Comments & Discussion

Boston University moderates comments to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, self-promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Moderators are staffed during regular business hours (EST) and can only accept comments written in English.

There are 14 comments on POV: Pope Francis’ Statement on Marriage and Family Life

  1. Tenderness has never been considered one of the seven main Catholic virtues – prudence, justice, temperance, courage, faith, hope, charity.

    “He is trying to draw attention away from a heavy reliance on the lowest common denominator of a set of doctrinal rules. Those rules matter, but they matter after a Catholic has made a valiant effort to live the way that Jesus modeled, with openness to God’s grace.”

    You are very misguided here. The set of doctrines (they are not values, but intellectual statements) are a foundation of the Catholic faith, firmly grounded in the Word of God and a two thousand year old Tradition, a highest common denominator, from which all daily practice proceeds. You see, to a Catholic it is Jesus Christ, and the Word of God, who inspire the daily living, accompanied by grace (which flows freely upon a faithful heart and mind, not a worldly, rebellious one), not the ways of the fallen world. It is the fallen world, its tolerance of error and evil. and its changing laws (like sodomitic “marriage”) that can be described as the lowest common denominator.

      1. How does one educate the heart? Are we talking about emotional intelligence, things like empathy, compassion, tact?

        I am all for it.

        Of course, one starts with truth, and proceeds from there. Giving people what they want (rather than that which they need) certainly doesn’t follow from an educated heart. It comes fro the devil, not from God. I speak from a Catholic perspective, therefore I am not expecting the denial of the existence of the devil.

      1. I am relating to the article on Pope Francis, who, according to the requirements of His Holy Office, is expected to uphold and preserve Catholic teaching in whole. He is not doing that, but it is another long and tragic story. I will only say here, that the enemies of the Church had made it their method long ago, never to leave the Church, even as an atheist, in order to become more effective from within.
        According to Catholic teaching, the world is fallen. The ruler of this world is Satan, a beautiful and intelligent Angel, who refused to obey God. Satan has fallen, and he is not good (though to many a symbol of enlightened humanity’s struggle against the “Demiurg” who is believed by gnostics an evil and oppressive rather than loving Creator).

        I am talking from a Catholic perspective here. I am guessing you might consider yourself an open-minded, tolerant lover of diversity. Is a Catholic perspective one of those diverse faiths you consider enriching the whole of humanity?

  2. Thank you to BU Today and Prof. Daily for a strong analytical piece around the Pope apostolic exhortation.

    Pope Francis challenges Catholics to express Jesus’ love unceasingly to the un-s: the un–employed, the un–insured, the un–wanted, the un–wed mother and her fragile un–born baby in her womb, the un–documented, the un–housed, the un–healthy, the un–fed, the under–educated. As a guide to best follow Jesus, the Holy Father points to the virtue of charity calling everyone, of all or no faith, to renew their commitment to love one another. For the Pope, he wants to express love using the Italian word tenereza, or tenderness in English. He speaks of the tender mercy of God, the Father, and invites each of us to become merciful like the Father.

    Today, love takes many forms especially in our diverse family structures. As we grapple with the way we understand gender, sex, mothers and fathers, Pope Francis asks us to first, before all else, love with the tenderness Jesus wants to embrace each of us with. This continues to draw more and more people to gift of the Catholic faith and, for this, we owe the Pope many thanks.

    1. The starting point to an apostolic exhortation should be the Word of God.
      The farther away man drifts form God’s Truth, into sins like promiscuity, adultery, sodomy (all contrary to God’s plan for man) the more urgent the need to educate Catholics about the damage sin causes – it separates man from God. Playing with language, refusing to call sin by its proper name, makes it harder to turn away from it. One becomes convinced, that sin is not really that bad, and if the encouragement to continue practising it comes from a “tender” Pope (contrary to God’s word, it is now supposed to be too hard to follow His clear commandments), one could develop a false sense of security. When I say false security, I have the possibility of hell in mind. The Pope can not change what God orders.

