Hyphal tip to Ed Brayton's Dispatches from the Culture Wars for this heartwarming story of the true importance of love to the hierarchy of the Catholic church.
A paraplegic Italian man and his fiancée were denied a church wedding by a bishop because the man's injury also left him impotent. The denial came in spite of the fact that the bride-to-be was aware of this aspect of his condition and declared that she was alright with it.
Italian Bishop Refuses Wedding to Impotent ManFirst off, I wish this couple all the hapiness they can get their hands on. The man involved certainly deserves it. The woman involved must truly love the guy, willing as she is to forgo certain physical aspects of their relationship.
An Italian bishop has denied a young paraplegic a church wedding because he is impotent, media in Rome have reported.
Although the man's fiancée is aware of the problem, a spokesman for Bishop Lorenzo Chiarinelli of Viterbo, central Italy, told SkyTG24 television that "no bishop, no priest can celebrate a wedding when he knows of impotence as it is a motive for annulment."
The 26-year-old groom has been paraplegic since he was involved in a car accident. He and his fiancée were married in a civil ceremony on Saturday, June 7, in Viterbo, news agency AFP reported.
Attending the ceremony was their parish curate, who was banned from marrying the couple in church.
Who needs these dress-wearing medieval ritualists, anyhow? All they're ultimately good for is propagating superstitions and nonsense that at least some of the world has outgrown including, apparently, this couple. The decision by this moon-faced assassin of joy in a cassock has nothing to do with annulment. Both parties to the marriage are aware of their situation and have given their consent. This garbage about annulment is an excuse made in an attempt to cover up the true nature of this organized bastion of sorcery.
Here's the real deal: it's about reproduction. It's no secret that the Catholic church teaches that sex is all about procreation. The reason this bishop booted a clearly committed couple is that it's unlikely that they'll start popping out new parishioners. It's the same reason that the church opposes contraception, same-sex marriage, masturbation, or anything else that feels good sexually but doesn't result in somebody going through a few weeks of morning sickness.
You have to understand, the church is obsessed with sex. It's just about the most dangerous thing in the world to them. When you have control over people's sexuality you literally have them grappled by the short hairs. It's like having control of their food supply. Were the church to ever relinquish their pubic grasp they'd ultimately be giving up much more, or so they believe. No sex outside of marriage, no sex inside of marriage if it can't result in offspring, no marriage at all for priests... I guess if it doesn't involve a crosier, an altar boy and the word "daddy," it just doesn't fly. After all, it's not really sex if it's not a man and a woman having it, right?
Screw them... or better yet, don't. I hope the groom told the bishop that he could go sit on his pointy hat and the bride came up with a fine suggestion of a place in which the loveless, merciless, dried-up old fart could go store his crosier so as to safeguard it against fading in the light of day. Hasn't this man, who has clearly found a good-hearted and giving partner, had enough pain in his life without this additional humiliating kick in the crotch? The bishop should be restricted to going on demon-hunting expeditions with Gabriele Amorth.
These wizened clerics wield the fear of divine retribution like a cudgel over the credulous. But you know what? It's bogeyman stories, and that's all it is. Nobody goes to hell and nobody goes to heaven. The closest we get is right here, right now. We have the power within our all-too-fallible grasp to make this world into one or the other.
At least we know now which extreme Bishop Chiarinelli favors. I hope he takes his stone-cold heart and all those within that dusty Romanesque autocratic citadel of mythology that countenance his pronouncement and arrives at the destination he seeks in his own life. The world need Chiarinelli like it needs a good manufacturer of buggy whips.
You know, he'll probably try to get this couple excommunicated for violating his version of the laws of god and nature. And so what? No more ooga-booga meals of human flesh and blood for them! Big deal. I'll send them my ma-po tofu recipe as a wedding gift. I'm glad they're ignoring the bishop's obsessive edict that sex is more important than love.