|Bishop Sal is headed to San Francisco. This is a shot meant to be heard all over the globe.|
I can not even begin to describe the shock of anger and dismay I underwent when I read that Bishop Salvatore Cordileone was assigned to take over the Archdiocese of San Francisco. And he will absolutely attempt to 'take over' the Archdiocese. In my opinion, Cordileone is a very disingenuous and deceitful excuse for a bishop. I followed his so called 'defense of marriage' campaign with some interest because it doesn't defend marriage so much as it reduces men and women to vessels for sperm and uteri. This is amply demonstrated in the following interview with the National Catholic Register's Sue Ellen Brewer. I have edited this for length. The link for the full article follows this excerpt.
What’s the cornerstone of marriage between a woman and a man?
The reality of marriage as the union of a mother and a father is grounded in our very biology. A child comes into the world by the union of a man and a woman. That’s a basic biological fact that cannot be denied. There’s a mother and a father for every child. (As you continue to read his answers, you will soon see that love between partners is never part of his definition of marriage.)
What do Catholics most need to understand to enter reasonably and effectively into the public debate over marriage in our society?
Our people need to understand what’s really at stake here, and that’s the very concept of marriage itself. Is it a relationship to be defined by adults for their mutual benefit and enjoyment? Or is it a relationship to bring children into the world and to provide them with the best possible context for their well-being and education?(Not, love but the shared selfishness of 'mutual benefit and enjoyment.')
If it’s first and foremost about children, then we’ll want children to be connected to their mothers and fathers.
The definition of marriage as a relationship that exists “solely for the benefit of adults,” you point out, is an extremely recent development. In an interview on EWTN, you cited it as “the greatest error of our times.”
It’s a completely novel concept. From the beginning of the human race, up until a few years ago, marriage has been understood as the best possible context for raising children, for giving children what they need, so they can be protected and nurtured. (This is such an absurd statement I don't know where to begin. Marriage has historically been a property contract between men to insure the economic continuity of the paternal biological line. Tribes, villages, or extended families were considered the best possible context for raising children and protecting their futures--especially those children who did not win the 'first born son' conception lottery slot. And again, no mention of love.)
Why exclude people of the same sex as heads of a family?
Because children need, deserve and long for a mother and a father. The optimal situation for children is to be raised by the man and the woman who brought them into the world in a loving, committed, stable relationship.
Many studies show the role of the father figure — just the presence of the father figure in the family — is especially critical. Children need that. When they don’t have it, they long for it.
As someone wiser than I put it, when a child is born, the mother is sure to be nearby. There’s no guarantee the father will be nearby. Society needs a cultural mechanism to connect fathers to their children, and that mechanism is marriage. (Now Bishop Sal is telling us marriage exists as a coercive device to get men to take responsibility for their own children. Again, no love allowed, not even paternal love.)
How does divorce fit into the bigger picture?
Sometimes divorce happens beyond people’s control, beyond their will for it to happen. Many single parents are making great sacrifices to give their children the best possible upbringing in less-than-ideal circumstances, and those parents need and deserve our affirmation and our support. Still, society should do everything it can to help children have what is best for them. (Which means their gay parents can never marry the person they love.)
Where does this error of thinking about marriage as “solely for the benefit of adults” come from?
Well, if you trace it back far enough, I’m convinced it comes from the contraceptive mentality.
The Church has always understood that the two ends of marriage are: first, the procreation and education of offspring and, second, the union of the man and the woman for the mutual good of the two spouses. They’re inseparable. The contraceptive mentality, however, attempts to separate those two.
When contraception became much more available and prevalent because of marketing, (yes indeedy, we women are so susceptible to marketing) as well as technology in the ’60s, we began to see much more sexual promiscuity. With more promiscuity, you have more children born out of wedlock. Because contraception is not perfect — it misfires, so to speak — children are conceived, so now we need abortion as a backup. We also see a rise in divorce.(Sexual promiscuity has always been 'prevalent'. The difference in the 60's was people got over the cultural taboos and assorted sexual closets and started talking about sex in all it's here to for hidden facets. The rise in divorce mirrored a rise in women's participation in the economic life of society. No question reliable birth control helped that trend, because women were no longer slaves to their reproductive biology.)
What’s essential to the definition of marriage?
The Church has long understood the three “goods” of marriage as defining what is essential to marriage. Those three “goods” — the language comes from St. Augustine — are procreation, fidelity and permanence. (Well, using Augustine as your starting point, no wonder love isn't one of the three 'goods' of marriage.)
So how has the contraceptive mentality eaten away at this essential definition?
With the contraceptive mentality, we saw sexual promiscuity, which led to the novel concept of so-called “open” marriages. That strikes down the good of fidelity in marriage. Then we saw couples entering into marriage without any intention of having children, so that strikes down procreation. And in the early ‘70s, we had states passing laws allowing for no-fault divorce. When we’re in a divorce culture rather than a marriage culture, that strikes down the permanence of marriage.
So, this erosion of the meaning of marriage has been going on for a very long time.
('Open marriages?' Good God, that concept floated for about a summer amongst less than 5% of all marriages. There have always been childless marriages by choice. What changed was the move to children later in life. No fault divorce had a huge impact, but the Hierarchical Church was dead silent on this, seeing it as a civil issue which did not impact the Church's doctrine on marriage.)
And now we’re facing same-sex “marriage.”
It’s the latest and, I would say, most drastic, episode in this long-term erosion of the meaning of marriage.
What’s the result of emotionally changing the definition of marriage away from the way it has been reasonably understood since the beginning of the human race? (Notice how Sal doesn't answer this question about emotionally changing the definition of marriage. He jumps right back to intellectual rationalization.)
The result of changing its definition is that marriage becomes drained of all meaning, because it can be defined in any way the people involved want to define it. If we start changing what is essential to marriage in its definition, then there is no end to it. If it doesn’t have to be a man and a woman, why does it have to be two people? Can’t there be several partners, male and female, in a marriage? Who’s to say it should be limited to two? So what is the point of government giving benefits to married people?
(It would appear that Bishop Sal has never read the Old Testament or studied much of the history of his fellow Mormon 'traditional marriage' supporters.)
When we defend marriage between a man and a woman, our opponents say we’re just imposing our religion on everyone else. What’s the answer to that?
This is not a matter of religion. This is how every society has understood marriage in all of human history. The truth is: They’re imposing their new idea of marriage — an idea no society has ever had before — on everyone else. This is a very serious social experiment that will have dire consequences.(Sighhhh, such blatant a lie. This all gets so gets old.)
You said we need a massive educational effort to defend marriage. Where should that begin?
We need to start with young people, teaching them the basic facts of life. The whole way man and woman are designed in nature, all the changes that take place in our bodies — especially the woman’s body — are geared to conceiving a new life and then nurturing that life to birth and even after birth.
Beginning with biology will help our young people better respect their own bodies, and it will lay the groundwork we need to teach them all the other reasons behind the Church’s teaching: the psychology, sociology, developing the virtue to be able to sustain a lifelong committed relationship, the benefits people derive from that relationship personally and the benefits to society. Then we can move out to the theology underlying marriage, the mystical marriage between Christ and the Church. It’s all interconnected. We need to begin with the biology and move out from there. (And since it's all about biology, and how that theologically relates to the 'mystical marriage' we don't ever need to talk about LOVE in any context at all.)