      However, if the Pope doesn’t completely trust God, if he believes, that the unchanging personal God is a myth, well… then he is not a Catholic.

      1. Hi Dorota,
        Everything begins with Jesus who is the word made flesh and Savior of the World. I don’t think the author’s conclusions about the Church changing the timeless teaching of marriage expresses anything grounded in Catholic theology; however, everyone agrees that Pope Francis continues to invite people to know and love the person of Jesus Christ. If we can do that as a Church, I think we can confidently avoid some of the things you describe above.

  3. “If it is ever going to change the rules for divorced and remarried Catholics or for LGBTQ partnerships, it will be only after it has heard the voices of many Catholics who have lived in such situations for 50 or 60 years.”

    Makes me glad to be a simple man, and know the difference between what Christ Teaches through His Church and what He does Not.

  4. Dear Dorota Mosiewicz-Patalas,

    Thank you for standing firm on the truth of the Word of God. I want to learn to clearly articulate God’s truth like you; speaking the truth in love by the power of the Holy Spirit.

    The Lord bless and keep you!


    Do Not Love the World

    For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever. 1 John 2:16-17

    1. Dear Sam O.

      You can’t know how much your kind words help. God is merciful and knows what we need, when we need it. May He bless you.

  5. The Catholic Church transforms very slowly. If it is ever going to change the rules for divorced and remarried Catholics or for LGBTQ partnerships, it will be only after it has heard the voices of many Catholics who have lived in such situations for 50 or 60 years. The Church will have to reflect theologically on the hard work these Catholics put into cultivating the virtues of love and community in their families, the grace God showed them, and the fruits of their efforts.

    Gee, 50 or 60 years for God, who is all knowing, and Jesus, also God – all knowing and lived in a time when divorce, same sex attraction and openly practiced same gender sex was taking place in the Roman Empire and in Greek culture need 50 or 60 years to watch 21 century practitioners to make a change? Hello? Is you personal opinion that God had no clue what is happening today would happen? That certainly is a unique position for a Catholic to take. It is a unique position for anyone who believes God actually exists to take. I am sure the Pope would be surprised to hear that.

    When you read this document and actually check the references made in the documents it is clear the current Pope is not one to confront issues head on. Instead of explaining what the Catechism says he uses loose language but then refers to Saint Pope John Paul’s document on the family, which does use black and white language and actually highlights the passages from the Catechism that Pope Francis says have not changed. I can’t tell you the Pope’s reason for leaving the heavy theology to documents he references. He is clear but defers to others for the clarity.

    Seems you either ignored or did not read this section:
    A child deserves to be born of that love, and not by any other means, for “he or she is not something owed to one, but is a gift”,87 which is “the fruit of the specific act of the conjugal
    83 Ibid., 1654.
    84 Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 48.
    85 Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2366.
    86 Cf. Paul VI, Encyclical Letter Humanae Vitae (25 July 1968), 11-12: AAS 60 (1968), 488-489.
    87 Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2378.
    love of the parents”.88 This is the case because, “according to the order of creation, conjugal love between a man and a woman, and the transmission of life are ordered to each other (cf. Gen 1:27-28). Thus the Creator made man and woman share in the work of his creation and, at the same time, made them instruments of his love, entrusting to them the responsibility for the future of mankind, through the transmission of human life”.89

    The Pope calls on Husband and Wife throughout the document. No mention of partners… This is due to his using the Bible and earlier Bible based writings to explain his points. As you should know, Homosexuals are not treated any differently in the Catechism than unmarried or divorced 50 year old men and women. It treats sex outside of marriage as the issue. To say differently is to make up your own Catechism. Disordered is a tough word to hear but it is use many times not referring to same sex sex. The only sex the Catechism see as not disordered is sex that “finishes” in a “locale” that is open to creation of life and designed for that purpose. Certainly most Catholics have not followed that teaching but it does not change the teaching. If Jesus doubled down tossing out the Moses Hardened heart clause and referring to Genesis and “how it was in the beginning” where in your studies did you come up with any clue that His Church would totally ignore what came from his lips after watching less than 2% of the population in the 21st Century? Logically it is such a huge leap that one with your education must have suspended everything but your hopes and dreams to come to this opinion.

