Browse Our Articles & Podcasts

Pope Francis: “The Great Majority of Our Sacramental Marriages are Null”

weddingringNo, that headline is not a repeat. But you’re right if you think it sounds strangely familiar.

In May of 2014, Cardinal Walter Kasper reported, in an interview with Commonweal, that Pope Francis had said he believed half of all Catholic marriages were invalid [all emphases to follow added]:

I’ve spoken to the pope himself about this, and he said he believes that 50 percent of marriages are not valid. Marriage is a sacrament. A sacrament presupposes faith. And if the couple only want a bourgeois ceremony in a church because it’s more beautiful, more romantic, than a civil ceremony, you have to ask whether there was faith, and whether they really accepted all the conditions of a valid sacramental marriage—that is, unity, exclusivity, and also indissolubility. The couples, when they get married, they want it because it’s stable. But many think, “Well, if we fail, we have the right.” And then already the principle is denied. Many canon lawyers tell me that today in our pluralistic situation we cannot presuppose that couples really assent to what the church requires. Often it is also ignorance. Therefore you have to emphasize and to strengthen prematrimonial catechesis. It’s often done in a very bureaucratic way. No, we have to provide catechesis. I know some parishes in Rome where couples have to attend catechesis, and the pastor himself does it. We must do much more in prematrimonial catechesis and use pastoral work and so on because we cannot presuppose that everybody who is a formal Christian also has the faith. It wouldn’t be realistic.

As one might expect, this caused a bit of an uproar at the time. Michael Brendan Dougherty wrote a column at The Week entitled, “Pope Francis says half of marriages today are invalid. He’s wrong.” Writes Dougherty:

In the context of adjudicating annulments, Polish Bishop Antoni Stankiewicz said that any view that dismisses so many unions as invalid reflects an “anthropological pessimism” that would hold that “it’s almost impossible to get married, in view of the current cultural situation.” If the pope’s view is that 50 percent of Catholic marriages are invalid, it is not just an insult to our natural human ability to marry, but also an insult to St. Paul, who said that the moral law is written on men’s hearts. And it’s an insult to God’s grace to imagine that our own age is somehow different, that we cannot depend on God’s help to live out the vocations He gives us.

At In Light of the Law, American canonist Dr. Edward Peters, usually fairly reserved in his analysis, said this:

Cardinal Kasper, in a lengthy interview that shows no let-up in his push to change Church discipline on marriage, said, among other things, “I’ve spoken to the pope himself about this, and he said he believes that 50 percent of marriages are not valid.

I am stunned at the pastoral recklessness of such an assertion. Simply stunned.

Suppose the cardinal had claimed that “50 percent of ordinations are not valid”. Would not such a claim, coming from an internationally-renowned prelate and attributed to a pope, have a shattering effect on the morale of deacons, priests, and bishops around the world? Would not especially those clergy laboring under vocational difficulties immediately conclude that their difficulties were the consequence of having been invalidly ordained, whereupon most of them would just give up? And would not those preparing for holy orders be paralyzed with fear over proceeding to ordination until whatever is behind such a massive invalidity rate were discovered and remedied? Of course they would.

Well, if tossing out a comment to clergy alleging rampant invalidity of holy orders would be pastorally unthinkable, by what right does the cardinal casually tell laity that 50% of their marriages are invalid—even if the pope did say it? Does turmoil among married persons in the wake of such a remark not matter to any except those who suffer it? As I said, I am stunned that such a remark was made, even if it was a mere repetition of another’s views.

Phil Lawler echoed Peters in a column at Catholic Culture, then added:

At a time when pastors should be doing everything possible to help strengthen marriage, and to help troubled couples patch up their difficulties and revive their relationships, Cardinal Kasper’s statement is likely to prompt such couples to wonder whether they’re really married at all.

If you’re wondering whether it’s worthwhile to try to salvage your marriage, and then you hear someone touted as “the Pope’s theologian” saying that 50% of marriages aren’t real marriages, isn’t it likely that your first thought is that your marriage is one of those false unions, and might as well be abandoned? So the next stop is the divorce lawyer’s office, and then, with Cardinal Kasper’s quote in hand, a petition for annulment.

And what about the children of those unions? Does the “mercy” of which Cardinal Kasper speaks so often extend to them?

The general consensus, as you’re probably already gathering, was that even if this is true — and it may not be — it’s a pretty stupid and discouraging thing to say. Of course, there was the question — always present in the “second hand information” defense — of whether the pope really said it at all. (Ross Douthat did note that the former Cardinal Bergoglio referenced this belief on the part of his predecessor in Buenos Aires, but Francis didn’t take ownership of the belief at the time)

Well, we no longer need to wonder. From a papal address today:

“We live in a culture of the provisional,” the Pope said in impromptu remarks June 16. After addressing the Diocese of Rome’s pastoral congress, he held a question-and-answer session.

A layman asked about the “crisis of marriage” and how Catholics can help educate youth in love, help them learn about sacramental marriage, and help them overcome “their resistance, delusions and fears.”

The Pope answered from his own experience.

“I heard a bishop say some months ago that he met a boy that had finished his university studies, and said ‘I want to become a priest, but only for 10 years.’ It’s the culture of the provisional. And this happens everywhere, also in priestly life, in religious life,” he said.

“It’s provisional, and because of this the great majority of our sacramental marriages are null. Because they say “yes, for the rest of my life!” but they don’t know what they are saying. Because they have a different culture. They say it, they have good will, but they don’t know.”

He spoke of his encounter with a woman in Buenos Aires who “reproached” him. She said that priests study for the priesthood for years and can get permission to leave the priesthood to marry and have a family. For the laity, this woman said, “we have to do the sacrament for our entire lives, and indissolubly, to us laity they give four (marriage preparation) conferences, and this is for our entire life.”

He goes on to talk about some of the reasons he believes that people will enter the lifelong commitment to marriage without being ready for it:

He noted that as Archbishop of Buenos Aires he had prohibited marriages in the case of “shotgun weddings” where the prospective bride was pregnant. He did this on the grounds there was a question of the spouses’ free consent to marry.

“Maybe they love each other, and I’ve seen there are beautiful cases where, after two or three years they got married,” he said. “And I saw them entering the church, father, mother and child in hand. But they knew well (what) they did.”

Pope Francis attributed the marriage crisis to people who “don’t know what the sacrament is” and don’t know “the beauty of the sacrament.”

“They don’t know that it’s indissoluble, they don’t know that it’s for your entire life. It’s hard,” the Pope said.

He added that a majority of couples attending marriage prep courses in Argentina typically cohabitated.

“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.”

These are valid concerns, but where is the call to repentance? To chastity? How can they mature if they won’t amend their lives?

Personally, I believe there may be some validity to the idea that a number of modern marriages might, if scrutinized, be found to be invalid due to improper formation (and whose fault is that?) or consent. I wouldn’t hazard a guess on how many, nor do I think that’s a particularly good idea. The more the idea is promoted that “your marriage probably isn’t valid,” the more likely it is that people are going to try to get out of it. And many of them aren’t going to wait for a canonical process. They’re going to jump right to the highly questionable situations outlined in Chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia with full pastoral approval; we already know that nobody in the Catholic hierarchy is going to counsel them otherwise.

Will those who made such strong statements about how imprudent Kasper’s repetition of this idea level the same charge at Francis? Will they call him “reckless”, or say how they’re going to ” the divorce lawyer’s office, and then, with Cardinal Kasper’s quote in hand, a petition for annulment”?

I suppose we’ll soon find out. Until then, pray for the conversion of Pope Francis, for God’s will to be done with this papacy, and for the next successor of St. Peter to be a wise and holy and courageous man who can begin setting things right.

UPDATE: Somehow, I missed this line in the last paragraph of the above-linked CNA report:

“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, but there are local superstitions, etc.”

That’s a quote from Pope Francis. These “cohabitations” are a “real marriage, they have the grace of a real marriage because of their fidelity…” I have nothing else to say.

288 thoughts on “Pope Francis: “The Great Majority of Our Sacramental Marriages are Null””

  1. I have to admit this is what we were taught in the late 1950s by a Doctor of Divinity (got in Rome) that half of the marriages enacted in Church were null & void, mainly due to pressure from society, i.e. to demonstrate your ability to bear children, marital status, parents wanting a ‘good marriage’ for their children where land/ property/business inheritance would ensure stability for the couple & its ownership within the family. Arranged marriages were quite common for these reasons and, although usually performed out of fear by the priest, were considered unsafe due to lack of actual love towards one another & probably invalid, but were registered anyway. I suppose it comes down to personal conscience which, if not properly formed, can revert at a future date to make it easy to withdraw from one’s nuptial vows.

    • Marriages would have been invalid due to pressure from society if it were forcing people to get married when they do not want to. Is that what you observe? Do you see that happening today?

      Also, in regards to arranged marriage, I swear the Western part of the world has a messed up image that it was some dreaded phenomena. It only became dreaded once every boy and girl started dating while still in high-school and started having relationships that quiet frankly were unsuitable.

