My former colleague Beth Barrett broke the news today that LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s divorce was in fact caused by a little—OK, a lot—of extramarital activity. Now Chris Weinkopf, the LA Daily News’ editorial page editor, calls on his fellow Catholic to end the affair and repent.
Please. Look, I make no judgment on their souls—Lord knows, we all have our sins, and we all need mercy—but I’m not afraid to cast judgment on these “lovers’” actions. They are a despicable travesty that are causing great pain to Villaraigosa’s family, a pain that will endure for decades. I refuse to play the game of pretending that this “romance” is cute or healthy, or that it is a “private matter.”
Marriage is, by definition, a public matter. That’s why we hold weddings in public, and get the government to sanction them. Indeed, marriage is the foundational institution of our society. The violation of one’s wedding vows is much more than a private betrayal; its repercussions extend far beyond the couple. No, it’s not our business to monitor what goes on in the Villaraigosas’ home, but it is our duty not to condone adultery, and to support the aggrieved.
Adultery is not a new thing for Villaraigosa, as Connie Bruck wrote in The New Yorker in May.