The Catholic Church has always held a very reverent and holy regard for marriage. They have upheld Biblical marriage, as between a man and a woman, and always encouraged people to remain sexually pure outside of marriage. That's why Pope Francis' latest remarks on marriage are especially eyebrow-raising--and even quite upsetting to many Catholics.
Speaking in Rome, the Pope said he views many official Catholic marriages as "null" and many partners who just live together as really married. In fact, he said the "great majority” of Catholic marriages are “null," as Life Site News reports. And to make matters worse, when his talk was transcribed from the video recording, his words were changed from "great majority" to "a part," showing that the words were very inflammatory to many.
Then, taking it a step further, the Pope said he views many unmarried couples living together as actually under God's blessing. “They prefer to cohabitate, and this is a challenge, a task. Not to ask ‘why don’t you marry?’ No, to accompany, to wait, and to help them to mature, help fidelity to mature,” said Pope Francis.
He gave the example, “In Argentina’s northeast countryside, couples have a child and live together. They have a civil wedding when the child goes to school, and when they become grandparents they ‘get married religiously.’”
“It’s a superstition, because marriage frightens the husband. It’s a superstition we have to overcome,” the Pope explained. “I’ve seen a lot of fidelity in these cohabitations, and I am sure that this is a real marriage, they have the grace of a real marriage because of their fidelity.”
The Pope's remarks go against the Catechism of the Catholic Church which says: "Some today claim a "right to a trial marriage" where there is an intention of getting married later. However firm the purpose of those who engage in premature sexual relations may be, "the fact is that such liaisons can scarcely ensure mutual sincerity and fidelity in a relationship between a man and a woman, nor, especially, can they protect it from inconstancy of desires or whim." Carnal union is morally legitimate only when a definitive community of life between a man and woman has been established. Human love does not tolerate "trial marriages." It demands a total and definitive gift of persons to one another."
Understandably, many Catholics are upset by the Pope's remarks. What do you think of his words and his meaning? Let us hear your thoughts in the Comments! Thank you!