relates to the above article:

Dear All,

US Catholic magazine published a most amazing article this month proposing a “new
order” for couples: betrothal, nuptial cohabitation, sexual intimacy, marriage.
If you are astounded as I am, I would encourage you to read the article below (or
on their web site, link is below) and FLOOD the editor with letters (
. I have included my response below. I tried to take just one dimension, sacramentality,
and speak about that. Obviously, I could have written a book in response. May I
humbly suggest that you take one or two issues and craft your response around that
so that the editor gets very specific feedback about a number of dimensions in the
article that miss the mark. I welcome your comments on/or corrections to my response
as I will send it next week. You may also want to write the president of Creighton
University as the authors teach theology there and direct the Center for Marriage
and Family, or you may want to express your concerns to the archbishop of Omaha.
I have included the addresses for both below.

The president of Creighton University:

Fr. John P. Schlegel, S.J.

Creighton University

2500 California Plaza

Omaha NE 68178

The archbishop of Omaha

Archbishop Elden F. Curtiss

100 N. 62nd St.

Omaha, NE 68132

Joy and Blessings,

Katrina J. Zeno

Coordinator, John Paul II Resource Center for Theology of the Body and Culture



I had decided I was going to marry Steve before we even moved in together. While not a practicing Catholic, I find this article to be something that can be supported, and indeed, even endorsed by the modern catholic.. after all, Catholicism is about tradition.... :)

Ok, so I've been kicking this around.

I agree with some points of the article. An excellent book on this topic from an Orthodox perspective is "An Orthodox View of Marriage" by Father John Meyendorff. One of his points is that in the early church, there was no specific marriage ceremony, that when the two of you took Communion together, that was your statement of marriage. Which is why there is a cup of wine out of a common cup drunk at Orthodox ceremonies.

In addition to that, in the Orthodox ceremony, there are two parts - the betrothal and the crowning. And, it is my understanding that the traditional Roman Rite ceremony also has the couple meeting at the door of the church (which is where our betrothal is) and coming into the church together. I've never actually *seen* that in a RCC church, but I've not been to a lot of traditional churches for weddings either.

Anyway, so I guess that I agree with the beginnings of the thesis of the argument. However, the Betrothal is *not* marriage, and in fact, our priest did a Betrothal where the couple then were crowned at another church (the families were from two different states), and was sure to point out that there was no conjugal visits allowed before the crowning. So, I don't see it appropriate to separate the two parts of the marriage ceremony as a "tester" marriage, as I read this article to be advocating.

Another point is, though, that if a couple comes to Orthodoxy living together, it is my understanding that the priest will marry them before they are brought into the church, or do the two ceremonies at the same time or day apart.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. Let me know what you think.

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This page contains a single entry by alicia published on June 13, 2007 11:13 AM.

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