Forum: Arts / Religion

Church performs high-profile mafia wedding - thoughts?
By panicmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jul 24, 2008 09:47 AM

news.yahoo.com . . .
Any person with half a brain would know the money that paid for this wedding was gotten by nefarious and illegal means. But should the church be expected to have half a brain? Or should the church ignore morality in favor of legality as this one seems to have done?

I understand that the couple who was being married might not have committed a crime; however, I also assume the bride's incarcerated father (and mafia boss) paid for the wedding with ill-gotten funds. Should the church consider where their money comes from?

24 Replies to Church performs high-profile mafia wedding - thoughts?

re: Church performs high-profile mafia wedding - thoughts?
By PinUpGirlmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jul 24, 2008 09:13 PM
The Catholics don't care where the money came from. As long as you pay a nice lump sum, they couldn't care if you got it from the devil himself. Should they care? Probably. Do they? Nope.
re: Church performs high-profile mafia wedding - thoughts?
By hylndlasmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Jul 25, 2008 03:43 PM
I don't think its right to lump the entire Catholic Church based on the choice of this one church. Was this church wrong....absolutely....but to say this is reflective of the entire Catholic church....eh....depends on the diocese.

I can tell you the Catholic Church I grew up in would have told them nicely to take their money somewhere else.

And this happened in Italy....who in Italy doesn't have somesort of mob tie?! lol I mean seriously.....my husband family is Italian....and yes even his 3rd generation Italian/American family side has mob ties...although very weak ties.
re: Church performs high-profile mafia wedding - thoughts?
By tumblebugPremium member
On Fri Jul 25, 2008 08:59 PM
You have to PAY a church to get married there? We didn't have to pay the church we got married in.
re: Church performs high-profile mafia wedding - thoughts?
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Jul 27, 2008 11:08 AM
Edited by d4j (104724) on 2008-07-27 11:13:12 another little bit...
In googling the subject I'm reading that you don't have to pay the church or the priest because marriage is a Sacrament in the Catholic church and not up for purchase. There might be a donation you could give to offset any costs incurred by the church or just as a tithe, but it's optional.

But that's the U.S. If it was a fancy, expensive wedding, they probably did give a sizable sum to the church for costs. All bets are off in Italy where who knows how deep mob pay-offs run in the culture. And in a town like Corleone that is still culturally owned by the mafia it's no surprise that the mayor won't speak out. Only the bravest do that and the price is high.

On a philosophical note, I'm musing that a Christian church would not turn down a couple regardless of their "sinful" status as all before the Lord are sinners, no one more so than another. (EDIT - Although some churches won't marry you if you are living together or breaking some kind of rule like that.)
re: Church performs high-profile mafia wedding - thoughts?
By msslssa
On Sun Jul 27, 2008 08:53 PM
I feel that even though the money used to pay for the wedding may have been aquired by committing sinful acts in the past, the church is receiving it in the present...and can use it for a more godly purpose in the future. Our creator has away of using one's sinful deeds to utimately benefit his will...I guess you could say our creator was the first to put the "have lemons, make lemonade" saying to good use:)
re: Church performs high-profile mafia wedding - thoughts?
By panicmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Jul 27, 2008 09:52 PM
On a philosophical note, I'm musing that a Christian church would not turn down a couple regardless of their "sinful" status as all before the Lord are sinners, no one more so than another. (EDIT - Although some churches won't marry you if you are living together or breaking some kind of rule like that.)
Or if you've been divorced. Or if you're gay. Or if your spouse isn't the same denomination. Or if the priest deems the couple incompatible. There are LOTS of reasons churches refuse to marry people. Apparently, paying for your wedding with blood money isn't one of them. How can anyone preach about morals if one knowingly accepts blood money?
re: Church performs high-profile mafia wedding - thoughts?
By MrsFinnigan
On Sun Jul 27, 2008 10:33 PM
panic wrote:

Or if you've been divorced. Or if you're gay. Or if your spouse isn't the same denomination. Or if the priest deems the couple incompatible. There are LOTS of reasons churches refuse to marry people. Apparently, paying for your wedding with blood money isn't one of them. How can anyone preach about morals if one knowingly accepts blood money?


Not quite correct.

The Catholic Church does not recognize civil divorces, believing as it does that valid and licit marriages cannot be dissolved by anything other than death. But a person who has divorced can marry in the Catholic Church if the previous marriage has been proven illicit or invalid, and therefore was not a real, sacramental marriage in the first place.

