One of the more irritating aspects of the media these days is the overuse and misuse of pet words and phrases. For example, have you noticed how the media – and the talking heads of that media – have been enamored with the use of the word narrative.
Well, they now have a favorite new word – Meme . They are all beginning to use it.
The interesting thing is that Meme is one of those words, in the Americanized version of English, which has developed a double meaning. This is found even in its references in the standard dictionaries.
Here are the two meanings which emerge found online when you “google” the word:
Meme: an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, especially imitation.
Meme: a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc. that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users.
Or, when we fall back on the old standby Merriam Webster definition, we read that “Meme refers to “an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture.
Any way you define it, what I am calling the Marriage Meme is somehow perceived to be up for grabs among the propaganda media. They have not only bought the counterfeit notion of the current cultural revolutionaries who want to redefine marriage – they are eager to foist that counterfeit definition upon the entire culture.
These folks will stop at nothing in their effort to confuse those who still actually believe they are being objective in their reporting. They are being anything but objective. They are engaging in the worst kind of propaganda. One place where that is clear is the way in which they report on Pope Francis.
For example, they continuously try to hijack Pope Francis – and his message. They misread his genuine empathy as if it is some kind of rejection of the unchangeable truth about marriage as revealed in the Natural Moral Law – and taught by the Sacred Scriptures and the teaching office of the Church.
In doing so they are lying. There, I said it. They are lying.
In this article, I will address only this one effort being undertaken by the propaganda media to misuse Francis. That is the attempt to present him as somehow open to the counterfeit agenda of those who are trying to destroy marriage by redefining the word. There are many other such efforts at misusing and misappropriating Francis.
However, make no mistake, Pope Francis not only embraces the truth about the nature, purpose, goods and ends of marriage, he teaches, preaches and prays that we recover its full beauty and liberating effects for the entire culture.
The media completely misstates his positions. Many do so by design. Others, through laziness, simply passing on the errant reports of others seeking to co-opt this successor of the Apostle Peter to further their own agenda. It is beyond time to call them out at every one of their efforts.
Pope Francis embraces the unchangeable truth about marriage as solely between one man and one woman, intended for life, open to life and formative of family as the sole Meme – using the word properly.
That is why you will not read much about the crystal clear teaching which was recently given by Pope Francis at the opening address of a conference on the complementarity of man and woman. The conference was sponsored by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and other curial groups.
The conference was held from November 17-19, 2014 and you can feast on the overall content of this important conference by going here . The message of Pope Francis was crystal clear. You can read it in its totality here.
I will now end this article with a lengthy quote from this crystal clear message on marriage and the family from Pope Francis. I sincerely hope this quote will go viral on the internet. I also hope it will be picked up by the by the Media.
This is the one and only – the true Marriage Meme of Pope Francis.
Here is Pope Francis on Marriage, Family and the Right of children to a mother and father:
In our day, marriage and the family are in crisis. We now live in a culture of the temporary, in which more and more people are simply giving up on marriage as a public commitment. This revolution in manners and morals has often flown the flag of freedom, but in fact it has brought spiritual and material devastation to countless human beings, especially the poorest and most vulnerable.
Evidence is mounting that the decline of the marriage culture is associated with increased poverty and a host of other social ills, disproportionately affecting women, children and the elderly. It is always they who suffer the most in this crisis.
The crisis in the family has produced crisis of human ecology, for social environments, like natural environments, need protection.
And although the human race has come to understand the need to address conditions that menace our natural environments, we have been slower to recognize that our fragile social environments are under threat as well, slower in our culture, and also in our Catholic Church. It is therefore essential that we foster a new human ecology and advance it.
It is necessary first to promote the fundamental pillars that govern a nation: its non-material goods. The family is the foundation of co-existence and a guarantee against social fragmentation. Children have a right to grow up in a family with a father and a mother capable of creating a suitable environment for the child’s development and emotional maturity.
That is why I stressed in the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium that the contribution of marriage to society is “indispensable”; that it “transcends the feelings and momentary needs of the couple” (n. 66). And that is why I am grateful to you for your Colloquium’s emphasis on the benefits that marriage can provide to children, the spouses themselves, and to society.
In these days, as you embark on a reflection on the beauty of complementarity between man and woman in marriage, I urge you to lift up yet another truth about marriage: that permanent commitment to solidarity, fidelity, and fruitful love responds to the deepest longings of the human heart. Let us bear in mind especially the young people, who represent our future.
It is important that they do not give themselves over to the poisonous mentality of the temporary, but rather be revolutionaries with the courage to seek true and lasting love, going against the common pattern: this must be done.
With regard to this I want to say one thing: Let us not fall into the trap of being qualified by ideological concepts.
Family is an anthropological fact – a socially and culturally related fact. We cannot qualify it with concepts of an ideological nature, that are relevant only in a single moment of history, and then pass by. We can’t speak today of a conservative notion of family or a progressive notion of family: Family is family! It can’t be qualified by ideological notions. Family has a strength of its own [per se].
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.