I am done with this conversation. It's a waste of my time.
We, no doubt to the relief of some, perhaps many, have come to an end --- almost. I've learned a lot from the exchanges. I thought I'd summarize from my perspective and objective, and relate what may appear as off topic discussion to the subject of the thread.
1) OUR RESPONSIBILITY I believe Eastern Catholics have a unique perspective and duty to be both spiritually and intellectually Eastern and Catholic. We are living the reality of Church unity. One would think that the Latin West and non-Catholic East would flock to us for an explanation as to how that most desired unity is lived and understood. Now that we've stopped laughing, that of course doesn't happen. Are we truly living the reality of unity; do we have an explanation, a sound theology to explain it, a clear and strong voice even and especially under what can appear as hostile intentions? We must engage divergent positions in our Catholic communion, especially those that are strident in misconceptions and even to some degree repugnant. We should be prepared to explain our tradition and inform our own fellow Catholics of what we hold as proper. East and West, both within and without the Catholic Church, need to engage in more than their separate (or even combined) Kumbaya Moments of theological considerations.
2) ECCLESIOLOGY The question of the Minister of Marriage goes, through Sacramental theology to Ecclesiology, hence extra Ecclesiam nulla salus
(without/outside the Church no salvation).
Since the topic of discussion isn't EENS, I'm not going to respond.
It does of course but the view he has argued of the spouses as *sole* ministers leads to the conundrum that those who (though he opted out rather than answering) can't be really admitted as "saved" are also dispensing the sacrament of marriage even in some cases of common law marriage. Here is where a healthy dose of Nemo dat quod non habet
(No one can give what he does not have) is needed. Theology must explicitly have the Church present in some way where and when the sacraments are celebrated.
3)A THEOLOGY OF MARRIAGE is needed that unites East and West not just within a Catholic-Orthodox dialog (thought that's a reasonable start) but within the larger consideration of all the baptized. The Latin west has already gone there, to an inclusion of all who are baptized into Christ. But the Sacraments are dispensed by the Church and formed and informed by Natural Law, Positive Divine Law, and Church Law
and this can provide a structure for a comprehensive approach, in particular to Marriage.
4) FINAL CONSIDERATION The Sacrament of Marriage -- or lack thereof -- touches most if not all of us, directly or through family friends etc.. The Church owes us a clear, unambiguous theological foundation for understanding the mind of the Church, uniting and reconciling East and West
, and from which details and specifics are consistently formulated. I believe that theological foundation should be based on a theology of Person and the Church, Ecclesiology as the Body of Christ and His Spouse, the Temple of the Holy Spirit, and the mon-archē
of the Bishop.