September 27, 2015

A Short Commentary on One Small Excerpt From Pope Francis' Congressional Speech

"In particular, I would like to call attention to those family members who are the most vulnerable, the young. For many of them, a future filled with countless possibilities beckons, yet so many others seem disoriented and aimless, trapped in a hopeless maze of violence, abuse and despair. Their problems are our problems. We cannot avoid them. We need to face them together, to talk about them and to seek effective solutions rather than getting bogged down in discussions. At the risk of oversimplifying, we might say that we live in a culture which pressures young people not to start a family, because they lack possibilities for the future. Yet this same culture presents others with so many options that they too are dissuaded from starting a family. (Full Catholic Lane article here.)

And with those words, Pope Francis declares his unwavering support for preserving the first Sacramental marriage, rather than fast-tracking it into that void between an actual and imagined putative marriage. After all, why else would he explicitly state for us " call attention to those family members who are the most vulnerable, the young"? Does he finally recognize that it is indeed the young - the innocent; the children; the lambs playing at the feet of Christ - who are in need of help from Holy Mother Church? That it is indeed the children - and not those who willfully violate their vows of permanency and fidelity? And who now seek to have the Catholic Church validate their adultery under the guise of mercy? Will Pope Francis, now, turn all the attention to its rightful owners - the children of broken homes, of shattered dreams, of shuffleboard parenting?

He said well that "...Their problems are our problems. We cannot avoid them. We need to face them together, to talk about them".  So why, then, within the components of this 2015 Family Synod, is the main emphasis on validating illicit, immoral and adulterous second marriages - willfully contracted by both parties against Church discipline, the Catechism and Our Lord's teaching - and not on the one item that would " effective solutions rather than getting bogged down in discussions"? Namely, the preservation of first marriages? 

I am not so naive as to believe that there are not Catholic marriages where one or both spouses simply cannot continue to co-habitat with one another, as a recent commenter on one of my blog posts attests.  Verbal and/or physical abuse of one or both spouses, constant fighting in front of the children, no outward signs of can any of this ever be good for children to experience? It obviously is not and in such cases, it is a given that it is far better to separate - assuming other methods of preserving the nuclear family have been attempted and been unsuccessful - for the sake of the children (and each other.) The above commenter wrote that his children now know far more love with the parents living apart, than before. Even the other spouse has apparently changed for the better. And he states explicitly, that this is an arrangement of separation (which I hopefully assume may also mean divorce has not occurred.) This couple certainly did sacrifice themselves for the greater good - their children. And it shows what this sacrifice of the parents obtained - a more stable and loving environment for their children. But more importantly it maintained, in so far as possible, the nuclear family and the first marriage. 

And this is what it all should be about - preserving first marriages, the nuclear family, the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony. It - the Synod - should be defending the Permanency and Fidelity of the marriage vows, not figuring out a way to circumvent both. To even attempt to admit that one can willfully violate two Commandments (6 & 9) of God the Father Himself - without performing the full purgative requirements for this willful action to regain His Friendship (see a companion post on this here) - is, in my opinion, pure anarchy against the first Sacrament established by God the Son - Matrimony. 

The 2015 Family Synod runs a risk in trying to implement practices (or is it praxis?) aimed at pleasing Man. In so doing, they run the greater risk of displeasing the Creator of all Mankind and His Son, the Creator of the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony. 

Personally, I could care less about Mankind. But should the Synod succeed in ramrodding through the Kasperite changes, it won't take a Pope or even the most learned Theologian to come to the immediate conclusion that it will rent anew the temple curtain - and as well, the Sacrament of Matrimony.  

Copyright 2015 David Heath - All Rights Reserved


  1. Right before that quote Pope Francis talks how the family is essential.

    ''How essential the family has been to the building of this country! And how worthy it remains of our support and encouragement! Yet I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without.''

    We faithful Catholics would like him to go beyond mere words and do something. How is making annulments easier helping families? We have Pre-Cana (that's a start and can be improved), but what about post-Cana?? Are his words empty promises? Why isn't Canon Law being enforced?

    Let's hope & pray the Synod will honor the Sacrament of Matrimony and clarify Church doctrine.

    1. Good comment and good questions many others have asked also. It is true what others also have said that the words are one thing, the actions quite another. The mask is on with the pro-family comments; the mask is off with the silent ascent to pro-divorce rhetoric leading up to the Synod. We do not and will not know the final answer until the final report.

      Indeed, let us pray the Holy Ghost comes a (head) knocking well before more real and everlasting damage is done.

  2. I have mixed feelings on making the annulment process easier. My ex filed for the divorce suddenly while I was pregnant with our 5th little boy after reconnecting with a former girlfriend on Facebook. He also filed for the annulment. The process took a long time, but I was still reeling from the shock of divorce, having a new baby, finding a job, and searching for housing that would welcome an unemployed, single mom of 5 boys with a foreclosure due to lack of child support. At one point I could not make the almost 2 hour one way trek to the tribunal office and asked for an extension and was told no, that Rome dictates the time constraints and my situation could not be taken into consideration. This is wrong.

    Additionally, my ex and that woman get married today. I feel badly saying this, but I question the validity of the annulment as much as I question the validity of our marriage and wonder about the validity of the 2nd marriage even with the annulment. Allowing divorced, annulled, and remarried without true conversion Catholics to receive Communion may be as bad or worse than allowing divorced and remarried Catholics to receive. We must do better as a Church Family to protect Marriage a days Family and sometimes, unfortunately, that means saying no to the marriage request.

    My ex and his soon-to-be wife face many challneges. As we all know, most marriages that start as theirs is email do in divorce. Please pray for Blessings on both of them a during on their union. Also pray for my son's who are the best men at the wedding. Pray they understand what Marriage truly means and follow in their Father's plan rather than their father's footsteps.

    1. Your situation is uncannily similar to my own on many fronts - internet catholic "friend", sudden filing for divorce, then annulment, then engagement, then new spouse. It differs only in the marital discord that prefaced all the above, and which was used as the crutch to validate all the future actions. Financial ruin, severe stress, long work hours, TV dinners, etc. are our lot, no? Only recently have I seen some light at the end of the divorce tunnel. But Courage! We do not walk this path alone, but with Christ Crucified...your Cross is especially burdensome today, as was mine over a year ago, but made easier by unflinching Faith in Christ and loyalty to our vows. If we do not remain loyal, what then does this tell our children?

      And yes, we must in Conscience accept the annulments as lawful and valid, though they remain unjust and uncharitable in both our cases, for neither of us wanted nor promoted either divorce or annulment. I wrote my older kids a letter advising them not to go to her wedding and the reasons why, though they went anyway, and not unexpectedly. But parental duty demanded I at least try.

      Anything that is done making annulments easier is never good. Pre-1983 code, there were but a small handful of valid reasons for an annulment. After 1983 and the inro of C. 1095, it laid open a vast array of reasons. See Dr. Ed Peters commentary:

      as well as Robert Vasoli's book "What God Has Joined Together: The Annulment Crisis in American Catholicism" available on Amazon. Vasoli was a Sociologist by trade who also was the victim of divorce and annulment. So, he wrote with much experience.

      Your sons will understand the Truth of Catholic Marriage as they mature seeing you live out your vows, as my own sons and daughters will mine. At some point in the future, I believe all children of divorce will look into their petitioner-parent eyes and ask: "Why did you do this to me?"

      Unfortunately, they will never receive an answer that will make up for all the pain and sorrow they will have endured.

      God Bless and thanks for your comments.


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