It's also a complete load of baloney that the Catholic Church does not allow interdenominational marriages. My grandfather, my mother, and I all married Protestants in and with the full recognition of the Catholic Church.

And again, it is not customary to pay the Church for a wedding, nor did the article even say that they paid the Church. But of course, the Church is a much easier target than the florists, caterers, tailors, dressmakers, et cetera that no doubt accepted much more money.
re: Church performs high-profile mafia wedding - thoughts?
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Jul 27, 2008 11:50 PM
I was speaking of Christian church MEMBERS who already accept the basic tenets of the religion as not being turned down for marriage unless they are doing something clearly outside of the rules.

As for divorce - My mom is a practicing Catholic within the good graces of the church yet she has been married three times. Her second and third marriages were performed as civil unions during her "lapsed" era. But when her third husband converted from Judaism to Catholicism he and my mom met with a priest and he agreed to marry them a second time as Catholics in a Catholic ceremony at church.

Anyway, the point is still that the Church does not accept money for Sacraments.

You decry that the church holds to morals that you do not agree with and yet are also upset when they do not apply certain morals that you think they should. So you are allowed to declare and hold a moral standard but they are not?
re: Church performs high-profile mafia wedding - thoughts?
By PinUpGirlmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Jul 30, 2008 09:33 PM
I'm in one of the biggest dioceses in the US and I know for a fact that bigger churches have a "mandatory donation" for your wedding. *shrug*
re: Church performs high-profile mafia wedding - thoughts?
By CheesePlusCakemember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Jul 31, 2008 12:01 AM
Yea...here you have to pay for mandatory marriage classes beforehand (same for baptisms, confirmation, communion, etc)...and to use the church in some cases(if it's outside of regular mass time...and weddings aren't ever part of a regular mass). The other sacraments are performed during a regular mass, so there is no fee for that. At other churches they accept donations etc for a regular church wedding, and charge you if you have the priest go out to another location (like if you get married outside somewhere or in another building).
re: Church performs high-profile mafia wedding - thoughts?
By panicmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jul 31, 2008 03:08 AM
Edited by panic (116436) on 2008-07-31 03:11:38 pronoun problem
hmmm... Maybe they didn't exactly "pay" for a wedding. Maybe they just made a donation. I don't see how that makes a difference.

It's also a complete load of baloney that the Catholic Church does not allow interdenominational marriages. My grandfather, my mother, and I all married Protestants in and with the full recognition of the Catholic Church.
Really? So the Catholic church would have no problem marrying a Catholic and a Mormon?

But of course, the Church is a much easier target than the florists, caterers, tailors, dressmakers, et cetera that no doubt accepted much more money.
So you're seriously saying that churches should practice the same level of morality as a florist.

I was speaking of Christian church MEMBERS who already accept the basic tenets of the religion as not being turned down for marriage unless they are doing something clearly outside of the rules.
So you're saying that running a huge mafia family falls within the church's rules?

You decry that the church holds to morals that you do not agree with and yet are also upset when they do not apply certain morals that you think they should. So you are allowed to declare and hold a moral standard but they are not?
umm, huh? I don't even know what this means. I'm asking whether the church should be held to its own standards, and apparently, you and MF think not. ps - you might want to look up the word "decry"
re: Church performs high-profile mafia wedding - thoughts?
By Chaconnemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:16 AM
My son and my Mom (in her remarriage after my father died) are both Lutheran and both married Catholics in the Catholic church without converting.

My daughter also married a divorced Catholic, but it was in our Lutheran church. My son-in-law had grounds for an annulment because his first wife was an addict, but refused to do so because as far as he was concerned the wedding was valid and he had a daughter from that marriage and didn't want it implied in any way that she was illegitimate in the eyes of the church. He is actually in good graces with the church and has not been denied the sacraments. Both grandsons on that side have been (or will be soon, the little one is only five weeks old) baptized in the RC church.

There may be a technicality here in that the priest does not require payment for doing the Sacrement of Marriage (a comparatively new sacrament in the RC scheme of things) though they would accept a donation, but you may have to pay for the use of the church itself to cover physical plant expenses...janitors, clean up, etc.

At my church, members get the service for free though it is custormary to pay the minister for a wedding or funeral or baptism as a free will offering. If you are not a member there is a fee.

Jon
re: Church performs high-profile mafia wedding - thoughts?
By Soleil2213member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:24 AM
When I was looking at a catholic ceremony for my wedding there were definitely fees. Most commonly $250/members, $500/nonmembers. Even the church at my college was going to charge me $500.

