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Pope Francis: Dismantling Marriage
Mark Lambert ^ | February 3, 2021 | Phil Lawler

Posted on 02/03/2021 5:32:27 PM PST by ebb tide

Pope Francis: Dismantling Marriage

In the context of this article by the excellent Phil Lawler, Dr. Peter Kwasniewski offers the following comment:

Not long ago, I was involved in a fairly intense discussion of whether Pope Francis is an evil man. One side said "yes, absolutely, you can see that from his years-long patterns of equivocation, ambiguity, and deception, his personnel selections and promotions, his attitude of contempt for tradition, his arrogance, insults, etc." The other side said "no, we don't know enough about his internal state, his knowledge, his capacities, to be able to make such a claim. All we can say is that he's confused, mistaken, and misled."
I tried for a while to hold the second position, but then I gave up, as it's so counterfactual. Just read this piece (if you dare) by Phil Lawler about the pope's recent Roman Rota speech, and see what conclusions you draw about the kind of pope who could say such things. As another friend said to me: "I truly believe that he is rationalizing his abandonment of his family, the Church. He is so, so destructive." This is not the bumbling of an incompetent; it is the preternatural wickedness of an enemy of the Faith.

Here's what Lawler says:

Last week Pope Francis took another step to dismantle the edifice of teaching on marriage left to the Church by his predecessor, Pope John Paul II.

You already know, I trust, that Pope Francis has made it easier for Catholic couples to obtain an annulment: a declaration that their union was never a sacramental marriage. Now, however, the Pope has—belatedly—turned his attention to the children of those unions. But he has done so in a way that turns the problem completely upside-down.

Lawler is referring to this:

...which I mention in more detail and with corroborating elements in this blog.

Lawler continues:

Bear with me, while I try to explain the confusion.

Nearly every year during his pontificate, when he delivered his annual address to the Roman Rota at the start of its judicial year, Pope John Paul II would urge the tribunal judges—and by extension, the judges on marriage tribunals in every diocese—to uphold the sanctity of the marital union. More specifically, he exhorted tribunal judges not to rush to judgment in annulment cases—not to assume that a troubled marriage is no marriage at all.

Pope Benedict XVI delivered the same message, but added that tribunals could be more efficient. Where there is a strong case for the nullity of a marriage, he said, the faithful have the right to a timely judgment.

Then Pope Francis rushed headlong into the campaign, encouraging the tribunals not only to act quickly, but also—in an apparent reversal of his predecessors’ messages—to hand out annulments more readily.

And even in cases where the tribunal could not find justification for an annulment, in Amoris Laetitia Pope Francis urged pastors to allow divorced and remarried Catholics to receive the Eucharist in some circumstances. (These circumstances were not clearly defined in the papal document, allowing pastors ample room for maneuver.) He explained in Amoris Laetitia #298 that in “a second union consolidated over time, with new children,” the remarried couple might need to maintain their new relationship for the sake of the children.

Here Pope Francis clearly contradicts the teaching of Pope Pius XI, who in Casti Connubi #10 quoted with approval the judgment of St. Augustine that “a husband or wife, if separated, should not be joined to another even for the sake of offspring.” [emphasis added] Pope John Paul II had relaxed that teaching—while maintaining the essential principle behind it—by allowing in Familiaris Consortio #84 that in some cases a remarried couple might continue living together for the sake of their children, if they “take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples.” (Then-Cardinal Ratzinger added that even this solution would be inadequate if by living together the remarried couple caused scandal.) But again Pope Francis plunged forward, saying that the remarried couple might enjoy the benefits of sexual intimacy—even though their marriage is illicit—and still receive the Eucharist.

How this new papal teaching can be reconciled with the constant tradition of the Church, and with the Lord’s vivid warning against adultery, I do not know—nor do the learned cardinals whose dubia are still unanswered. But the Pope’s argument appears to hinge on two assumptions: first that the second marital union must be maintained for the sake of the children; second that sexual intimacy is essential to the health of that second union.

The first of those assumptions seems reasonable enough, and explains why Pope John Paul II allowed for remarried couples to continue living together. But the second assumption is at best questionable. Many happily married couples can testify that abstaining from sexual relations is a hardship but not an impossibility. In any case, it is a hardship for the parents, not for the children. Yet Pope Francis suggests that the couple must have sexual relations for the sake of the children.

Are children of a second union somehow hurt when their parents—following the advice of Pope John Paul II—make the commitment to live as brother and sister? There is no evidence to support that conclusion. But there is evidence—ample evidence—to show that children are damaged by divorce. Until the release of Amoris Laetitia, the whole weight of Catholic teaching on marriage testified to the Church’s understanding of that unhappy reality.

Last week, in his own address to the tribunal judges of the Roman Rota, Pope Francis observed that a marital union “cannot be extinguished in its entirety with the declaration of nullity” when there are children involved. The Church—the tribunal—must be mindful of the welfare of those children.

So far, so good. But now watch how the Pope illustrates his point:
… how can one explain to children that—for example—their mother, abandoned by their father and often not willing to establish another marriage bond, receives the Sunday Eucharist with them, while their father, cohabiting or awaiting the declaration of the nullity of the marriage, cannot participate in the Eucharistic table?

In this remarkable example, Pope Francis reveals his sympathies. The abandoned mother who is “not willing” to remarry—in other words, the woman who holds fast to her marital vow even at sacrifice to herself—is the villain of the piece. The father who remarries is the aggrieved party, who deserves extra pastoral attention.

