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17 Aug 2016 Q&A No comments

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How can someone who signs off on same-sex marriage certificates administer the Eucharist?

Full Question

My state recently adopted new laws (without consent of the people) which allow for two people of the same sex to marry. A member of my parish is the official who places his signature on the marriage document confirming the state’s approval of same-sex marriage. This man also serves as a eucharistic minister in our parish and seems to have no problem justifying his role in promoting same-sex marriage. I believe this man is in direct disobedience of Church teaching and is setting a very bad example by continuing to serve.


Your statement that his signature confirms the state’s approval of same-sex marriage is significant. He is representing the state and not himself. I doubt that anyone who has been married in your county cares that he is the one whose signature appears on his or her document of marriage. I doubt that they even notice the name, let alone know whom it signifies.
He didn’t just happen to get that job; it is the way he makes his living.

Personally, I would not be thrilled about having my name on the marriage documents of gays—nor anyone else who is not validly married, including the many divorcees on whose documents his signature appears. I think you need to let this one go.



  1. mommalovesherbabies Reply

    I believe that the person who asked the question “How can someone who signs off on same-sex marriage certificates administer the Eucharist? deserves a little more support and your answers that “you should just let this one go” defies the churches doctrine and defies the call for Catholics to defend marriage that comes straight from Pope Francis himself. I believe that as a Catholic, the Eucharistic minister who is the one in charge of signing marriage license has a moral obligation to God to protest and stand on the grounds that same sex marriage is against his religion and he should defend marriage as the Holy Sacrament that it is, between one man and one woman. In this society we are called more often now than ever before to defend our faith and defend our sacraments. He has the power to do so just from his authority to sign such documents and there are many judges in our country who are defending marriage simply by stepping down from their posts in protest of this attack on God himself. Now, is it possible this man has gone to his priest to talk about his own apprehension in the matter and therefore possible that the priest gave him absolution because the man’s job requires that he sign the documents and therefore he is signing them under duress. Yes, it is. However, the church also does not recognize civil marriage as a Sacrament and in the eyes of God, it is invalid so what harm does it do? So, therefore, clarification on why it may be ok that this man still is allowed to administer the Eucharist should have been the proper way to answer this. The person asking the question, should also be advised that since they are unable to know for certain what the man’s circumstances are, then they should not be so quick to judge. He more than likely is more faithful about going to confession and counseling than those receiving the Eucharist from him and therefore is more than qualified to still administer the Eucharist. We must lift each other up, instead of trying to bring each other down.

  2. Marie Reply

    You right, the answer is not according to the laws of the catholic teaching. the man who sings the documents for gay marriages for what ever reason is not doing God”s will. this is not about legalities, it is about doing what is right in God”s eyes Why are we so afraid to offend anyone,but we take liberties offending God.

  3. Jay Burgherr Reply

    The signature of this individual, even though his job is for the state, causes scandal in the church. This would be no different than a Catholic attending the wedding ceremony for a gay couple. It is not licit and cannot even have the appearance of being condoned by a Catholic, even more so by an extraordinary Eucharistic minister.

  4. Francis Reply

    I love being Catholic but when it comes to the debate of Gay marriage I really am sad about the churches views. Love is love. God made most of these men and women that way. They did not choose. They have as much to give and receive love the same way a mans and a woman do in marriage. God loves all human beings regardless of what they do. The church unfortunately as singled these people out in a way that has cause them to fear the church and even to leave it. The duty of any priest is to bring people to God not away. Did Jesus not dine and meet with those who were considered outsiders by society standards on His day? No one should be singled out and excluded. Christians need to place themselves in their shoes. As pope Francis says if a gay man is sincere in his relationship with God “who am I to judge?”

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