On the original subject, I think more questions would have to be asked. Was it the priests decision to perform the ceremony or did the decision come from higher up the chain of command? Does the decision of the officiant really reflect on the church as a whole? As much as the family paying for the wedding may not have gotten the money in a legal or moral way, is it right to punish the children for their parents sins?
re: Church performs high-profile mafia wedding - thoughts?
By CheesePlusCakemember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Jul 31, 2008 01:14 PM
Really? So the Catholic church would have no problem marrying a Catholic and a Mormon?



No, the Catholic church does allow marriages to people of other faiths. Why? They make you sign a document saying that you will have children, and you will raise them Catholic.
re: Church performs high-profile mafia wedding - thoughts?
By panicmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jul 31, 2008 03:09 PM
Really? It was my understanding that the other person had to practice a compatible faith (including accepting the trinity). Like they wouldn't marry you to a hindu or a wiccan. I know that interdenominational marriages happen - my point was that I believe your partner's faith can be used to deny you a Catholic wedding. Am I wrong about that?

Anyway, I'm not even saying these people should have been denied a wedding. I'm just trying to wrap my head around the obvious moral issues. I mean, if a priest knows that money is stolen, is it ok for him to accept it? And in this particular case, the family has a long, documented history of organized crime. This obviously wasn't a one-time donation. So is it right for the church to CONTINUALLY accept money when they know it was gotten illegally (and violently - let's be honest)?
re: Church performs high-profile mafia wedding - thoughts?
By likac66
On Thu Jul 31, 2008 03:37 PM
It really isn't a large amount of money that you pay to the church. Less than £100 as I recall, so how can you assume that this small amount of money would be blood money? I'm not saying that the rest of the wedding wasn't expensive and paid with dodgy money, but the amount paid to the church would be a very small amount.

On what grounds should they have refused the marriage exactly? The fact that the bride's father was a murderer? That's a pretty strong precedent to set, isn't it? I'm not so sure about the Catholic church, but the Christian church in general doesn't punish the child for the sins of the father.

My opinion, no the church should not have refused the marriage.
re: Church performs high-profile mafia wedding - thoughts?
By Chaconnemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jul 31, 2008 07:54 PM
CheesePlusCake wrote:

Really? So the Catholic church would have no problem marrying a Catholic and a Mormon?



No, the Catholic church does allow marriages to people of other faiths. Why? They make you sign a document saying that you will have children, and you will raise them Catholic.
re: Church performs high-profile mafia wedding - thoughts?
By Chaconnemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jul 31, 2008 08:03 PM
CheesePlusCake wrote:

Really? So the Catholic church would have no problem marrying a Catholic and a Mormon?



No, the Catholic church does allow marriages to people of other faiths. Why? They make you sign a document saying that you will have children, and you will raise them Catholic.


While once true, it is no longer true. That was changed years ago at Vatican II. Even before that, most priests would perform a mixed marriage, they just wouldn't do it in the sanctuary. There also may be some differences from diocese to diocese.

My own Lutheran son married a Roman Catholic, in a Roman Catholic Church by a full fledged priest. They no long make one sign such a document about children, though they would strongly encourage it.

Most American priests rather blithely ignore the Vatican's teaching on artificial birth control and according to the New York Times last Sunday, 80% of all Catholics of child bearing age practice some form of artificial birth control except for when they actually are trying to have children. For the most part, the priests just don't talk about it anymore. They have lost enough congregants, they don't want to lose any more.

Jon
re: Church performs high-profile mafia wedding - thoughts?
By tumblebugPremium member
On Thu Jul 31, 2008 08:06 PM
I don't think its a big deal. You or I could rob a bank and pay for a wedding with it. *shrugs*

I think its kinda nice to see an actual church standing by what it preaches- to love all people (and maybe money too ha ha ha).
re: Church performs high-profile mafia wedding - thoughts?
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:28 PM
denounce
condemn openly
express strong disapproval

All definitions of decry and I stand by my use of it.

It is interesting to read in this thread how different dioceses deal with the fee/donation issue, apparently it is not the same across the board.

The church married a couple. Do we know whether either of them are directly involved in the Mafia along with their family? If each of them are actually Catholic, they would have had to make confession and any sins they have committed would have been absolved prior to their marriage. Christians are about fresh starts.

