A pragmatic Pope, to an extent

The current Pope continues to surprise with his proclamations. He is proving to be one of the most progressive and controversial pontiffs.

His latest surprise – Pope says it can be ‘morally necessary’ for couples to split.

Pope Francis said on Wednesday that it may be acceptable or even “morally necessary” for married couples to split up if they are at war with each other.

“There are cases in which separation is inevitable,” the Argentinian pontiff said during his weekly general audience in St Peter’s Square.

“Sometimes, it can even be morally necessary, when it’s about shielding the weaker spouse or young children from more serious injuries caused by intimidation and violence, humiliation and exploitation, neglect and indifference.”

The insistence that couples remain married no matter what is ridiculous, and can be dangerous and debilitating for spouses who are victims and for children living in dysfunctional married households.

I think commitment to marriage is an important part of our culture, but if a relationship has broken down irreparably then it makes no sense to insist on maintaining a charade – been there, done that until giving it up.

This is a significant and pragmatic shift in Catholic thinking – from the Pope. But it seems that the church as a whole is slower to change from in impractical ideal.

But the Vatican released a working paper earlier this week which suggested that reformists will be disappointed.

The document, a sort of road map which sets out the key topics to be debated, indicated that there will be no change to the current ban on receiving communion for Catholics who have divorced and then remarried.

In the eyes of the Church, their divorces are not valid and they are therefore living in sin with their new partners in adulterous relationships.

It should be pointed out that those insisting on broken down marriages continuing and refusing to accept re-partnering have never experienced a marriage themselves, nor have they experienced a normal one to one committed relationship.

The document also suggested that the Vatican will not alter its view of homosexual sex as a sin nor soften its opposition to gay adoption and gay marriage.

Yeah, that would be a bit too modern to the old men of the church.

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1 Comment

  1. kiwi_guy

     /  26th June 2015

    We used to insist on “broken down” marriages continuing and the world didn’t end, in fact divorce rates, solo mums on the bennie and fatherless kids were not the norm – amazing to imagine that these days isn’t it!.

    In fact now marriage is an institution in crisis and has been turned into a circus show.

    Commitment? Monogamy? Nah old fashion and boring, now its all about “Me! Me! Me! What makes ME happy!”

    Of course they all make the similar vows at the altar about “forever and ever” but the words are hollow and meaningless ( and thus marriage also ) because they can opt out any time they fancy it and often do.


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