The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Vicki Murphy Headshot

Dear Pope, Time for Some Tweaks?

Posted: Updated:
Print Article

How do you prevent a mommy blogger from ringing in the new year in head-to-toe flannel, scraping chocolate out of her spacebar with the label from a bottle of cheap wine while she updates her Facebook status to: The first person to bring me another bottle of Shiraz wins a big, fat prize wrapped in flannel.

Invite her to a wedding!

BAM.

What a time.

But why in holy hell did they choose that reading for the wedding ceremony? Whyyyyyy?

Allow me to quote from the Book of Sirach:

Happy is the husband of a good wife; the number of his days will be doubled. A loyal wife brings joy to her husband, and he will complete his years in peace. A good wife is a great blessing; she will be granted among the blessings of the man who fears the Lord. Whether rich or poor, his heart is content, and at all times his face is cheerful.

A wife's charm delights her husband, and her skill puts flesh on his bones. A silent wife is a gift from the Lord, and nothing is so precious as her self-discipline. A modest wife adds charm to charm, and no scales can weigh the value of her chastity. Like the sun rising in the heights of the Lord, so is the beauty of a good wife in her well-ordered home. Like the shining lamp on the holy lampstand, so is a beautiful face on a stately figure. Like golden pillars on silver bases, so are her shapely legs and steadfast feet.

One second. I need to go flip the flapjacks, then iron my husband's shirts, then "add charm to charm," then hurl. All the while remaining cheerfully silent and glowing like a "shining lamp." What the H-E double hockey sticks?!

I'm not sure if the passage was read verbatim. I was too busy picking my jaw off the floor, pinching myself, and mentally slapping my husband who kept looking at me with that smug "Get in the kitchen and make me some pie" look.

The thoughts kept pinballing around in my head...

Is this really happening?

Did she really just say that?

Is this 1954?

Am I alive right now?

Is the Pope a He-man Woman Hater?

What's next -- a pro-slavery poem?

Are they going to sacrifice a gay on the altar?

Someone check my ears for wax. There must be a full box of crayons in there because what I'm hearing just can't be right.

I'm no feminist, trust me. Sometimes I even objectify myself. (See photo above. Dress bought at Trollops.) But what in the name of Christ (that's not a curse -- I mean it literally) is this verbiage doing within a 100-yard radius of a Christian establishment?

So let me get this straight... the Catholic Church thinks that, to be a good wife, I need to be a good housekeeper? Someone interpret that differently for me. Please. Be my guest. Tell me I'm reading it all wrong. (After the comments on my last post, I'm sure you won't disappoint.) I will gladly accept dyslexia in exchange for clarity that does not involve me wearing an apron around my "stately figure" in my "well-ordered home."

I wonder if the Pope has a little diagram of a "good wife" pinned to his fridge (full of wine and unleavened bread?) -- of a shapely (but modest!) woman holding a feather duster, bending over (but not too far!) to wipe the crud off her husband's big, long briefcase that contains his big, long list of manly achievements.

Seriously. Is this holy scripture or last month's copy of Hustler? But hey, this gibber-jabber was written a couple thousand years ago. I can't blame the Church today for something written in another time.

But I can tsk-tsk today's Church for offering up that passage as an appropriate reading for a marriage! Dudes -- there are so many other passages, why oh why would you include this one in the list? Leave it in the dark ages from whence it came. Stick it in the closet with the rest of the secrets, whatevs. It doesn't belong here no mo'. Good grief, we women are trying to get ahead here. Do a girl a solid.

Thankfully, the Protestants do not accept the scripture of Sirach. High-five, my Anglican brothers and sisters! And here's an additional hip-hip-hooray for allowing women to preach.

I must sign off now and sharpen my "skills," to put meat on my husband's bones. Holy hilarious. This must be the passage my mother read every night before bed. Keep a clean house and food on the table and you're top notch. (She must have fallen off to sleep before the "silent wife" part.)

Even the priest who officiated made amendments for this dinosaur of an excerpt. After the reading, he chuckled and said something like, "Of course, all these things can be applied to the husband as well." I was relieved. At least he kinda-sorta acknowledged the hogwashiness of the thing.

With all due respect, Mr. Pope, I think it's time for a few updates. Or kick that passage to the curb altogether. The Bible is, like, a gazillion pages long; surely you have enough other sacred stuff to draw from. Maybe this un-wisdom was applicable through to the 1950s, but come on -- times have changed a little, don't you think? The leader of the free world is black. GASP! We've even opened our minds to electing (and re-electing) douchebags here in Canada.

Come on Benny, I know you're not that out of touch. You don't deny that the Holocaust did indeed happen (unlike your rebel bishop pal, Richard Williamson, who believes there were no gas chambers -- and also that women should not wear pants). Good on ya. Now... why can't women be priests? Are we ladies not capable of being divine? Is our divinity restricted to our partridgeberry pie and how we fold those blasted sheets with the elastic at the corners? Is the Church a part of Al Bundy's No Ma'am Club? Let us in. Not me, but anyone else with girl parts who wants in. Oh, and while you're at it, maybe you could reword the whole thing about homosexuality being a "disorder." That's just silly.

I think most priests and churchgoers would agree -- congregations (and, consequently, contributions to the collection plate) are dwindling as communities age. The Church is a dying institution, as more and more young people drift further and further away from conventional religion. So helloooooo -- if you are trying to appeal to a younger, modern demographic, this is so not the way to do it. (I think you need the guidance of a good marketing company -- call me.)

When I heard that reading during the wedding ceremony, I thought to myself, thank God (I guess) that I was married by the mayor because this backwards baloney is just bananas. I'm sure there are other teachings and readings that I could embrace, and many that I already do, but the endorsement of this Sirach poppycock is enough to turn me toward voodoo instead; clearly, the Church and I are not a good fit.

Go ahead. Put me on the Illuminaughty List. Until there's an update, I will continue to worship the fairies in the woods. Word.

And to all ye getting married in the Catholic Church, for the love of God and all his creatures great and small and male and female, stick with Corinthians; faith, hope and love never go out of style.

Around the Web

Catholic priest says sexism is sin, women should be ordained ...

The Catholic Church And The Sin Of Sexism | Lez Get Real

In the Anglican Church, Sexism Still Runs Deep | National Catholic ...

Sexist Catholic bishops vs. Barack Obama - English pravda.ru

Sexism in Roman Catholic Church Decried by Noted Priest & Nobel ...

 
Sponsored Feature