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No sperm ? No mass. June 8, 2008

Posted by dorigo in humor, news, politics, religion.
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The catholic church showed its cynical face yesterday, but also a good dose of its legendary attention to canon law, as a couple got married with a non-religious ceremony in Viterbo, and it became known that the local religious authorities had denied them the sacrament of marriage because the man was a paraplegic with a clinical condition of impotence due to lesions caused by a car accident.

No sperm ? No mass. Even worse: although I do not know the details of the handicap to the reproductory organs of the man, I fear the church would deny a religious marriage even in presence of healthy production of vital semen, if the latter had no chance of being imparted the required kinetic energy and directionality. In fact, the church allows divorce -or rather, invalidation of marriage, through an institution called sacra rota– whenever it can be proven that the sexual act of procreation cannot be carried out. Here we are talking mechanics rather than biology. And this in fact goes hand in hand with the church’s opposition to assisted procreation.

A quote I like says “consistency requires you to be as ignorant as you were a year ago”. For catholic church one would have to modify this into “consistency calls for cynicism”. When they oppose by all means -with blatant ingerence in internal italian affairs- italian laws trying to provide with some basic rights unmarried pairs of human beings living together more uxorio -as they have recently done-, they really are following a very clear plan: discriminate by all possible means against men and women who won’t have children.

I have said it other times in the past: these failures to modernize will eventually be the cause of their extinction. It may take a while though.



1. anon - June 8, 2008

reference? a quick google news search didn’t turn one up.

2. piscator - June 8, 2008

>these failures to modernize will eventually be the cause of their >extinction

don’t hold your breath…..a church that gets married to this age will be a widow in the next.

3. Tripitaka - June 8, 2008

I like religions but mainly in the kind of way that I like museums.

Then again, I guess I’d be a bit worried if a museum started issuing proclaimations as to how people should live their lives.

4. dorigo - June 8, 2008

Here is the reference (in italian, from Il Corriere della Sera).


5. Kea - June 8, 2008

LOL! Of course they must have unwittingly married many people who knew they were unable to have children.

6. Anon - June 8, 2008

do you know what cuts Benedict makes on the seminal 4-vector?

7. dorigo - June 8, 2008

Hmmm, I prefer to avoid furthering this issue. Especially with anonymous posters…


8. JJD - June 8, 2008

The key phrase here is “sacrament of marriage.” I don’t see why non-Catholics need to get up tight about how or under what rules the Roman Catholic Church (or the Mormons or the Zoroastrians) dispenses its religious sacraments to its own members. Do you worry about how Hasidic rabbis or Hindu monkey-god priests parcel out their services to their disciples? Or presume to ridicule them, even if from a non-Jewish or non-Hindu perspective some of their practices might seem silly?

It might be more constructive to get aroused over how universities and academic departments run their affairs and treat their members, since that is something you have to live with every day and it is indirectly of importance to society at large.

9. Anon - June 8, 2008

You’re the one who brought it up.

10. Religious insanity: No sperm, no mass « Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub - June 9, 2008

[…] Religious insanity: No sperm, no mass A Quantum Diaries Survivor detours from physics to bring us news that in a small Italian town church authorities denied the rites of marriage to a paralyzed man, on the ground…. […]

11. dorigo - June 9, 2008

JJD, you are pardoned because you presumably need not know about the ingerence of the church in italian affairs, but you have to realize that clerics in Italy oppose with all their might the concession of legal rights to unmarried couples living together -among these, receiving retirements funds for the deceased partner or continuation of validity of a lease of a property- and just as well oppose same-sex marriage by civil ceremony. By doing so, they can no longer claim decoupling from these practices and that their decisions on the sacrament of marriage are not to be criticized.


12. dorigo - June 9, 2008

Anon, sure – but one thing is a pun, another is a thorough discussion on the matter.


13. qwerty - June 9, 2008
14. carlbrannen - June 9, 2008

This is why I think that the US government should get out of the marriage business. Defining it, giving people money based on it, writing laws that use marriage status to determine who gets what in the event of legal arguments.

15. dorigo - June 10, 2008

Carl, I might even agree, but you are talking about a revolution here… And revolutions only happen when there is sufficient motivation and a critical mass. I see neither around…


16. bayardo - June 13, 2008

They allowed Jacqueline Kennedy’s live-in lover to give an address at her church funeral. How hypocritical can you get?

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