      But back in the day, men and women who grew up properly did not just keep company with every member of the opposite sex. There was a distance between the sexes and the way they interacted. So when it came to arranging a marriage, most men and women did not find it problematic that their parents would do it for them. Not every parent was just trying to sell their child for riches or something. Most parents actually desired the well-being of their child.

      Quiet frankly, the measures of parents actually made sense back in the day. It wasn’t whether the guy was “hot” or the girl was “hot” or whether they just really liked each other. It was more objective and prudent. What is the point of marrying ones daughter away to a poor guy who just doesn’t have the means to take care of her, even if he looks “hot”? Or what is the point of approving a marriage where the lifestyle of the two parties is just vastly different? These were prudent things the parents back in the day thought about and quiet frankly, they were wise unlike the lot we have today.

      So bottom line is that at no point in history were the majority of Catholic marriages invalid. It has always been the opposite.

      • First of all, matrimony is between a man & a woman – not between a man’s family & a woman’s family although, of course, it is admirable when everyone agrees to it. It may well be that one or other family doesn’t approve of the match but if the couple are of age and are properly catechised & prepared for the undertaking/commitment they are ready to make to each other in the presence of God that is all that matters. It is up to them to stick to their vows & bring up their family in a loving & stable manner knowing they are fulfilling God’s wish for them and open to His grace at all times.
        There are cases where marriages were, in fact, null from the outstart because one or other party withheld vital information about their health (impotency, or unwilling to have a family, pressure for contraceptive measures, serious genetic conditions, serious drug/alcohol dependancy undisclosed) background (time spent in prison, promiscuity leading to STDs, AIDS etc. homosexuality) financial position (job insecurity, loss of job due to redundancy but not disclosed prior to ceremony) etc. There are also many cases of priests marrying whilst not fully laicised again only disclosed after the event and having no means to support a wife & family. That doesn’t in any way say that most marriages are null & void but many do not meet the criteria of Holy Matrimony which is what we are speaking about. Civil marriage is altogether different, and arranged marriages in other faiths & cultures is quite common – some turn out very well & others very bad, ending in honour killings.

        • First of all, as anyone who has actually lived their marriage through understands, marriage is indeed between more than just the man & woman. It just so happens that if ones family members get along with ones spouse, it can act as a support network in difficult times.

          Now can a man and a woman stay true to their vows by themselves without the support of their immediate family? Sure, theoretically. But the chances of that succeeding are much less compared to if the immediate family is also involved and the relationships are in good standing. The immediate family, especially elders in the family circles, have lived through their marriages and can have valuable advise to share. They can also be a valuable support and encouragement in getting through a difficult period (financially, mentally etc.).

          These are the common sense facts that people of old understood. That is PARTLY why they had long and lasting marriages while our society today is failing horribly at it.

          Now as for the rest of the cases you mentioned, are you seriously suggesting that the majority of the Catholic marriages had one or both individuals who did not disclose some genetic disease (don’t even know if this is a valid reason for nullity), STD, was addicted to sodomy, was a priest etc?

          Such cases would have been very rare. Especially considering the fact that most prudent parents would vet the marriage partners lifestyle. If someone lived a promiscuous life, his acts would be notorious within that society and a prudent parent would come to know it and know to avoid such a partner.

          But as I said, none of the things you propose were ever a problem in a mass scale. Incidents where one ended up with a surprise in marriage of the sort you are speaking of was very rare and mostly due to the parents not doing their job at finding a suitable partner for their son/daughter. Even in non-Christian cultures that practice things like honor killings and such, the number of cases are very rare compared to the ones that do not end up in such a state. So I quiet frankly do not see any basis for your point that majority of the arranged marriages are invalid. That is just an ignorant statement that most people today seem to accept without thinking about it.

          • I wasn’t speaking about the majority of marriages but was responding to the article which seemed to imply that it was PF that introduced annulment whereas I know it was always available if certain criteria wasn’t met and after a full investigation had taken place. The only thing he has done is made it much easier, much less expensive (only the monied class could previously afford it) & of a shorter duration to get a response (normally the lifetime of the injured party previously). If I as a teenager in the fifties was taught this as part of a Catholic Ethics diploma course, the books for which were printed well before Vatican II & its aftermath, then PF cannot be personally blamed. It’s about whether all factors that make for a valid marriage were satisfied or not. It’s not about breaking-up valid marriages which cannot be done due to it being in the CC a sacrament when conducted according to the norms, so naturally most marriages won’t in any way be affected. The fact that the media gave it so much attention makes it seem like a new departure for the CC & giving a lot of anxiety to married couples, but it isn’t.

            Society has changed drastically over the past fifty years. These days young couples need to be job mobile and are often living very long distances away from their parental homes, even in another country. It is not the parent’s duty to find suitable marriage partners for their children but to bring up their offspring to be responsible & honest adults who will have the ability to find their own life partners & understand the commitment of Holy Matrimony. Once you make your bed you must lie on it & if every young adult realises this they will be much more careful in their selection. As the CC hasn’t catechised their young since Vatican II due to their obsession with false ecumenism, this has meant that approximately three generations of parents haven’t a clue about their faith & so cannot pass on correct advice to their children on most topics as they themselves aren’t informed. The CC has a lot to answer for & catechesis is vital to getting healthy & knowledgeable members being prepared to commit themselves to Christ in whatever vocation they choose.

          • On your first paragraph, it is indeed a big departure because that is not how the Church used to view marriages between Catholics. The Church always viewed them as being valid, unless proven otherwise. No one in their right mind was presumptuous enough to state that majority of the marriages are probably invalid. That is offensive to everyone who has received the sacrament of marriage. While we are it, why don’t we say the same about the other sacraments too?

            Also, you are being somewhat incoherent. MOST Catholic marriages before Vatican II were indeed performed according to the norms established by the Church. So whoever you received your advise from was a real piece of work and he lied to you and your husband during marriage prep. Only difference now is that Pope Francis seems to have adopted that persons mantra. That doesn’t all of a sudden make it OK. For an example, if Pope Francis suddenly started saying “we are saved by faith alone”, then it does not make it OK because a priest may have told you that before Vatican II.

            Now for your final paragraph. Society has changed because people changed. They followed the trends and put their heart on the wrong things. Thus, they reap the just results. It is indeed the duty of parents to find suitable marriage partners for their children.

            You also go onto argue how all we need is the young adults to “understand” Church teaching. Well in practical reality, anyone who has actually observed young adults would know that what they know and how they act tend to be quiet different. When people are in “love”, they make stupid choices. They tend to not see things objectively about each other. This too was understood quiet well by the parents of old. By the way, this is not just for young adults for any adult in general. Young adults just tend to be reckless at a whole other level. But I digress.

            If you want to look into this more, pick up a text on social psychology text discussing the issue of selecting marriage partners. Most modern texts would actually point out that a third party who knows the person best tends to have a more correct judgement on the suitability of a partner than the person involved. Now who better to do be that third party than ones own parents? (You might point out that many Catholic parents today are not even practicing Catholics, but that is just an indication how messed up things have become. It shouldn’t be an excuse to continue with the current “social condition”.)

            So in short, the idea that Catholic educated men and women choose good spouses by themselves is not actually true. In fact, many devout Catholic couples do enjoy the same rate of divorce as others if you were to look at the statistics (there are some that try take this into account through the practice of NFP). We can see from our experience that these educated men and women make reckless choices when it actually comes down to decision time on this very issue because emotions, and lack of experience, tend to dominate the decisions.

            You are certainly correct about lying in the bed one makes. BUT, one does not therefore need to end up making a very bad bed. One can wisely let people who have more experience (parents) do their duty and work together with them to prepare a bed for them.

          • The CC in the past always married immature young people as they & their parents wanted to avoid promiscuity & unwanted babies. This was never a correct reason for Holy Matrimony which is a sacrament & for life. They were not made aware of the criteria necessary in order to make a valid marriage which has always been in place but not enforced.
            1. Basic understanding of the commitment to marriage for life (1983 CIC, Canon 1095).
            Must be capable of fulfilling the promises made on wedding day (Canon 1095)
            Open to procreation (1101)
            Serious error concerning the person to whom marriage promises are made (Canon 1097)
            One party being seriously deceived by the other at time of wedding (Canon 1098)
            One of the parties being subjected to force or grave error (Canon 1103)

            The above conditions were only ever taught in the past to students pursuing a religious vocation and were not part of general religious education learned at school. Up to the middle of the last century it was usual for children to leave school at thirteen in order to work & help the family finances. How do you expect they would be aware of such conditions having to be met or their parents before them? They just weren’t, but priests were. There were no marriage courses either & when they were introduced it was mainly lay people who organised them & involved doctors, lawyers etc. but not priests discussing the sacramental side (the most important) of marriage.

            I know of the emotional pain & hardship of people who have been caught up in a life commitment to persons not of their choice, or to persons who coerced them into marriage, others that were deceived into marriage by one party (and their family) not disclosing vital information which, if known, would have ended the prospects of marriage for that person.

