Imagine being a devoted churchgoer and being told that you cannot marry in the church because you’re impotent because of a car accident.
An Italian bishop has reportedly told a young paraplegic he cannot have a church wedding because he is impotent, despite his fiancee being aware of the problem.
Salvatore de Ciuco, spokesman for Bishop Lorenzo Chiarinelli of Viterbo in central Italy, told SkyTG24 television: “No bishop, no priest can celebrate a wedding when he knows of admitted impotence as it is a motive for annulment” of the marriage.
Has God in the church’s eyes, forsaken all those couples who cannot consummate their marriage in the old penis-in-vagina manner? This is unimaginably cruel.
I recently attended a wedding (w/Roman Catholic Mass), and while the whole event was joyous, it was difficult to sit there and listen to a homily rife with heterosupremacy and mandated procreation. It really brings it home that for many sitting there listening, the message of invalidation of same-sex unions (and relationships like the one above), is something they simply don’t think about. That they pray to what is interpreted as a discriminating God is not something they can see, when it’s beautifully wrapped up and tied with a bow. It also underscores the reasons why the word “marriage” is so loaded for people who have been raised in faiths that see a couple’s love and commitment to one another in very narrow terms. It’s not only a matter of separating the civil and religious, but undoing the social invalidation that is produced by a worldview that may not openly demonize gay couples, but makes it clear our relationships simply don’t exist, and if even if they did, they don’t qualify for any recognition as a social bond.