Reading the recently released papal letter “The Joy of Love,” I was surprised to see that it opens a “new” discussion of marriage and the family with a very old patriarchal trope from Psalm 128:
Blessed is every one who fears the Lord,
who walks in his ways!
You shall eat the fruit of the labour of your hands;
you shall be happy, and it shall go well with you.
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
within your house . . . (see ch. 1, pp. 7-8)
Notwithstanding the “inclusive language” translating the male generic in Hebrew as “one,” there is no way around the fact that this psalm is addressed by a male God to men. It compares women to property owned and tended by men. Nor does it provide any opening to consider the blessings of same sex marriage.