“Attacks on marriage and the family, from an ideological and legal aspect, are becoming stronger and more radical every day,” the 84-year old pontiff said in the unusually strong statement. “Who destroys this fundamental fabric causes a profound injury to society and provokes often irreparable damage.”
All due respect to the Holy Father, but if he wanted to demonstrate the church’s tendency of late toward narcissism, he could hardly have chosen better words.
An attack on society? As a straight married girl, I didn’t get hitched to strengthen society, nor did I do it to make the Pope happy. I didn’t do it for any reason other than that I loved my husband and wanted the 1,049 federal benefits that come with marriage in this country. I didn’t think for two seconds how it would affect my neighborhood, my religion, my ex-boyfriends or my brother’s pet hamster. I wasn’t making a statement about anything or anyone other than the person beside me.
I got married because I wanted to be with this man for the rest of my life, because this man pulled out a little ring box and asked me, because it gave us an excuse to throw a big party for all our friends, because we wanted to be legal partners as well as emotional ones, and a thousand other reasons I haven’t considered yet.
I imagine society was rather neutral on the matter. I didn’t hear any loud sighs of relief on society’s part at the reception, thank God she’s kept us safe by putting on a dress the size of New York and cutting a cake. It may sound selfish, but marriage was not about society. It was about my love and I. What others might have thought, I could not have cared less, and had the Pope come along and told me what the marriage meant to him, I might have listened politely (I was raised Catholic, after all) and walked away to get him a drink, silently thinking, “Get a life of your own, wouldja?”