            If you really believe that people are always honest & only looking for the betterment of their children then you don’t know the real world – only a part of it. In South America (& other poor areas of the world) there is a huge problem in this regard as parents want to offload their children as quickly as possible. Most parents do want the best for their children but they are not the ones making the commitment and are not committed to living with their choice. Our role is advice only – the rest is up to our offspring who we pray will make a considered & good choice of spouse & parent to their children. Priests should not be enabled to officiate at weddings of very young people where they do not know the backgrounds of the couple & have not been in communication with both sets of parents. The average age to marry in poor countries is in the teens which is far too young. People change as they grow up and not always the way they are expected to.

            This does not justify the remarks made by PF which always seem to do much harm and don’t always refer to the majority of cases, but they do refer to too many which need proper investigation by a tribunal & with minimal cost. This could have been implemented at local level without the gaze of the entire media, but PF is a media man & likes controversy.

          • If your point is that there existed SOME individuals who ended up fooled into an arranged marriage, I would say SURE! If you are saying that SOME individuals were married because they had unwanted children, SURE!

            BUT, those were very few and far between in society of the past.

            Also, consider the modern alternative. Is it any different? People still end up getting fooled into marriages. The only driving force behind current marriages is “do I like this person”. It has gotten so ingrained that even the sex of the person no longer matters (and we have sodomite unions).

            On choices, parents do have a duty to find suitable partners for their children. The fact that parents do not live with the choice has nothing to do with who has to make the choice. The parents make choices because they are more experienced and can see things objectively. The reason why the grown children don’t make great choices is because they will be too emotionally invested to make a correct a choice. Anyone will tell you that people who are in “love” tend to be blind to the faults of each other. If they are blind to that, how much more blind would they be to the other things that are important for marriage?

            Yes, the parents cannot force a child to marry someone they detest. But at the same time, the children should take care not to marry someone against their will as well. One should strive to find a potential spouse that they approve.

            There is also nothing exactly wrong with marrying young. The Blessed Virgin Mary married young and so did many of our forefathers. God certainly didn’t think that therefore the Holy Family would be unsuitable for his beloved Son. But yes, in our present world, marrying young might pose some challenges due to financial concerns. Still, the trend of late marriage also ends up encouraging promiscuity and development of selfish personalities as they live separated from any duties toward anyone other than themselves. By the time the average boy and girl ends up getting married today, they have had multiple sex partners. All of this simply points to a disordered state within our society that has made it much harder to live a Christian life without being penalized financially or in some other worldly way.

            Your final assertion is just as offensive as when you first said it. Too many marriages do not need a tribunal. What they need now is support from society to help them be together. Otherwise, we might as well just give “no fault divorce” while we are at it because the mantra seems to be that if a marriage ends in failure, its most likely because it was not valid. That is just bad thinking.

          • What I am saying is: I know many people whose lives have been ruined by the CC wilfully NOT applying the Canons I quote above to their applications for certificates of annulment with the result they never get them finalised although merited. I am NOT saying that the majority of marriages are affected but that a significant percentage are, even including non-laicised priests, and that the Church (the priest conducting the ceremony being the main witness & officiating minister of the sacramental side of the nuptials) is under obligation to officially carry out their duty in making sure that the couple presenting for marriage are fully understanding of those conditions which attach to the sacrament & that they have been truthful in relating any vital health, character or other incriminating problems that would likely make the marriage invalid and that their vows were for life. This has not been the case across the board going back decades and perhaps over centuries, despite those conditions being laid down in Canon Law.

            The culture of the country (marrying before full maturity) must take a back seat. Many of our ancestors did marry young because it was expected of them, but a lot of those marriages were most unhappy because they weren’t suited but were pressured into it by parents too anxious to adjoin their business interests or farms etc.

            You cannot compare Our Lady’s marriage to St. Joseph to the average wedding as the procreation of children was not a factor in it. It was probably the usual occurrence at the time as it still is in certain parts of the world and in the Romany peoples, but in the West it certainly isn’t any more. Promiscuity, pornography, cohabitation is imo down to lack of catechesis by the CC & lack of housing & tax benefits specifically for young marrieds from governments. who are only too willing to waste taxpayers money on projects such as climate change.

            I have no idea, nor does anyone else, if PF has the intention of granting quickie divorces for those couples who got tired of each other or for any other insignificant reason. He certainly cannot undo a valid marriage, but the CC always had the power to state when any marriage was not a valid marriage in the first instance and grant a decree of nullity.

          • How can you say that a significant percentage is affected? How many cases did you personally investigate all the evidence for to arrive at the conclusion that the marriage was indeed null?

            Also, please don’t give me this “This has not been the case across the board going back decades and perhaps over centuries,…” stuff. We know people aren’t that dumb that they cannot understand what is required for marriage. It is not some complex formula. Also, considering how Catholics have been documented in history, it is safe to say that they did understand Catholic teaching on marriage. They raised large families and stayed faithful to their spouses till death.

            Now, I will go so far as to say that people today aren’t morons in this department either. They fully understand that the Church doctrine doesn’t approve of divorce, contraception etc. But they do it anyway because they feel, and sometimes their priests suggest, that it is right thing to do.

            On the case of the Holy Family, my point is that it couldn’t have been a sub-par environment to raise children and a family. Otherwise God wouldn’t have chosen the Holy Family as an example for all families. So I am afraid I cannot agree with your idea that marrying young is definitely to take a back seat.

            Also, would you please stop repeating this idea of “being pressured into marriage by parents”? That is your 20th century mind talking. Children back in the day were not pressured into marriage most of the time because they didn’t really consider other options as valid. What would you say next? They were pressured into giving up sin? Or perhaps pressured into studying or doing some actual work? Unlike people of today, most people back then did not live under the false understanding that they have to follow their feelings or something. Marriage was a calculated and thought out choice. It wasn’t some decision taken because two persons had fluffy feelings for each other.

            Kingdoms prospered because of marriages. Peace reigned because of marriages. Were they calculated? Of course. But were they therefore wrong? NO! It is your 20th century thinking that people should marry who they LIKE that makes you think so. Marriage was never about just marrying who one likes. Imagine how that would have turned out. France might still be pagan because St. Clotilde refused to marry the King of Gaul. Neither do we hear that she lamented because of her marriage.

            So regardless of what you believe about this Pope Francis issue, I think it is safe to say that you really need to rethink your perspective on marriage itself. Your perspective of seeing marriage as something two people get into because they like each other is a naive way of looking at it. Attraction only plays a minor role in determining who to marry. Ones choices are independent of their desires. One may choose to validly marry someone they do not like, because love is a choice, not a feeling. Feelings there today, but gone tomorrow anyway. Our ancestors were wise in understanding that. Lets not spit on their wisdom.

          • It really doesn’t matter whether we agree or disagree. What matters is the facts and the truth. As far as I can see, you haven’t presented evidence to back your claims and you tend to have a biased view regarding arranged marriages. So I can only conclude that your view is not the truth and is certainly not factual. That is really what matters in the end of this discussion really.

            One can simply disagree just out of preference after all.

            May God bless you as well!

          • The article is about sacramental marriage in the CC and I have cited the Canons governing the requirements for a valid Catholic marriage which you seem to disregard. You do not state what background you are speaking from or even if you are a Catholic man, but obviously it is from a culture that not only condones arranged marriage but actively supports it. Notwithstanding, the norms quoted above apply to all Catholic weddings in order to comply with the CC, so where one is raised makes no difference.

            As I’ve already stated I have known many cases where the norms were not known or adhered to – mainly because of the lack of catechesis & the failure of the presiding priest to ensure the couple were fully conversant with them before conducting the ceremony. Culture cannot come before what the CC actually states is necessary in order for the marriage to be valid.

            You can be sure that I am not the only individual that has knowledge of such irregularities so they number much more than some, though not 50% as PF would have us believe. If the CC taught the faith properly throughout school years the number would be minimal so the responsibility rests with them as the main witness & the Vatican is bulging with such files waiting for a response. Maybe now he’ll provide one.

          • I have no idea what my background has to do with anything. But for your pleasure, I am Catholic. I come from a culture and society that once understood the importance of marriage and knew how to sustain marital bonds.

            Second, lets get into the more logical side of things. Have you presented the canons? Yes you have! What is under dispute here is your insane claim that most marriages did not meet the canonical requirements. What you fail to understand is that marriage does not require that the two spouses LIKE each other. This is why you keep bringing up this issue of arranged marriage because you quiet frankly are mislead. Marriage is an act of the will. Not your emotions.

            Third, your logic falls apart because you are appealing to your own experience. How many weddings could you have realistically experienced? 100? How much is that our of all the Catholics marriages that happen within just one year? So this is why I am pointing out that your evidence is just bad. From our tradition that has been passed down to us, we know that the cases of marriages where it was null are pretty much few and far between.

            What you are essentially doing is creating a scenario where no marriage is valid. Every marriage can be ruled invalid by appealing to ones psychological state at the time of vows. That is insanity. Even if one is well informed, one can then start to wonder if they actually meant it when they said YES. That is what makes your whole argument so offensive.

            In reality, all those bulging files at the Vatican are the results of dishonest or mislead couples filing for annulments to just get on with their second or third marriage. That is actually the more likely truth here.

