My World of Religion, Politics, Entertainment and Social Issues

If you are visiting my blog, expecting to see 'Toward a Progressive Catholic Church,' I have changed my title to reflect my wide assortment of interests. Having retired from my secular job, I hope to devote the rest of my life to my hobbies, ministries and perhaps a part-time job that makes good use of my communications skills. This blog will be designed to address my multi-faceted interests.

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Location: Rochester, New York, United States

I have an M.A. in Theology and an M.Div (Master of Divinity) from St. Bernard's School of Theology and Ministry. I am currently a media consultant and promoter of classical music. I am also certified as an officiant by the Federation of Christian Ministries for baptisms, weddings and funerals and minister independently of the Rochester Diocese. My life has encompassed many interesting paths: broadcasting, free-lance writing, video-production, music, ministry and a secular job in government. In addition to this blog, I have a YouTube site at www.youtube.com/priestray and I have a Facebook page.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

New Business Card Reflects Inclusive Ministry


Dear Blog Visitors:

Having already stated that I will be available for same-sex weddings, in light of New York State's marriage equality legislation that was signed into law, I had new business cards printed.

Obviously, I will continue to be an officiant at weddings of heterosexual couples, in addition to my being available for funerals and baptisms. At the same time, I wish to accommodate same-sex couples who wish to have their unions solemnized via a religious wedding ceremony.

New York State's same-sex marriage legislation was designed in such a way that it protects religious institutions, whereby they can either approve or reject marriage requests of its members, much in the same way as decisions are made in other areas, which serves to respect the Constitutional separation of church and state.

I realize that my decision to officiate at same-sex marriages may cause some disappointment within the ranks of the Roman Catholic hierarchy. However, I like to feel that the cordial relationship between myself and the Diocese of Rochester will continue. For example, there have been occasions when diocesan priests have referred couples to me when outdoor weddings were desired. Likewise, I have occasionally referred divorced persons to diocesan priests when there has been confusion over the annulment process. If after a period of discernment, the couple should decide against an annulment, I will usually agree to officiate if the matter was thought through carefully.

I look forward to facilitating religious weddings for both heterosexual and same-sex couples. My decision as to whether or not to be an officiant is based on evidence I see that a couple is truly in love. Perhaps Jesus articulated it best: "Love one another as I have loved you."

Peace to all,
Ray