Saturday, June 18, 2016

"You are too immature for marriage"

Essentially that's what the Pope said the other day, as we posted below.  He said people enter into marriage with an unclear understanding of the commitment, so their marriages are invalid.  

There are definitional problems with the Pope's statement.  As George points out in a comment to the original post below; "Does he think that people in general learn about marriage from romance novels, or does he consider that a marriage that is not within some epsilon of perfect is therefore null?"

Aside from definitional problems, it seems to me the theological implications of such a stance are manifest.  For example, the Catholic Church teaches that marriage is a Gift from God, a Sacrament, and that male and female are sacred, complementary halves creating one flesh.  For a Pope to also say that most people can't understand actual marriage (and sure aren't celibate either) and therefore can't be married seems somehow to diminish the Church's position: how can a Gift from God be unavailable to most people, despite the fact they were created to receive that Gift?  Are humans so flawed?  And if one's believes in Augustinian predestination, how could God create so many people, striving to enter the institution of marriage -- which the Church teaches them is right to do -- doing something they just aren't created to do?  

Once could argue that it is not surprising -- that concupiscence remains. But this isn't gluttony or any of the Seven Deadly Sins.  This is something the Church teaches people to strive for, that they were created for.  Yet most people can't do it, the Pope says, and likely would say they never have been able to throughout history (as any realistic view of Man's barbarianism through time would agree is right -- Man has never been better, and probably worse, throughout history.)

It's at times like this that I remember a couple of quotes from Christ:

And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!  For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.  Matt 12:49-50

Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.  Matt 23:1-4


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