          • I never said that most marriages were invalid – what I said was that every Catholic marriage has to meet certain criteria which, for the most part, is not generally known by presenting couples nor made known to them by the presiding priest. I am not appealing (as you put it) to my own experience but to cases I have known and have cited already if you had taken the time to read them.
            1. An un-catechised young man lured to Peru on a holiday & immediately set upon by a family there to marry their daughter. Why? Because they wished her to come to Europe for a better life. She could not obtain the necessary visa & work papers if she wasn’t married. There was simply no time to even get to know the girl let alone like or love her. It was purely an economic decision on their part. The priest went ahead & married them without receiving the baptismal certificate or relevant papers & without the parents presence at the wedding.

            2. A young man married a woman who was unable to consummate the marriage because all her genital organs had been previously removed but this information was not forthcoming from either her or her family. A doctor some time afterwards shook his hand & congratulated him on taking the woman for his wife in such a dire situation.

            3. 2 un-laicised priests married by friends on the assumption that the papers requesting laicisation sent to Rome would be returned in time but they were not. The marriages went ahead & the last I heard was the papers still hadn’t arrived.

            4. Two cases I know where one of the parties did not specify severe genetic disorders which, of course, were later confirmed with the onset of children. If this had been known beforehand the marriages would most probably not have taken place without medical advice & probably not at all.

            If you consider these irregular situations which the CC has presided over not to be of any concern then so be it. They do concern me and I would like to think most Catholics also.

            I questioned your authenticity because your name sounds like a pseudo-name, I have never come across you before and as there are too many trolls on the internet I was hesitant to engage any more with you.

            Please consider this conversation closed.

          • You are such a liar Ana. You yourself stated in the very first reply the following:-

            I have to admit this is what we were taught in the late 1950s by a Doctor of Divinity (got in Rome) that half of the marriages enacted in Church were null & void,..

            Now you proceed to tell me that
            I never said that most marriages were invalid

            I am glad you decided to end this discussion because you seem to be forgetting how it started….

          • I have replied to this but it hasn’t been shown. Maybe there is a time delay – I’m seven hours ahead of USA.

    • That definitely sounds like creeping Modernism which was not properly rooted out in the reigns of Pius XI, and Pius XII. The priests formed in those decades became the prelates just before & following the Council.

      It should be recognized that the idea of falling in love first and then marrying is a very modern notion. Usually, most poor people only had a few options for people in their local town or village. The wealthy had things arranged by their parents. Consent might have been tentative… but was granted and gained validity with consummation. Nowadays, of course, it’s the rare Catholic couple that isn’t assumed to engage in at least some impurity during the courtship process.

      • Modernism is going for a very long time and, as you say, none of the popes of the past century did anything about rooting it out of the system. They were as culpable as to-day’s crowd. It is with hindsight that to-days citizens understand this – our parents & grandparents did not know about this dreaded heresy as in those days there wasn’t 24 hours news & internet. The CC’s Hierarchies are to blame and will be held accountable. This next year will be vital for Catholics to decide which side they are on. Will they go with the Lund commemorations or with Our Lady of Fatima? It really boils down to that question.

  2. Steve, how did you miss this from the same disaster of a speech? It’s probably a case of Pope Francis heretical and or idiotic blather overload, after a while each ridiculous statement kind of blends with all the rest.

    “In answer to a question about the message of his apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, the Pope said that the Church should avoid “rigorism” in responding to the pastoral needs of Catholics in irregular marital unions. “The Gospel chooses another way,” he said: “welcoming, accompanying, integrating, discerning, without putting our noses in the moral life of other people.”

    The Pontiff said that the two sessions of the Synod on the Family were intended to help “putting a face to the issues,” so that Church leaders would understand the danger of “turning faith into an ideology through nicely landscaped system which ignore grace.””

    This kind of talk from the Holy Father is absolutely reckless and erroneous. If someone is told by the Church that marriage is a life long bond, then they know that it is, choosing to disagree does not mean that they do not know.

      • Nope, I just read the link you took the article from and they don’t have that particular quote in that link. So, it’s that they didn’t report that part of his answer. My bad, I just presumed that it was in that article too.

    • That popped right out as I read the original. I thought no no NO! I stopped and prayed very vigorously against his notion, and I hope I got his attention in the spirit. NO.

      How does this statement sound?:

      “The world chooses another way,” he said: “welcoming, accompanying, integrating, discerning, without putting its nose in the moral life of other people.”

      That sounds exactly like the world Jesus came to fix: go and sin no more.

      Birth pangs mean birth, and the pangs are coming with more frequency than…any other time in history?

    • ” discerning,without putting our noses in the moral life of other people.” What is the use of discernment if a priest is not free to speak of what he has discerned? I am so tired of these empty clichés “welcoming, accompanying, integrating, ….what about telling these lost souls the TRUTH in love? It is as if Francis is emptying the confessional of all its healing power. This is not mercy, this is a falsehood of the worst order.

    • If I turn to a priest for “pastoral” guidance, I certainly hope he puts his nose in my moral life, otherwise what good is he? I can get all the accompanying and welcoming I want at a pub. And the bartender pours drinks.

  3. Sorry, I think that this is probably the most accurate thing that Francis has said… our catechesis has been horrible for about 40 years (particularly the Pre-Cana stuff) which makes reception of the sacrament of Marriage almost impossible for many Catholics. I am honestly surprised that you guys would have a problem with this, considering that the Francis seems to be saying that we did a lousy job preparing people for marriage and we are dealing with the consequences of that.

      • Additionally, Canons 1096-1101 [emphasis mine]:

        Can. 1096 §1. For matrimonial consent to exist, the contracting parties must be at least not ignorant that marriage is a permanent partnership between a man and a woman ordered to the procreation of offspring by means of some sexual cooperation.

        §2. This ignorance is not presumed after puberty.

        Can. 1099 Error concerning the unity or indissolubility or sacramental dignity of marriage does not vitiate matrimonial consent provided that it does not determine the will.

        Can. 1100 The knowledge or opinion of the nullity of a marriage does not necessarily exclude matrimonial consent.

        Can. 1101 §1. The internal consent of the mind is presumed to conform to the words and signs used in celebrating the marriage.

        §2. If, however, either or both of the parties by a positive act of the will exclude marriage itself, some essential element of marriage, or some essential property of marriage, the party contracts invalidly.

        • Dear Murray. That is all well and good but the putative pope does not believe that when people say certain words to each other – such as vows – that they know what the words mean but as for him possessing that afflactic ability we do not know for sure he possesses if for that is not a charism of his office but we may rest assured that he is possessed of afflatus because he wears old brown shoes.

        • There is a Canon to support almost any position in relation to a valid/invalid marriage but at the end of the day it is lack of proper catechesis in a world devoid of the Catholic message that is to blame and the CC must shoulder a heavy responsibility in this matter. There are, undoubtedly, many irresponsible people who want to ‘get married’ in Church but have no commitment to the faith and don’t bother attending. There are certain criteria that one must be aware of when making vows in a Catholic ceremony:
          Basic understanding of the commitment to marriage for life (1983 CIC, Canon 1095)
          Must be capable of fulfilling the promises made on wedding day(Canon 1095)
          Open to procreation (Canon 1101)
          Serious error concerning the person t whom marriage promises are made (Canon 1097)
          One party being seriously deceived by the other at time of wedding (Canon 1098)
          One of the parties being subjected to force or grave fear (Canon 1103).

          • I don’t disagree with anything you write. However, the bar for marital consent simply isn’t as high as it’s being portrayed. If it were, few of our ancestors could have contracted valid marriages.

            While it’s true that catechesis is in a very poor state right now, I suspect that it’s been likewise poor for a large number of the faithful throughout Christian history. We read accounts of medieval people wandering around, gossiping, and conducting business in the church while the priests were celebrating the Mass–a circumstance that might horrify even our modern pre-Mass Chatty Cathies! And we have hair-raising sermons from priests like St Leonard of Port Maurice, warning that the vast majority of those present were on the road to hell. Plus, we have the history of the great heresies, in which large numbers of the faithful were led astray by more or less (often much less!) sophisticated distortions of the Church’s teaching.

            I think it’s a mistake to view our current situation–bad as it is–as if it’s so completely unique that it renders the majority of Catholics unable to engage in one of the most fundamental and long-standing human institutions. For almost two thousand years, the Church has blessed the marriages of the stupid, the impulsive, the vicious, and the poorly catechized, but now, all of a sudden, we require an advanced theological understanding of the sacrament in order to give consent? There’s nothing new under the sun.

          • My first response was to an article that seemed to imply that no conditions were applied by the CC to Holy Matrimony – a couple in love simply presented themselves for the sacrament, made their vows and that was that, irrespective of any negative i.e. inducement, false witness ability to consummate the marriage etc. The fact is that there were always certain criteria that had to be met but this wasn’t enforced by the Church and so we have a multitude of non-catechised people very upset that their marriages may be null & void.

