Sheesh, are Catholics really this stupid?

28 08 2010

Probably the most idiotic thing I have read on the Internet all year:

“A declaration of invalidity is a statement of fact issued by the Catholic Church,” they write. “After carefully examining a couple’s broken relationship, the Church states that a marriage, as the Church defines marriage, never truly existed between them. The relationship may have enjoyed some of the external trappings of marriage: There may have been a big wedding followed by a common address and the birth of children. However, not all weddings bring about a marriage.”

And to understand this, one needs to understand what a marriage is in the eyes of the Church. Vere and Rapp, in the first half of the book, explore the teaching of the Church on marriage. Prior to the Second Vatican Council, they write, the Church viewed marriage more as a contract but after the Council, the Church understood marriage more as a covenant between a man and a woman, the goal of which is twofold: “the mutual welfare of the spouses (physical, emotional and spiritual) as well as openness to the procreation, welfare and education of children.”

Okay, let’s do another version of this:

After carefully examining the act of a bank robbery, the Church states that such violent theft, as the Church defines theft, never truly was a theft. The act may have enjoyed some of the external trappings of a violent bank robbery: There may have been a guns, ski masks, and various people killed followed by an escape to Paraguay and living under an assumed name. However, not all violent robberies constitute criminal theft.”

And to understand this, one needs to understand what theft is in the eyes of the Church. Schugelmeier and Finkelstein, in the first half of the book, explore the teaching of the Church on theft. Prior to the Second Vatican Council, they write, the Church viewed theft more as a violation of the social contract but after the Council, the Church understood theft more as a radical redistribution of wealth to ameliorate the injustices of society caused by the structures of sin.

Wow, that was fun. Who says reason is dead in the Church? Because you could show up at church, blow thousands of dollars on a dress and the reception (not forgetting a stipend for the priest), buy a house, have kids, bandage their cuts when they fall off the bike, attend PTA meetings, go on family vacation, see them off to college, but…the joke’s on you, because you were NEVER MARRIED. Why? Because some Vatican bureaucrat has now determined that you never had the burning in the bosom that is the real mark of marriage. You never had a covenant, silly! So when your husband runs off with his secretary due to a mid-life crisis, don’t pretend to be shocked or anything. You should have known better.

One wonders how the hierarchy could trust us with any moral decisions at all.

Seriously, is Catholicism so shot through with epistemological pessimism that only the hierarchy can determine whether you are actually married or not? What is this, some sort of nightmare of unreason?

The other side of the coin is that if the Church is so determined to bend common sense out of shape to keep good, wholesome heterosexual couples procreating and tithing, why is it so committed to excluding others on the basis of convoluted natural law arguments? And some Catholics wonder why people on the outside look at us like a bunch of hypocrites! We’re are a laughing stock even to ourselves.

Or perhaps this is really just becoming some fertility cult in which the highest act of religiosity is approved heterosexual intercourse (missionary position) to produce more Catholics to fill convents, monasteries, and Opus Dei houses. If the first union doesn’t work out, don’t worry, you weren’t actually married. We’ll give you an annulment as long as you keep banging out those kids. Here’s a rosary and a thermometer.

My curmudgeon answer to all of this is to retroactively surrender to the Jansenists and say that no one who is not ordained should be permitted to receive Holy Communion on anything more than a yearly basis, and only after confessing. That way, we can all be treated like the royal f%$k-ups that we really are. Sancta sanctis.