    As far as emotions evidently you thought the Pope was kidding when he said…repugnance is neither sinful nor blameworthy. What is morally good or evil is what we do on the basis of, or under the influence of, a given passion. But when passions are aroused or sought, and as a result we perform evil acts, the evil lies in the decision to fuel them and in the evil acts that result. Along the same lines, my being attracted to someone is not automatically good. If my attraction to that person makes me try to dominate him or her, then my feeling only serves my selfishness. To believe that we are good simply because “we feel good” is a tremendous illusion.

    The Pope is calling us to start differently in stating what the Church teaches, not rewrite it as we would like. Too many times those who are in his famous irregular situations are immediately confronted with the “sin” part rather than the love part of Jesus. You allude in you opinion piece that Jesus was Barney, love, love, love, but that would be totally missing what Christ actually did. Did he tell the adulterous woman whom he saved from stoning to go and be more careful? Did He tell the woman at the well to try and be more discrete? NO, He always said Sin no more….. no more… Pope Francis who you place as some radical change artist is the creator of the year of mercy. Every time he speaks on the topic of Mercy he is careful to speak of repenting (that means changing, not just being sorry), turning back to God, returning to the Church… admitting sin… then the mercy flows. Like his misquoted remarks on the plane concerning who am I to judge… he was asked a specific question about a Priest who was named in the question. He explained that the Priest had been rumored to have done something but never was it confirmed by investigation by the Vatican and the Priest had repented, gone to confession, been forgiven by God and never again had such behavior hinted at. Pope Francis said who am I to judge a man who was forgiven by the Lord and was living in accordance with God’s law. He never said he could not judge someone in an active homosexual relationship. He proved he was in fact Catholic. Shocking… the Pope is Catholic.

    Knowing the Pope always assumes the best in people and also expects Catholics to know their Catechism and Canon Law as well as the Bible changes the definition of words he uses such as conscience. It is not what a person thinks. This radical Pope expects you to form your conscience prior to use as spelled out in detail in the Catechism. It must be totally aligned with the Catholic Church’s teaching. The Catechism even details how not making an effort to learn what the Catechism says does not remove mortal sin… it says if you didn’t bother to check then do not know you are still culpable. You are expected to check. Anyone married in the church knows the Church says marriage is forever… it is in the vows you selected and spoke, the vow your spouse spoke, detailed in the nuptial Blessing that MUST be part of the Marriage Mass and in the final blessing. Not checking Canon Law and the Catechism is not a get out of Hell free card. Many will be surprised to find that out.

    I almost wonder it your piece was meant for the April Fools edition. So many conclusions are drawn in direct conflict with that the document actually says and what the passages referenced say that your writing could qualify as satire. Classic statements like saying 50 or 60 years may have to pass until what have been sins are seen as normal are silly. What about sex outside of marriage? How long will that take to become OK with the church? I mean how long has that been going on. How could God consider that to be a sin after so much time?? what a mean God. How dare God punish King David for hitting on the hot chick and knocking her up. Doesn’t God know it was only natural… God is love right? I love you, you love me…..forget the gender we are family…..God is love.

  6. “Those rules matter, but they matter after a Catholic has made a valiant effort to live the way that Jesus modeled, with openness to God’s grace.”

    The author has it backwards. Living the way Jesus modeled is precisely living by his Commandments. “If you love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15.

    Twisting the words of the Lord and presuming to know what He wants of us is a Francis specialty and a road to hell.

Post a comment.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *