Rorate Caeli

A Clamorous (and Blessed!) Turnaround by Pope Francis on Marriage and against Same-Sex "Unions"?

Antonio Socci on Facebook

In Pope Francis’ intervention to the Roman Rota [today - in English here], there was a passage that was immediately re-launched by the media because of its topical impact.

“During the Synod on the Family, which the Lord granted us the past two years, we were able to carry out in a spirit of effective collegiality, in-depth and sapiential discernment, through which the Church – among other things – indicated to the world that there can be no confusion between the family willed by God and any other type of union.”

This was immediately connected to the debate in the Italian Parliament on “civil unions” and the upcoming “Family Day”.

The Pope’s words in themselves, might still be interpreted in an ambiguous sense, but the timing persuades [us] to give the best interpretation, that is: [they are] against the Cirinnà law.

Nonetheless, we are waiting for a confirmation of the facts. We are waiting for explicit support by the Pope for Family Day (which would be desirable) or at least the green light to Bagnasco’s CEI (to put an end to the excessive power of Bergoglio’s messenger, Galantino, who has always been against Family Day).

Evidently the Catholic population has risen up against the Cirinnà [proposal] in such a solid way as to inspire Pope Bergoglio, an astute political calculator, to heed Bagnasco rather than Galatino. Or, on the other hand the many, many prayers, have obtained the grace of illuminating the highest echelons of the Vatican… A miracle!

Further, there is another point in the Pope’s intervention that passed unnoticed, but seems to me of great importance, as it corrects one of the most ambiguous and most dangerous passages of his Motu Proprio on marriage annulments.

This is the other thing the Pope said today:

“It is a good thing to reiterate that quality of faith is not an essential condition for matrimonial consent, which, according to perennial doctrine, may be undermined only on the natural level (cfr CIC, can. 1055 § 1 e 2). Indeed, the habitus fidei is infused at the moment of Baptism and continues to have a mysterious influx in the soul, even when faith has not been developed and seems psychologically to be absent. It is not rare that those preparing for marriage, induced into a true marriage by instinctus naturae, at the time of the celebration have a limited awareness of the fullness of God’s plan, and only afterwards, in family life, discover all that God [Our] Creator and Redeemer has established for them. The lack of formation in the faith and also the error about unity, the indissolubility and the sacramental dignity of marriage vitiate marriage consent only if it is determined by the will (cfr CIC, can. 1099). For this reason the errors regarding the sacramentality of marriage must be evaluated very carefully.”

In my view, this is perennial Catholic doctrine, but it is surprising to hear these things today from Pope Bergoglio, and in the most solemn way, as this seems to correct his Motu Proprio or at least limit its possible devastating consequences, it limits that is to say, those “annulments” for “lack of faith” which would have been true and real “divorces”.

However, this is only my opinion as a non-expert. I could be mistaken.

So I await the opinions of the experts, since in this very delicate and complex field, every word has an enormous weight. Hence the evaluation should be pondered over with prudence and competence. Also since the Motu Proprio and the Rescript remain, already causing enormous organizational and applicatory problems. In conclusion: ‘if they are roses they must flower’, bringing a substantial modification to the Motu Proprio and the Rescript.

[Translation: Contributor Francesca Romana]