            Intent & commitment to their vows is plainly most important to a secure marriage & this isn’t to be found in cohabitants, so that was a very dangerous remark by PF. It’s like promoting such behaviour. It would have been preferable & in line with his more social outlook if he publicly called for world governments to help young couples get on the housing ladder & for certain tax concessions in the early years. Here in Spain cohabitants (of all hues) are given the same benefits as married couples because that is in tune with equality, so there is no attractiveness in making lifelong vows. PF comes from a very different part of the world in regards to culture, family values, politics, dire poverty & expectations. Those that elected him to the Papal Office knew all about that & went to no ends to get him elected for their own satanic agenda, which is working a treat.

            The present culture must come under severe scrutiny by the Curia and strong, effective measures put into place to offset it. Pandering to the EU, UN & White House re climate change & environmental issues has nothing to do with saving souls for Christ & must stop. The men that are presently guiding the CC are nothing but Modernist/Masonic politicians who only want its demise. They must be ousted before they destroy it. Of course, we still hold fast to the promise of Christ that He will be with us until the end of time. Keeping the pressure up for Russia to be consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is central to the restoration of the CC.

      • Can. 1060 Marriage possesses the favor of law; therefore, in a case of doubt, the validity of a marriage must be upheld until the contrary is proven.

        That is fine. I think that all the pope is saying is that there is sufficient evidence for many Catholic marriages that are in disarray. I would prefer that everyone stay married, but how do you stay in a marriage where one person comes to conversion late and the other not at all? Where one contracepts? Or one cheats with no intention of stopping and married with no intention of being faithful? These are all examples from my personal experience (people that I know)…

        I don’t think that Francis is nullifying all these marriages, but simply pointing out that those who do doubt the validity of their marriage, may well have grounds to prove it.

    • The problem with this is that people today who are trying hard to keep their marriages together is going to get an easy way out thanks to POPE FRANCIS! Why struggle through ones marriage if it is probably invalid? To give an example, one can now just get an annulment and marry that guy or gal they were tempted to have an affair with.

      In short, Pope Francis pretty much compounded the lousy job we did preparing people for marriage.

      • That might be true, but I think the problem needs to be acknowledged before it can be dealt with. It sucks that our bishops and priests have done such a lousy job on this issue, but they have… and there are ugly consequences. These are them.

    • “reception of the sacrament of Marriage almost impossible for many Catholics.” Aaron King, Faithfulness / permanence / openness to life. Not hard to understand. EZ annulments have made consent near impossible. Who’s right?

      • I don’t deny that, but many Catholics have never really been taught these things. Most Catholics believe the Eucharist to be symbolic and that they can participate in it regardless of their lifestyles and sinfulness. Openness to life has been eviscerated by priests and bishops who are soft on contraception (and a culture that practically forces it on young women. And I don’t think very many people have any sense of what faithfulness really means in our culture… how many Republican first Catholics and Democrat first Catholics do you meet? How many toss away unpopular decisions and teachings because they conflict with some ideology to which they adhere? It is a nearly insurmountable hurdle for many Catholics… I believe that God is generous and merciful, but there is a limit, I think.

  4. So, in pope Francis’s opinion, based on hearsay, most sacramental marriages are invalid. While those cohabitating (at least in Northeastern Argentina) “have the grace of a real marriage”?

    “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 …” (
    God help us!

    • I saw that, too! Why get married at all, then? All you need is to pick the right person to sin with, and after a while, if you’re good at it, it’s not a sin anymore.

    • What does it tell us about the Catholic Church and their clerics that most Catholic sacremental marriages are invalid. How spritually dead is a Church that mostly produdes invalid marriages? How dead is the Catholic Church that she can only create spritually blind and dead people that make promises infront of God that they don’t need keep? The Pope basically declared the death of the sacramental marriage and underlines that the Catholic teachings are a joke.

      • Well, if anything, the pope’s latest remarks tell us a few things about his personal views, while telling us practically nothing about the unspotted Bride of Christ. Never confuse The Truth with His vicar, or objective reality with the pope’s personal and sometimes extremely skewed views.

  5. The local Church has been throwing annulments at the problem rather than doing the hard work of upholding the marriage contract. The result is that Catholic marriage is de facto no longer permanent. Now everything else must conform to this paradigm..

    • To be more precise, the marriage is no longer treated as it really is, i.e. indissoluble/permanent. With the end result of permanent weeping and gnashing of teeth, if things go on uncorrected.

  6. Then it follows that all baptisms of infants are invalid because they are unaware of what the sacrament is and its beauty. And almost all Confirmations are invalid because most teens are pretty clueless, as for Holy Orders perhaps young Mr Bergoglio wasn’t aware that you actually had to hold the Catholic faith to become a priest

    The protestant occupier of the Chair of Peter destroys the sacraments to clear a path for the protestant takeover.

    • It seems to me that I was taught that unlike the other sacraments, that of marriage was conferred not by the one officiating (the church) but by the couple.

      This is why marriages of noncatholics can be valid.

  7. Our archbishop has “rewritten” (streamlined) directives for exactly how EVERY priest in his archdiocese is to proceed with each Sacrament. Priests are not allowed to deny any couple the Sacrament of matrimony due to cohabitation. They are not even supposed to counsel the couple to live apart before marriage.

    Sure, live in mortal sin because THEN you will have the grace to be properly formed for the commitment of marriage! WTH???

    As a mother I have instructed my kids that they have been given EVERY opportunity to make holy choices. They screw it up, I don’t pay for a big wedding, nor will I attend a scandalous union. Hardball. But now Fr. O’Flaherty can’t even tell them, “Your mom is right. Live apart & come back to chat with me when you are both in a state of grace.”

    I thought the point of the Sacrament was to give us the grace to make this marriage gig work, in all our frail, weak, human imperfection, while the devil works against us? Can any of us really ever understand “forever”? I thought we both loved God & were starting marriage off the right way. I had NO idea what was in store– it has been difficult. We have wanted to give up. The trials have been BIG and SCARY. But I am more in love with my husband today than I was 20 years ago because I am that much more in love with Christ. I entered the vocation of marriage as my life’s work to get me to Heaven. It isn’t supposed to be easy or it wouldn’t have a bit of eternal merit.

    That is why it is a Sacrament— because we need supernatural grace to make it work. If 98% of Catholics are contracepting, they have closed themselves to that grace. That isn’t an issue of nullity. That’s an issue of damnation, but “good” catholics don’t really point fingers that way in this pontificate. Oops!

    • In my country, it used to be mandatory to attend a pre-marriage course before getting married.
      The Church here don’t enforce this anymore,

    • You seem like a good and holy mother.
      I hope and pray your children appreciate your love for them.
      I so love what you wrote about marriage…..beautiful!

      This pope does not believe in the Holy Spirit.
      He does not believe in supernatural grace.
      I will let each draw their own conclusions subsequently.

          • I would rather have every fingernail pulled from hands, rather than to agree with you here. The pope has been mislead from early on.
            Have pity on him. But we cannot be misled by what is not in Truth.
            It is our duty to remain faithful!

            God bless you. Things will work out, our Lord promised. Persevere and have good cheer.

          • OK SO…………..are you saying that his ‘plan’ is to teach true Catholicism? If so, I would challenge you to answer: just where in these ‘proclamations’ is there any true Catholicism whatsoever? Or in many other ‘ideas’ he’s come out with in the last 3 years? How about the one that evil souls don’t go to hell, they’re just ‘obliterated’ into nothingness? And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! How about the ‘idea’ that Catholics and Muslims worship ‘the same God’? Anything that remotely resembles Catholicism in these statements?? If he is being brainwashed by bad prelates that surround him, I would think that he had maybe acquired at least an idea of what the Gospel of Jesus actually says. My grandchildren in 1st grade were taught more solid truth and that was in an NO Parish!

          • What i am trying to express, and maybe not very well, is this:
            I have been greatly distressed regarding Pope Francis’s statements, his recent two exhortations, the Synod, those he keeps company with.
            Shall I go on?

            This recent statement regarding matrimony is absolutely erroneous.
            It completely undermines the work of the Holy Spirit.

            Your grandchildren are blessed to have you in their life.

            The Church is in serious trouble. I do not have any answers, except to say: keep the faith, persevere.

            Trust in Him. Our Lord will NOT abandon His Church,no matter how rough things may get. He is with us, always!

      • Trying like heck & full of sin & faults to work out myself.

        And yes, even my 11 yo is disgruntled with Pope Francis. He doesn’t want to go to a Jesuit high school because “apparently they teach you how to talk out of both sides of your mouth there.”

    • So basically, you just agreed with Pope Francis. That most Catholics enter into marriage unaware of the sacramental nature of it, and the church has done a poor job of instructing them.
      Despite your best efforts, even your own children can fall victim to the influences of society, and that we should expect more…

      • “Victim” to something perhaps, but if called to marriage they will have full knowledge & my help & support to see it through. That doesn’t make every weak creature entitled to an annulment.

        I have watched my parents and several other annulments go down. I find it hard to believe that God thinks we are all innocent victims whose lives are written on a Magnadoodle, whether or not people choose to believe that.

        And how annulments are decided are supposed to be a great deal theologically more complex than “til death do us part.” But everyone seems to understand annulment process MUCH more easily than the marriage vows.

      • Nope. I said that the grace of the Sacrament has surpassed our own human abilities.

        Couples who are fornicating outside of marriage or contracepting are in states of mortal sin and cannot receive that grace.

        That is not a case for nullity, that is a case for confession & counsel. Even the crappy marriage encounter classes tell you contraception is a sin & forbidden.

        I know MANY people who seek annulments and KNOW they are hoping the system finds favor on them. My favorite is the “devout” Catholic husband & homeschool father who is a family counselor. Had an affair. Wife is so “mean & unforgiving.” He is applying for an annulment while he is bringing his girlfriend around his kids & family.

        That is adultery, and he knows it. Whispering, “I love you” in another woman’s ear before the Church has said you are free to do so means this guy doesn’ t really care what the Church says at all. That is not someone looking for grace when he is denying himself of it at the most basic level. He is just going through the process.

        If one can understand that your mother will always be your mother, brother will always be… while we may not understand and “forever” in its totality, we get that you can’t just walk away from it.

        I would bet that most Catholics trivialize the Sacrament because in the last 30 years no one I know (and I know plenty) has ever been denied an annulment. People think they go hand in hand with the divorce.

        So many annulments granted so easily is part of what has created the dissoluble marriage mind set.

        • You admit that people don’t take the church and their vows seriously, yet you still think they are valid? Pope Francis specifically mentioned the case of a pregnancy and marriage to point out an instance when vows might not be said with the conviction of their hearts. Vows are valid only if you mean them.

          As much as it pains you to accept, you and Francis are in agreement. But, take heart, Pope Benedict has said things consistent with this.

          • I think people mean them until they want a “get out of jail free”card.
            It’s an intention of convenience.
            Second marriage divorce rates illustrate that.

          • The people, most unmarried, some already married, are already of the conviction that they would divorce for infidelity. That hardly fits “mean them until they want “a get out of jail free card'”. They already don’t mean them BEFORE infidelity, and sometimes before their vows.

          • So if of most Catholic marriages are null and invalid it means that the
            Catholic Church, most priests, bishops, cardinals even the Pope and the
            Vatican didn’t take the Catholic marriage seriously and were
            desacralizing the Sacrament of marriage for money and romance since
            decades. Everybody who marries in the Catholic Church knows exactly that
            “till death do us apart” means literally that. Furthermore
            the Pope claims that all Catholics whose marriages failed are little
            children and morally incompetent people with no free will that don’t
            know what they do. Just because marriages fail it doesn’t mean they
            were/ are invalid by default or has to be declared in the name of Mercy
            invalid so that Catholics can have divorce with the back door. This Pope
            is really determined to get his job done and to tear down the Catholic
            teachings. We see the jesuit tactics at it best. Claim that the
            teaching is untouched and do the demolition in the name of mercy.

          • Pope Benedist said much the same thing in 2005. It is only because Francis said it this time that so many are scandalized.

            “The crisis of marriage is because people do not know what the sacrament is, the beauty of the sacrament; they do not know that it is indissoluble, that it is for one’s entire life,” he said. “It’s difficult.”

            “Meeting in July 2005 with priests in northern Italy, Pope Benedict also raised the question of the validity of marriages that, while performed in church, bound together two baptised Catholics who had little understanding of the faith, the meaning of the sacraments and the indissolubility of marriage.” From the Catholic Herald

          • We see all the failed priests, bischops, cardinals, monks and all the
            scandals so the Pope has to declare most of the Catholic ordination of
            priests for invalid and null too.

    • There needs to be more mothers like you. I am of the same mind – and some liberal “Catholics” think us as “old fashioned”.

      • Nope. I said that the grace of the Sacrament has surpassed our own human abilities.

        Couples who are fornicating outside of marriage or contracepting are in states of moral sin and cannot receive that grace.

        That is not a cas for nullity, that is a case for confession & counsel. Even the crappy marriage encounter classes tell you contraception is a sin & forbidden.

        I know MANY people who seek annulments and KNOW they are hoping the system finds favor on them. My favorite is the “devout” Catholic husband & homeschool father who is a family counselor. Had an affair. Wife is so “mean & unforgiving.” He is applying for an annulment while he is bringing his girlfriend around his kids & family.

        That is adultery, and he knows it. Whispering, “I love you” in another woman’s ear before the Church has said you are free to do so means this guy doesn’ t really care what the Church says at all. That is not someone looking for grace when he is denying himself if it at the most basic level. He is just going through the process.

        If one can understand that your mother will always be your mother, brother will always be… while we may not understand and “forever” in its totality, we get that you can’t just walk away from it.

        I would bet that most Catholics trivialize the Sacrament because in the last 30 years no one I know (and I know plenty) has ever been denied an annulment. People think they go hand in hand with the divorce.

        So many annulments granted so easily is part of what has created the dissoluble marriage mind set.

      • Sorry- I posted the following reply in the wrong spot!

        Thanks– and yes, trying like heck everyday. There are too few of us watching out for each other’s children. Praying for you!

    • Good point. Holy Father, I’d like to ask you: Does being the Pope presuppose the Faith? Does being a Cardinal or a Bishop presuppose the Faith?

      • By the same principle those who claim to be Cardinal etc could be viewed as dubiously ordained. They certainly do not preach or exhibit the fruits of grace. No. They exhibit the fruits of confusion and not clearly understanding what they are about.

        Maybe those who spout heresy should be called out as being doubtfully ordained and subsequently removed.

          • …either that or they are valid and the Pope and his cohorts are guilty of not discerning the Lord within the Sacraments they have received and in those which they distribute.

            Perhaps if His Holiness began by stripping priestly titles etc away from those who so obviously know not what they are about there would be sound teaching.

    • It’s very difficult to remain charitable when such a person is literally trying to destroy the Church of Jesus Christ. We are called to be charitable and pray for the Pope. I pray he has a complete conversion and quickly.

  8. So Pope Francis is trying to second guess other peoples motives (such as when they decide to get married).

    I’m constantly questioning your motives, Pope Francis – especially as you appear to seek to undermine the sacrament of matrimony and the Catholic teaching upon the family!

  9. To prove a marriage invalid (and it is expressly against canon law to presume any marriage to be invalid) you would have to *prove* beyond reasonable doubt that at the time of the marriage, one party expressly did not intend permanence, or that the couple expressly did not intend to ever have children, or one of a few other situations. Really, that is not most of them.

    • If ‘it is expressly against canon law to presume any marriage to be invalid”, does that mean that the new legislation promulgated last September 8 is against Canon Law since it forbids the presumption of the marriage being valid?

  10. “And it’s an insult to God’s grace to imagine that our own age is somehow different, that we cannot depend on God’s help to live out the vocations He gives us.”

    You really have to wonder if Church leaders believe in God.

  11. I would agree that the majority of Catholic’s today are in fact getting church-based sacramental marriages for purely aesthetic reasons as well as to make grandma, grandpa and aunt Helen happy. I would also agree that extensive catechetical marriage preparation should be mandated and that couples need to demonstrate that they agree and understand the vows that they will be undertaking. So Cdl. Kasper got that much right. But of course instead of promoting it in a traditional Catholic sense he’s using it as a catalyst for his agenda to undermine the sacrament instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ.

    • I agree with you 100% re marriage preparation. I’ve been saying that for years. There is no way you can expect a man and woman preparing for marriage to learn the vast teaching of the Church on marriage and the family in a Pre-Cana workshop (although it may be better than nothing). If they have the time to pick out the best caterer, DJ, dress and tuxedo, then they should be able to spend AT LEAST one hour per month (or every 2 weeks) to learn the traditional teaching of the Church on marriage and the family, duties of husband and wife, children etc. Ideally, the parents of the bride and groom would have given them good example and proper instruction before the engagement. Since that doesn’t happen often, it falls to the priest to provide a solid doctrinal and spiritual formation of the prospective bride and groom, and that depends on his formation.

      We need solid sound Catholic formation for priests and laity on marriage and the family.

    • If the priest involved knows this (what you said above), and officiates the wedding, the priest is responsible to God for allowing the wedding to take place. This is especially true if he knows the couple does not believe what the Church teaches on Marriage.

      • Lack of catechesis also affects priests, especially the rainbow variety who display no belief in God. Modernism has really taken over the CC. I know of two instances of un-laicised priests whose friends officiated on the understanding that the papers were sent to Rome (which they were) & would be returned quickly, which they weren’t. They were still waiting for their papers years later. In one case there was a child and the father had no job due to so many years in the priesthood and became alcoholic.
        Another case of coercion by a South American family of a young boy who was invited for a holiday by a former employee of his parents. When he arrived a relative of this employee targeted him & arranged the marriage with the local priest & wouldn’t wait until his parents could fly over to be there with him & talk to hm. He wasn’t catechised, didn’t understand the situation & his mother told me they only wanted their daughter to enter the EU legally so she could find work. She didn’t find work & returned home within a couple of years homesick, which was inevitable as the two never came together in natural circumstances. He is still waiting to receive his annulment & civil divorce papers although his parents have spent a considerable sum of money in order to free him.

    • The Catholic Church under Pope John Paul II considered almost all
      Catholic marriages valid that can’t be nullified? Which Pope is right?
      John Paul II or Francis? Francis declared basically the death of the sacramental marriage. According to him there are cohabitatings that “have the grace of a real marriage”: So Catholics should not take the Catholic/ sacramental marriage seriously so that they later can claim they didn’t know what they did and get their marriage annuled or live in cohabitating with lots of fidelity and have the grace of a real marriage. If the Catholic marriage is so cruel and unmerciful that most Catholics don’t understand and don’t take it
      seriously why does the Pope not just abolish it?

  12. Cardinal Raymond Burke who was Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Signatura said that there are some that propose that half of the marriages are invalid. Find minute 53:29 here

    The link is his talk at Franciscan University on Sept. 8, 2015..

    He disagrees with that assertion, and said the first argument against the presumption is human nature itself: “To assert that they do not know the natural moral law is to deny human nature.” He goes on to say that young people today do understand what marriage is, and desire marriage because it is in human nature. What are the faithful to think when A) a top Cardinal says that the marriage RITE itself, which has straightforward words that people can understand, is a reason to support validity of a marraige, and then B) the Pope says that parties didn’t understand the straightforward words?

    • Funny, because this talk was held on the very same day Pope Francis released the document on annulments. The organizers didn’t know that a document on a related topic would be released by the Vatican also on September 8; obviously like most talks, it was prepared in advance.

  13. This blabber is some of the most damaging rhetoric that has come from the Pope’s mouth to date. He has not only most irresponsibly presumed, but he has proposed and validated doubt to the millions of married couples out there. What a sham! Does he believe in the Church at all? Clearly he does not. Every chance he gets, he waters down a sacrament , chastises believers and puts forth Catholic Christianity as an ideal, not the Truth. Meanwhile, he tries to “out-Jesus Jesus” and portrays himself as the the expert on mercy. Tne Church didnt know how to do mercy before he came along. Good grief! God help us.

  14. Pope Francis is treading on thin water.
    Our Lord will not be mocked.
    Who will stand with Christ, His teachings, His very Word?
    That is now the question I ask.
    I know my answer.

  15. What the exact form is of the malice that drives him to hurt the family is, I suppose, not the stuff we are meant to be able to discern.

    However, the Holy father yet again leaves the impression that he is FAR more enamoured with Satan than he is in love with Jesus.

    He ought to address that because it doesn’t sit right.

    • Answer: real bad. We have acknowledged it. The current crop of apostate hierarchy will not acknowledge anything that could threaten their posh, wine and dine lifestyle.

  16. I have talked to a lot of young Catholics, some graduates from good Catholics high schools, some from public high schools and the large majority would divorce for infidelity. This proves that Pope Francis is right on this subject. Immersed in the western culture, young people are a product of their education, not from school but from society. If you don’t think this is true, you need to get out and see the world outside where ever you hide.

    As for it not being a good idea to say so…. Does this mean the truth is no longer a good idea? If we need to point out the truth of marriage and family, we have to point out the truth of its failings too. Invalid marriages are a failing of the people, and their responsibility to know what they are getting themselves into, and an even bigger failing of the Church, and not just the clergy, but the laity ( us ) too.

    Francis is not the first to point this out, I believe it was Benedict who said, if people think the church grants too many annulments, maybe it is because there are too many invalid marriages…

    • Perhaps this Pope is wiser than people give him credit for. If he has any background whatsoever in psychology he would know that 1) mama’s boys make miserable marriage mates as they never do grow up….2) Daddie’s girls or little princesses never become real women either….3) Boys who were victims of molestation will have a hard time in marriage, not to mention much depression… 4) Girls who were abused by father figures, uncles, brothers and other family male members are not exactly ready for marriage in mind, body and soul, 5) any shrink can tell you that girls abused as children and teens more often than not, marry a man who smells that a mile away and picks up where parent left off.
      Knowing all this, it would be utterly dishonest to expect some big miracles to befall all of the aforesaid cases I depicted. Surely the pope is smart enough to know that many are not born into the quintessential perfect family…and as a result they come into marriage already ruined in one way or the other. To think that the matrimonial ceremony whips up a magic wand making the past just disappear is more than wishful is downright insane to expect that the past does not affect anyone or their outlook, or feelings of trusting others. As we have seen for centuries the whole myth of Eve and the apple is to make women the scapegoat for other’s sins…obviously the moes play that one well.

    • What you’re saying doesn’t make sense.

      Divorcing for infidelity is not by any stretch the same thing as saying the marriage was invalid to begin with.

      You obviously do not sufficiently understand the canonical and moral issues at hand to be offering opinions.

      All that is required for a binding marriage are the points below (CLUE: it’s not complicated), which are covered in mandatory PreCana along with a signed statement saying one understands the Church teaches that marriage is indissolulable (***it should also be noted that even non-Catehechized, non-Catholics know what the Catholic Church teaches about marriage – that it is “for life” and that if one should divorce they cannot remarry. This comes as no surprise to anyone.)

      1) it must be witnessed by the Church
      2) candidates must understand that the Church teaches marriage is indissolulable and that this is what the words “until death do us part” means when they pronounce their vows.
      3) the willingness to have children at least at some point (use of contraception is a grave sin but does not prevent a valid marriage unless one marries with the intention of NEVER having children).
      4) absence of other canonical impediments

      Infidelity does NOT invalidate a marriage validly contracted; nor does divorce for infidelity.

      So…..did 50% of those married today lie or pretend when they pronounced the words “until death do us part” OR intend never to have children…..?

      If they meant it at the time and then regret it later when they wake up to life’s realities, THAT does not invalidate a validly contracted marriage.

      THAT’S the question, because it’s certainly clear what the words “until death” mean and what the Church teaches in that regard.

      • The young people I have talked to are, as of now, unmarried, and the large majority plan to marry in the church, yet they know that divorce is an option to them.

        If one enters into the marriage knowing that they will divorce if the other is unfaithful, then “til death do us part” is provisional on fidelity. So, did half the people of today lie in their vows? I don’t know the answer to that part, but if they said “til death do us part” with the provision in their heart for infidelity, then they did not really make that commitment. So that’s an invalid marriage based on your 2nd point.

        “You obviously do not sufficiently understand the canonical and moral issues at hand to be offering opinions.”
        I understand the issues here, perhaps you don’t understand where people are within the culture. Get out and talk to people and you will understand where they are coming from and what they really think. Their moral compass does not work like yours.
        Pope Francis understands where young people are coming from better than most give him credit for.

        Many may know the church teaching, but that doesn’t mean they make that commitment themselves, despite their words in a ceremony. If they have no intention of sticking to those words, the marriage is not valid….

        • Divorce is not an option. I certainly hope you don’t teach that it is. There is no such thing as provisional marriage. I certainly hope you are not teaching this heresy,

        • A priest I know has done a brilliant article on this: Father Brian Harrison.

          Those who marry in the Catholic Church must sign a statement saying they understand what the whole world already knows: i.e. that a sacramental marriage in the Catholic Church is indissolulable.

          They sign the statement acknowledging that. If they do so holding a reservation to divorce if things don’t go as they like, then this is essentially lying and contractual deception.

          Are you saying these same people are “mature” enough to sign other legally binding contracts – such as buying a home or leasing a car – but when it comes to vowing “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, etc., until death do us part” they are suddenly non compis mentis?

          No – if they do this with lying lips that have no intention of fulfilling the very words they are saying at the altar it is clearly deliberate deception, not excusable “immaturity”.

          Do 50% of those who get married lie when taking those vows?

          I know a JEWISH man in a terrible marriage who refused to break his vows for this reason: he meant the words he spoke on his wedding day.

          • Yes, I am saying that they are not being truthful. If these young people are, before any infidelity happens, already of the mind that they will divorce for it, then they are not taking that vow seriously, and so Pope Francis is correct, they are taking a provisional vow. They said as much to me.

            You may not like the facts, but that is the way of the modern day.
            A court may not see it that way for a legal contract, but God knows their heart when they cross their fingers and make their “vows”

        • Furthermore, even a reservation to divorce for reasons of infidelity would not invalidate the marriage unless they would also intend they could leave their spouse at any time despite their vows, and attempt a remarriage in the future: i.e. not intend anything at all in the vows they pronounce.

          To live apart, to civilly divorce is not prohibited by the Church, nor would it mean the marriage was invalid to begin with.

          • To clarify, lest you come up with more ways of twisting on this one, these young people, despite knowing that the church holds marriage to be indissoluble, don’t buy it. They will divorce for future infidelity, and have no intention of staying celibate afterwards. Go out into the world and talk to real people outside of your devout and conservative Catholic circle and you will see that Francis is right.

            Denying the truth does nothing to aid in evangelizing and catechesis. I don’t know if it is 50% but that number does not shock me one bit.

          • Veritas, you are essentially saying that more than 50% of those who marry in the Church are guilty of contractual fraud – pronouncing vows, saying precise words BEFORE GOD, HIS CHURCH, HIS PRIEST AND THEIR SPOUSE which they have no intention of honoring if the going gets tough.

            Imagine going into a bank for a mortgage and secretly intending not to honor the contract being signed because you’re not prepared to practice financial responsibility or the sacrifices it entails.

