John Hall asks readers to be a little more charitable to the idea of outdoor weddings in his piece today. There has been a lot of backlash over the decision this summer to allow outdoor weddings in Montana, since many people do not like the idea. Hall writes:
Saint Augustine said wisely, “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.” Something the article in the Register makes very clear (and which many commentators must have completely missed) is that the bishop clearly has the ecclesial and hierarchical authority to make this decision. We are not talking about the essential matter and form of the sacrament, nor even about the things that the universal law of the Church requires of their practice. Forget the essentials of the sacrament, this decision is clearly within even the bounds of the Church’s law. As such, following our dictum, our proper attitude should be liberty and charity toward those who differ with us in opinion.
Liberty and charity seem like such easy concepts, but in practice they can be incredibly difficult, especially when you feel strongly about a topic. Should we trust the church to know what it’s doing, or would it collapse on itself is we didn’t argue changes such as this? What do you think?