Pope Francis on the Sacrament of Marriage

In the UK and Europe, 'same-sex marriage' dominates public debate - a debate that it is unlikely will be ended by statutory law. In the Church, debate - which used to be recognised as dissent - is ongoing. Surprisingly, and worryingly, there continues a debate within the Church on divorce, remarriage and Holy Communion and all under the watchful eyes of Pope Francis.

Yesterday, I did actually feel quite convicted of sin by our Holy Father, as His Holiness lambasted 'anesthetised Christians', 'sad Christians' and 'Chrisitan hypocrites' for not sharing the joy of the Gospel with others and for giving into a kind of 'formalism'. It's a fascinating, if at times little incoherent homily that at first had me scratching my head, but later on I realised that 'formalism' is something that indeed can stifle the spiritual life and guilty I stand. Given that the language was quite vitriolic, naturally I realised that yesterday's homily was also a goldmine for the growing Pope Francis Little Book of Insults. If there is anyone out there who wants to translate these nuggets into Latin, give me an email.

Today, however, His Holiness has had some quite beautiful things to say about the Sacrament of Marriage and the Blessed Trinity

“When a man and a woman celebrate the sacrament of marriage, God, so to speak, is ‘mirrored’ in them, He marks them with His features and the indelible character of His love.”

Even God “is a communion of the three persons of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, who live forever and are forever in perfect unity. And this is the mystery of marriage: God makes one existence of the two spouses — the Bible says ‘one flesh’ — in the image of His love, in a communion which draws its origin and its strength from God.”
'The real ‘wedding gift’ is this: Your marriage is a reflection of the Holy Trinity'
The Pope then asked those husbands and wives present if they are aware of this “great gift” that the Lord has given them: “The real ‘wedding gift’ is this: Your marriage is a reflection of the Holy Trinity, and with the grace of Christ, you are a living and credible icon God and His love.”

“The plan that is inherent in the Sacrament of Marriage is truly wonderful! It takes place in the simplicity and also the fragility of the human condition. We know the many trials and difficulties that the lives of a married couple encounter... The important thing is to keep alive the link with God, which is the basis of the marital bond.”

Joking, the Pope added: “You don’t need to call the United Nations to your home to make peace: a small gesture is enough, a caress, and tomorrow is a new day.”

Beautiful words, I think. I wouldn't call the UN to solve any crisis, personally, but I thought it worthwhile posting up some positive papal teaching rather than dwelling too much on the invective of the past day or two. It's important, in my opinion, for the Pope to offer positives as well as negatives in teaching the Faith. I must say though, that with all the same-sex marriage going on in Europe, the US and now the UK, Rome has been eerily quiet on the subject. The vast majority of English Bishops are silent on the matter of the most breathtaking power grab in living memory by the UK Government over the institution of marriage. Perhaps one day, someone in Rome and another senior prelate in England will take the Church off the anesthetic and speak out against the law. It can't be all left down to Bishop Egan, a few priests, a few religious, and a few laity.


Seaneinn said…
Excellent post, as always.
Unknown said…
Given his support of same sex civil unions in Argentina and his current high praise of Cardinal Kasper, my perception of this homily is that it's just a little back pedaling to keep the conservative catholic sheeple in tow. A very wise and political move. Kudos, Francis.-----Kim in Seattle