The Marriage Mess

Homosexuals marrying each other? Lesbians marrying one another? The resurgence of polygamy? Transgendered women marrying men or women or transgendered men and transgendered men marrying men or women.

Then there is the case of a transgendered man marrying a transgendered woman? The “man” was once a woman and the “woman was once a man. They both kept their “plumbing” and the man (who presented as a woman) impregnated the woman (who presented as a man) so it seemed that the “Daddy” gave birth to the baby while the “Mommy” looked on as the proud father.

Add to this mess the new reproductive technologies and it gets even more complicated.

I was told of one family in which the oldest child became a lesbian and got her teenaged brother to donate sperm to impregnate the girls lesbian lover. So the child has three parents, the “Father” is really his uncle.

With artificial insemination, sperm and egg donors, surrogate mothers and multiple sperm and egg donors, with in vitro fertilization and frozen embryos….

…we’re concerned about whether remarried Catholics can come to communion or not.

Don’t get me wrong, I realize this is an important discussion and believe the church should not depart from the traditional view, but in the face of the larger marriage mess what are we going to do? What can we hope to do?

If people don’t think this matters they had better think again.

Ordinary parish priests like myself are being faced with very complex and difficult pastoral situations that nobody has ever had to face before. When a homosexual couple want to have their baby baptized or their child in the parish school what is my decision? When a transgendered person wants to be married in church how do I say “No”? Who helps me make these calls? Where do I go for assistance? What happens when I accept the child born to two men by sperm and egg donation and surrogacy into the church school and they then want to come to church and receive communion? Do I forbid them? If I refuse them what about that couple I know are co habitant or that other couple who I believe may be in an invalid marriage?

The marriage mess is, of course, the result of the most revolutionary and radical invention of mankind: the contraceptive pill.

This invention has changed everything.

Once sexual relations were separated from procreation everything else has disintegrated.

Marriage in our society is one huge mess, and I for one, can only think of one thing to do about it.

Somehow or other Catholics need to live out their faith through their marriages and their families. We have to be faithful and hope that in some way the example we live out will be a light shining in darkness.