The Pope suggests that the children will be troubled not because their father abandoned their mother (and presumably abandoned them, too), but because their father, who is now engaged in an illicit union, cannot receive the Eucharist. The Pontiff has enlisted these children as witnesses for his argument. But is their testimony reliable? More to the point, do these children exist? Good luck finding them.

You will have no trouble, however, in finding children who are troubled because their father, who abandoned their mother, now shows up at Mass every Sunday with his younger female companion, and does receive the Eucharist, under the vague dispensation offered in Amoris Laetitia. How do you explain that to the children, without undermining their faith in the Church’s commitment to the sanctity of marriage?

And just by the way, how do you explain it without undermining the children’s confidence in the Church’s commitment to them, the abandoned offspring of the first marriage? It is striking, isn’t it, that the pastoral novelties introduced “for the sake of the children” always seem to benefit the adults who are willing to leave those children behind. 

TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Moral Issues
KEYWORDS: adultery; catholicdivorce; francischism; heretic
And just by the way, how do you explain it without undermining the children’s confidence in the Church’s commitment to them, the abandoned offspring of the first marriage? It is striking, isn’t it, that the pastoral novelties introduced “for the sake of the children” always seem to benefit the adults who are willing to leave those children behind.
1 posted on 02/03/2021 5:32:27 PM PST by ebb tide
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To: Al Hitan; DuncanWaring; Fedora; irishjuggler; Jaded; JoeFromSidney; kalee; markomalley; ...


2 posted on 02/03/2021 5:33:32 PM PST by ebb tide (We have a rogue curia in Rome.)
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To: ebb tide


3 posted on 02/03/2021 5:35:38 PM PST by Bigbrown
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To: ebb tide

Read Titus 1

4 posted on 02/03/2021 5:36:58 PM PST by DarthVader (Not by speeches & majority decisions will the great issues th the day be decided but by Blood & Iron)
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To: ebb tide; All
The Soviet Communists did a great job of dismantling marriage. For a good, insightful look at Russia after the commies tore down that institution, read "The Russian Effort to Abolish Marriage, July 1926, The Atlantic. (Yes, 1926 -- a first-hand look)

"Men took to changing wives with the same zest which they displayed in the consumption of the recently restored forty-per-cent vodka"

This is exactly where the Pope, BLM, antifa, and democrats are taking us.

5 posted on 02/03/2021 5:50:19 PM PST by ProtectOurFreedom (Democracy Dies With Democrats)
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To: ebb tide

I am so glad I left that church many years ago.

6 posted on 02/03/2021 6:02:12 PM PST by ScottinVA (Enough. Divide the country.. now. )
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To: ebb tide

If this marriage rule change was all this Poope did then I’d say he wasn’t that bad but his views on everything else certifies him as an anti Christ.

7 posted on 02/03/2021 6:09:08 PM PST by HighSierra5
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To: ebb tide

Well, here I am again with my Church. Always in trouble!

8 posted on 02/03/2021 6:14:13 PM PST by Shark24 ( )
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To: ebb tide


9 posted on 02/03/2021 6:14:31 PM PST by philetus (Keep doing what you always do and you'll eventually get what you deserve)
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To: ebb tide
Kicking faithful Catholics out, while welcoming gays and adulterers.

That's our fake pope.

10 posted on 02/03/2021 11:14:47 PM PST by Slyfox (Not my circus, not my monkeys )
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To: ebb tide

Divorce is a complicated issue. Viewing the mother as pure innocence is wrong. Abandoned, no. Some yes, but not all.

A modern woman, with no faith, can study the benefits of divorce in a modern culture for years, while twisting the arm of her husband, for years. The state tells her to do as she pleases, and that the state will compensate her, with servitude of her ex husband. She gets the message, and she acts on it, until the marriage is simply intolerable.

Imagine the man who hears this from his wife, conversing with her friends: “Alimony is nothing. Child support is where the money is”. Greed and power.

The Catholic church does not exist in a vacuum or deal with perfection.

11 posted on 02/04/2021 2:33:13 AM PST by PA-RIVER ( )
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To: HighSierra5

Agreed. The Pope has a megaphone, and his main message is raw communism is the way to salvation. He’s lost. I don’t worship the state.

12 posted on 02/04/2021 2:39:58 AM PST by PA-RIVER ( )
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To: DarthVader
“Read Titus 1”

Heck, the entire epistle of Jude was written to warn us about false teachers like Francis.

13 posted on 02/04/2021 5:35:01 AM PST by circlecity
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To: ScottinVA

While I have not left the Church, I am abstaining from Mass and the Eucharist while the apostates are in control. There are many faithful priests and parishes who are teaching their congregants the truth but at this time, I have not found one in my city. Thus, I am considering myself a persecuted Catholic exiled by the heresies of some in the hierarchy.

It would seem a simple thing to find a protestant group that is faithful to Biblical teachings, but alas, they have fallen as well.

This is an attack on the Church and all Christians within and outside her. The father of lies seems ascendant but I know that he is not the winner in the final judgement.

I don’t know if what I am doing is right in God’s eyes, but I cannot support with my presence and my money the path the Church is currently on.

All I do is pray for all of us to be delivered from this evil and trust that God is good all the time.

14 posted on 02/04/2021 10:45:37 AM PST by Jvette (America was built on freedom not freebies)
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