Church marriage vs. reality show marriage

Church marriage vs. reality show marriage
Young adults are entertained by Father Robert Sinatra’s talk on love and marriage Nov. 11, at Tir Na Nog in Cherry Hill, as part of the Camden Diocese’s Theology on Tap series. Photo by Alan M. Dumoff, more photos ccdphotolibrary.smugmug.com

Young adults are entertained by Father Robert Sinatra’s talk on love and marriage Nov. 11, at Tir Na Nog in Cherry Hill, as part of the Camden Diocese’s Theology on Tap series.
Photo by Alan M. Dumoff, more photos ccdphotolibrary.smugmug.com

CHERRY HILL — When Father Robert Sinatra asked the 80 young adults gathered here at Tir Na Nog “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” he wasn’t referring to the song famously sung by Tina Turner.

On Nov. 11, Father Sinatra, Adjutant Judicial Vicar for the Diocese of Camden, was the guest speaker for the monthly Theology on Tap series, which connects 20- and 30-somethings through faith and fellowship.

As the Catholic Church and today’s secular culture clash on their notions of love, marriage and sex, Father Sinatra spoke on “the depths and beauty” of covenantal love and marriage in the teaching of the Catholic Church, in a presentation that included Powerpoint slides and video clips.

The priest decried such television programs as the FYI channel reality show “Married at First Sight,” which has a team of sociologists, spiritual advisors, sexologists and clinical psychologists match up partners, who then appear on the show to meet each other for the first time and quickly marry.

In reducing marriage and relationships to a set of personalities and statistics, this program overlooks the true reality of marriage, he said.

As defined by Gaudium Et Spes (Faith and Hope), promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1965, marriage is “a covenant by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, which, by its very nature, is ordered toward the good of the spouses and toward the procreation and education of offspring, and which, between the baptized, has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of sacrament,” Father Sinatra said.

Father Sinatra also elaborated on the Augustinian Goods of Marriage, written by St. Augustine, which detail marital commitment and obligations: Bonum Sacramentum (permanence); Bonum Fidem (fidelity); Bonum prolis (openness to children, raising them in the Catholic faith); Bonum conjugem (always directing actions for the good of the spouses).

He concluded his presentation by sharing clips from several movies that demonstrated real, enduring love. A clip from the Academy Award winning 1981 film “On Golden Pond” showed the love and commitment a woman (Katherine Hepburn) had for her husband (Henry Fonda), who was suffering from Alzheimer’s. The enduring 1987 fairy tale romance “The Princess Bride” showed how the simple words of a young servant (Cary Elwes), “As You Wish,” could express his love for Princess Buttercup (Robin Wright).

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