As an Italian, the LAST thing I want to do is give any support to the Mafia and its ways. I belong to the Sons of Italy and lol - am proud to say that I have never watched a single episode of The Sopranos. :) But its like saying that a known gang member in L.A. can not get married. I wonder - Could it be that the Church's approach may be that it is better to love these people out of their lifestyle rather than closing the door on them?
re: Church performs high-profile mafia wedding - thoughts?
By Heartmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Aug 03, 2008 09:09 PM
I second the notion that pretty much every Italian is going to have faint mafia ties. Apparently that assumption ticks off the more Italian members of my family (who were shocked that I watched 'The Sopranos' - what can I say, I'm from Jersey!)... but we are actually related to one godfather's daughter by marriage. (Personally, I have nothing wrong with the assumption that the mob will come after anyone who messes with my bad Italian self.)

I say kudos to the church. It shouldn't matter what it's members or their relatives are up to - if you want to get married, you can get married. You don't get kicked out of a church just because you or your relatives might be up to something bad. The church is there to help you. The Catholic church doesn't support premarital sex at all, but it will still help its unmarried pregnant members. Even jail inmates can talk to priests and participate in the church. Despite its reputation, a church will probably not judge its members and certainly won't kick them out, even if they commit crimes. The only reason it would reject a marriage, that I can think of, is if there is a problem with the couple (who in the Catholic church have to go through premarital counseling). I could be wrong though. My cousin just got married in the Catholic church and her husband isn't Catholic- they just have to agree to raise their children Catholic (it was in the actual ceremony).

Besides, to point out another point - the majority of that church is probably in the mob. They are not saying no to a big wedding like that! They probably want to stay in the 'family's good graces.
re: Church performs high-profile mafia wedding - thoughts?
By MrsFinnigan
On Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:08 AM
To address a couple of misconceptions:

Any Catholic who thinks getting an annulment means declaring the children of the illicit/invalid marriage illegitimate is unaware of Catholic teaching on the subject. Such children were conceived in a union assumed in good faith at least at the time to be licit and valid. Besides, stuff like this only matters in societies like, say, Tudor England. Your oldest kid is a royal pain? Declare her illegitimate, and she can't claim the throne. Nonsense like that. The point is, the child is created by God, and social declarations of "legitimacy" or otherwise have absolutely no bearing on how the child should be treated.

My husband and I did check and sign a number of things before we were married. Among them was a promise to be open to having children (one of the defining characteristics of a sacramental Catholic marriage), and to raise them Catholic.

I wouldn't trust a New York times study on Catholic practices. Generally, Catholics in good standing follow Church teaching. I've seen studies like this before- that include non-practicing and former Catholics in the results.

And while it's not normal practice- the number of additional wedding guests plus the number of regular Mass attendees possibly creating worse than usual crowding, I'd seen weddings and blessings of vows at regular Sunday Masses as well as the Easter Vigil.

Most other sacraments are actually not received during regular Mass, either. Confession, Anointing of the Sick, and Ordinations generally don't fall within the regular Sunday Mass schedule, but I digress.

We contributed a modest amount to the Church in honor of our wedding. Even with all the cost-cutting we did, what we paid for the rings, dresses, tuxes, food, guest lodgings, and so forth far exceeded the donation.

And who are you to say florists shouldn't have morals? Their crime is more egregious because they took much more money than what may have been, for all we know, the couple's legitimately gained pocket change. (And the customary donation for a wedding in the Catholic Church is about the least expensive thing about a Catholic couple's wedding.)
re: Church performs high-profile mafia wedding - thoughts?
By MrsFinnigan
On Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:42 AM
And I can't believe I forgot to mention a friend of mine who married a Hindu in the Catholic Church. The only issue they ran up against was, well, the possibility of putting a minister of one religion in the position of officiating or co-officiating in another religion's ceremony. They resolved that the way a lot of devout interfaith couples I know do. They had two weddings.
re: Church performs high-profile mafia wedding - thoughts?
By amarathPremium member
On Tue Aug 19, 2008 02:56 PM

Really? It was my understanding that the other person had to practice a compatible faith (including accepting the trinity). Like they wouldn't marry you to a hindu or a wiccan. I know that interdenominational marriages happen - my point was that I believe your partner's faith can be used to deny you a Catholic wedding. Am I wrong about that?


Mmm ...

The closest thing I can think to what you're saying is that in a very troubled situation anyone who accepts that the Eucharist is the literal body and blood of Christ can receive communion, subject to approval (pre- or post-facto) from the local bishop.

If you're a Catholic, there are no "compatible" faiths which are of equal stature, with the possible exception of Orthodox Christianity. There's also always the thing in the back of the missals which states that members of the Polish National Catholic Church are supposed to be in full communion with the Roman Church, but ought to act in accordance with their church's guidelines ...

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