I’m not certain that this correctly portrays the Orthodox position. If it does, then I have to respectfully disagree with the pope on this one and say the Latin Church has the better position.
Hello Francis, if I wanted to be Orthodox, I would be Orthodox.
The Holy Father is IMHO playing a dangerous game.
At least some of them permit a third but final marriage.
Soon Francis will hold a huge auction, at which he will sell off all of the ill-gotten wealth of the Vatican, and give the money to the poor, to whom it was originally to go anyway.
Pope Francis seems to be very influenced by the East. I believe he was actually the Latin Rite prelate in charge of the Byzantine Rite in Argentina, wasn’t he?
But I think marriage teaching should be strengthened rather than weakened, because it gives an ideal. However, we have a huge backlog of people who married during the 40 years of bad times since Vatican II, when it appeared that Catholic marriage was no more indissoluble than any other.
The problem is that the ones who are eliminating themselves from participation in the sacraments are actually the good, ethical people who really believed it meant something.
So I would say reconcile people who have had a second marriage - as an emergency gesture.
The Pope could simply do this on a one-time basis as a charitable act. Then give everybody better preaching and teaching, give young people better instruction and make it very much harder from then on out.
But setting divorce up as something that is going to be regularly permitted is not good, in my opinion, because people assume that means it’s ok.
The younger Orthodox (in their 40s) I knew years ago in California were already on their second marriages because they lived in California and divorce was in the air. We don’t want this to become the standard for Catholics.
I don’t know what the view of the Eastern Orthodox is on marriage, (though I find most of the rest of their theology to be vapid) but on marriage the translation is indeed correct wherein it says that a man should not put away his wife, except for the cause of fornication. This might be the same in other places where it speaks of one spouse abandoning the other. Though even this separation (for adultery on the part of one spouse) is a terrible and foul thing, since He also says “what God hath joined, let man not cut asunder.”
Though, since we are not under the law, but are in fact “dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God” (Rom 7:4), I would say that any guilt over separation under such circumstances, and any notion of only getting a “second” chance, or even a third or fourth, are absolutely absurd in the presence of the forgiving God.
The Holy Father's words, in context, are here:
This is an issue which frequently comes up. Mercy is something much larger than the one case you raised. I believe that this is the season of mercy. This new era we have entered, and the many problems in the Church like the poor witness given by some priests, problems of corruption in the Church, the problem of clericalism for example have left so many people hurt, left so much hurt. The Church is a mother: she has to go out to heal those who are hurting, with mercy. If the Lord never tires of forgiving, we have no other choice than this: first of all, to care for those who are hurting. The Church is a mother, and she must travel this path of mercy. And find a form of mercy for all. When the prodigal son returned home, I dont think his father told him: You, sit down and listen: what did you do with the money? No! He celebrated! Then, perhaps, when the son was ready to speak, he spoke. The Church has to do this, when there is someone not only wait for them, but go out and find them! That is what mercy is. And I believe that this is a kairos: this time is a kairos of mercy. But John Paul II had the first intuition of this, when he began with Faustina Kowalska, the Divine Mercy He had something, he had intuited that this was a need in our time. With reference to the issue of giving communion to persons in a second union (because those who are divorced can receive communion, there is no problem, but when they are in a second union, they cant ), I believe that we need to look at this within the larger context of the entire pastoral care of marriage. And so it is a problem. But also a parenthesis the Orthodox have a different practice. They follow the theology of what they call oikonomia, and they give a second chance, they allow it. But I believe that this problem and here I close the parenthesis must be studied within the context of the pastoral care of marriage. And so, two things: first, one of the themes to be examined with the eight members of the Council of Cardinals with whom I will meet on 1-3 October is how to move forward in the pastoral care of marriage, and this problem will come up there. And a second thing: two weeks ago the Secretary of the Synod of Bishops met with me about the theme of the next Synod. It was an anthropological theme, but talking it over, going back and forth, we saw this anthropological theme: how does the faith help with ones personal life-project, but in the family, and so pointing towards the pastoral care of marriage. We are moving towards a somewhat deeper pastoral care of marriage. And this is a problem for everyone, because there are so many of them, no? For example, I will only mention one: Cardinal Quarracino, my predecessor, used to say that as far as he was concerned, half of all marriages are null. But why did he say this? Because people get married lacking maturity, they get married without realizing that it is a life-long commitment, they get married because society tells them they have to get married. And this is where the pastoral care of marriage also comes in. And then there is the legal problem of matrimonial nullity, this has to be reviewed, because ecclesiastical tribunals are not sufficient for this. It is complex, the problem of the pastoral care of marriage. Thank you.
So what he is looking at is if the marriages are even valid in the first place...not about making a "Catholic divorce" somehow legal.
I would see this in two issues:
But, unlike the socialist USCCB staff, I do not see any way that the Holy Father is going to allow this idea of authorizing some kind of divorce.
Next, they'll say that the Holy Father is going to reverse Humanæ Vitæ.
a contest between the spirit of the law and the human artifact of the letter of the law
and in the spirit of the law Yeshua acknowledged that a man (or a woman) should not divorce their spouse except for unfaithfulness - to the marriage vows - but MAY divorce their spouse due to unfaithfulness, which is an admission of both a sin and that the marriage contract has been broken by that sin
it is no less a sin to maintain a fiction of a marriage on paper, for nothing other than satisfying a human artifact that ignores the spirit of the law, while continuing a love=life outside of that marriage, which is what those who are psychologically browbeaten into that fiction do (as I have been told many times happens in many cases in the Philippines, by Fillipino friends who live where divorce has/had been illegal for a long time).
The causes of a divorce may be a sin. A fictional marriage that has a “marriage” reality that only exists on paper, and not in life or in spirit, is also a sin. In the former case someone can seek redemption for it, acknowledge they can no longer live a promise made, ask for forgiveness, free their innocent partner from their fiction, and pray to live a reformed life, which might include a second chance at marriage. In the later case, the life-long fictional marriage that exists on paper only, is a sin that never stops - the only part of the vow that remains active is not to OFFICIALLY part, while in reality, though UNOFFICIALLY, the heart and soul of marriage is dead.
It’s NOT about PROMOTING divorce; its about priestly nonsense playing with people’s lives, and the people suffer for it while the priests pat themselves on the back in satisfaction.
YES, divorce is not something to be entertained lightly, and it should be avoided with every effort possible. BUT it can, rightly, be seen that SOMETIMES divorce IS the right, the honest, the moral choice for some. They can ask for forgiveness but they can also acknowledge that the greater sin would be the fiction of keeping alive on paper what is dead in reality.
How about cleaning up our poor annulment system.The hoops they make some good people go through are ridiculous.
And away we go . . .