Marriage, an institution between one man and one woman for the rearing of children, is designed by God and is the backbone of society, clergy proclaimed at Thursday's national Mass for Marriage. “Society didn’t create it: society cannot re-create it”said Msgr. Edward Filardi, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Bethesda, Md., of marriage in a June 19 homily for the Mass for Marriage. The Mass, held at a Capitol Hill parish in Washington, D.C., was held before the national March for Marriage — a peaceful demonstration celebrating the definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Msgr. Filardi explained that the charge to defend marriage is “not a battle against people.” “It’s a battle to uphold something beautiful.” The “culmination of creation is the creation of man and woman,” he said, noting that man and woman were created for one another and commanded to be fruitful in their union. In seeking to “re-make” marriage, society runs “the risk of mocking God himself by denying this truth of marriage’s purpose,” the monsignor continued. However, “while our faith points us to supernatural truths, it grounds us in natural realities,” Msgr. Filardi pointed out.   He said it is “right for a child to be nourished by both its father and its mother,” noting the variety of gifts complimentary parents bring to a relationship. He also praised and encouraged friendship between persons of all sexes and orientations, but noted that “only the unique love of a man and a woman is equipped for marriage because only a man and a woman can enter into one flesh.” Rejecting the reality of the one-flesh union through the use of “unintended orifices,” the monsignor added, makes an “imitation of marriage.” “When marriage comes to mean almost anything, so it comes to mean almost nothing,” he warned. In closing, the monsignor urged the faithful to speak up in defense of marriage. “Don’t be intimidated by being on the wrong side of history: you’ll never be on the wrong side of nature and the only fear is to be on the wrong side of God.”