Father Patrick Reardon, pastor of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Chicago, has just released the following statement:
Because the State of Illinois, through its legislature and governor’s office, have now re-defined marriage, marriage licenses issued by agencies of the State of Illinois will no longer be required (or signed) for weddings here at All Saints in Chicago.
Those seeking marriage in this parish will be counseled on the point.
No longer be required or signed. No recognition of the state’s authority over marriage. One is reminded of Alasdair Macintyre’s famous remark about the decline of the Western Roman Empire:
A crucial turning point in that earlier history occurred when men and women of good will turned aside from the task of shoring up the Roman imperium and ceased to identify the continuation of civility and moral community with the maintenance of that imperium.
I could be wrong, but it sounds like the pastor of All Saints parish has concluded that the continuation of civility and moral community no longer has anything to do with shoring up the American civil order, and in fact depends on repudiating it in the matter of marriage.
A Benedict Option has been embraced by an Orthodox parish in Chicago. Who’s next?