            And yet, the words and intention of marriage vows can be understood by a child.

            The following is from a Canonist and it is only one of the informed and knowledgeable rebuttals of this ridiculous assertion:

            Consider: Marriage is that natural human relationship established by God as the normal way for nearly all adults to live most of their lives. God blesses marriage and assists married persons to live in accord with this beautiful state in life.

            When, moreover, baptized persons enter this quintessential human relationship, Christ adds the special graces of a sacrament and assists married Christians to live as signs of his everlasting spousal union with his Church.

            To assert, then, that “the great majority of our sacramental marriages are null” is really to claim that the great majority of Christians have failed to enter the most natural of human states and have failed to effect between themselves the exact sacrament that Christ instituted to assist them in it.

            The collapse of human nature presupposed for such a social catastrophe and the massive futility of the Church’s sanctifying mission among her own faithful evidenced by such a debacle would be—well, it would be the matrimonial version of nuclear winter.

            I am at a loss to understand how anyone who knows anything about either could seriously assert that human nature is suddenly so corrupted and Christ’s sacraments are now so impotent as to have prevented “the great majority” of Christians from even marrying!

            How can anyone responsibly even posit such a dark and dismal claim, let alone demonstrate it?

          • A little overly dramatic, don’t you think? Marriage is already on the ropes, and it is obvious that people don’t take it as serious as you or that canonist would like. People marry for all sorts of reasons and even marry people of the same sex, these days, and you are shocked that they might commonly make vows that they don’t really mean?
            It is very unfortunate, a tragedy in fact, but it doesn’t make it untrue.

            There is no shortage of people commenting on this site who would point out all the unrepentant people seeking to go to confession, or the many in scandalous second marriages who refuse to see the truth… Even your story of the man seeking an annulment….
            Yet, you can’t believe people play fast and loose with vows they don’t believe?
            I’ll bet you believe that confession without repentance is not valid, and that many people marry without believing the churches teachings on contraception.

            The Pope is merely pointing out that the culture has come between people and the sacraments, as everyone on this website would agree. He even pointed out that they don’t see the beauty of it, much like your canonist. Human nature hasn’t suddenly changed, but society and what is condoned has…not suddenly, but steadily. It is only sudden if you haven’t been paying attention.

            As for your example about mortgages… Where were you between 2008 and 2014? The news was full of people walking away from mortgages they could afford to pay, but didn’t like the interest rate,or short selling.

          • “A little overly dramatic” you say?

            Well, let’s see…..God responded to a moral situation far less outrageous by permitting two World Wars as “a punishment for sin” (as attested to by Our Lady at Fatima). Fire bombings of entire cities, two atomic bombs, human torture, millions of others dead by gas, starvation, ovens or exposure….

            I dare say the drama of my words does not compare with God’s response in such matters.

            But to get to your point about the 2008-2014 mortgage crisis as an illustration — if “the great majority” (words of Pope Francis on % of invalid marriages) of mortgage holders had committed contractual fraud and walked away from their mortgages in the same proportion as Pope Francis RECKLESSLY OPINED IN PUBLIC was the case with the validity of ALL CATHOLIC MARRIAGES, the U.S. economy would have been decimated to the point of nuking our currency to smithereens, our bank accounts would all now be empty, and the entire world’s economies would have followed us into the soup.

            I repeat — I don’t care what young people you talk to today have to say…..”the greater majority” (i.e. far more than half!!!?) of ALL CATHOLIC MARRIAGES IN THE WORLD TODAY ARE NOT INVALID.

            And I dare say that even some of the young people you talk to would still effect a valid marriage once they stand at that altar and at least TRY to mean the vows they pronounce. That is all that suffices – that they do not intend intentionally AGAINST the vows they pronounce. That is the Church’s teaching on the matter.

          • P.S. Below is the link to an article in the National Catholic Register reporting that, as compared to the general population, Catholics still have the lowest divorce rate (only 28%).

            That’s a far cry from “the great majority” of Catholic marriages, and is proof that both the Sacrament of Matrimony and the Church’s teaching on the indissolubility of Marriage help ensure the validity and stability of the greater majority of Catholic marriages.

            Furthermore, of that 28%, one can easily surmise that a great many of them married with happy, optimistic plans for their marriage to be “for life” and without “intending against” the vows they pronounced before God, His Church and their spouse.

            As such, even a good percentage of these failed marriages would be valid marriages.

            It was indeed unfortunate and troubling for the head of the Catholic Church to opine quite the contrary in public.

            Questioning young people before they actually are in committed relationships undergoing marriage preparation – during which they will most assuredly receive help and enlightenment from God on the vows they are about to take – is hardly a representative sampling of “the great majority” of Catholics who finally do marry in the Church.


          • Everyone sees a great conspiracy here… There may be but Francis has a point which everyone is dismissing. It is a point that the Author of this article, Pope Francis and Pope Benedict all have made. That being, that people do not believe in the permanence of marriage and MANY enter into it without the conviction that it is forever. (By canon law, that is a nullifying problem)
            What is being debated here is that it shouldn’t have been said, or maybe it’s not a majority (though it is a big number) or that the Pope wants to tear down marriage.

            These are good questions to debate, but it doesn’t hide the fact that people enter into marriage rejecting its permanence….that’s provisional…and Francis knows this is true. I agree with him on this as do the Author and Benedict, and if you don’t it is because either you don’t want to or don’t get out of your neighborhood, because these people are out there to meet all over the world, not just America and Europe but the south too.

            We can’t, as a church address the problem if we don’t acknowledge it.
            We can’t teach the beauty of the sacrament if we don’t realize people don’t see it.
            We can’t teach the permanence of marriage if we assume people already know it.

            As for Akin and the idea of Jesus addressing the whole world, yes but we are his witnesses and we are not even teaching it well enough ourselves. You can Blame the hierarchy and the clergy, but it is us too. If our children don’t want to acknowledge the beauty of church teaching, and only follow the rules because we will pay for the wedding, then we ourselves have not demonstrated the beauty well enough.

            What our Pope said doesn’t take away from the beauty of Jesus’ teaching, he makes a point to describe the beauty, what he does is point out our failing to live up to it.

            The real problem here is we don’t want to admit the problem exists and we certainly don’t want Pope Francis to be the one to point it out.

          • Sorry, you appear to be missing the point….

            Christ came to a completely pagan, amoral culture where marriage was treated with even more disregard than it is today before He made clear His teaching — God’s teaching on marriage.

            And it was precisely in this context that Christ pronounced to the world that divorce and remarriage is adultery….for EVERYONE.

            He didn’t qualify this by saying only if the individuals had intended to stay married forever.

            That’s the whole point. Marriage is not supposed be so technically perfect that “the greater majority” of marriages are not valid.

            “It was not so from the beginning…..” before canonical law even existed.

            The Church’s canonical impediment in that regard only applies to individuals who deliberately INTEND AGAINST THE VERY VOWS THEY PRONOUNCE. PERIOD. THAT IS CONSCIOUSLY WILLING AGAINST THE VOWS THEY PRONOUNCE.

            That is not the same as what Pope Francis said: that the greater majority of marriages are invalid because they do not understand what they are doing. Nor is it the same as having ambivalence or uncertainty about the future.

            The institution of marriage never came with an instruction manual on precise technicalities to be fulfilled to effect a binding marriage. Christ certainly never stipulated any when He pronounced this teaching.

            It’s simply untrue to pretend the human race is any different now than it was before the founding of Christianity. Scripture tells us “There is nothing new under the sun. …”

            Human nature is no more inclined to infidelity today than 2,000 years ago before the Sacraments were given as helps to our fallen nature.

            In fact, there were far greater challenges to marital fidelity at the time Christ came into the world. The Samaritan woman at the well is just one such example. King David is yet another.

    • By the way, Bishop Sheen gave a brilliant talk on troubled marriages and how they figure in God’s plan for souls.

      It’s all about reality and our struggle for sanctification. listen to this talk and you will surely change your mind.

      One thing is for sure, Christ’s marriage to His Church and to the human race was certainly not an easy marriage that cost Him nothing.

      On the contrary, He shed His Blood in that marriage in abundance, was crucified for the souls He espoused after first being cursed, betrayed and vilified by those He brought into existence.

      It’s time to wake up. The human race has become a bunch of effeminate wimps.

      Here’s Sheen’s talk:

    • Infidelity is by no means grounds for annulments. If you doubt this, go to the Gospel and read what Christ said. Annulments, were by their nature, almost impossible to obtain. For, the conditions that make an annulment are very rare and extremely narrow. The Church was willing to lose England before it would grant an annulment to King Henry VIII.

      Christ was adamant about this. Christ demands the same fidelity of married couples that he shows for the Church. Adultery, is a serious sin. But, it in no way nullifies the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony.

      • Infidelity is not a grounds for annulment, but having no intention to continue with a marriage after infidelity, before the fact, is a provisional vow, and that is what Francis is talking about.

        I would not teach that divorce is an option, but the shocking news is that a large majority of young Catholics believe it already.

  17. Lack of maturity??
    As if young age were sufficient to render one incapable of entering into a life long contract?

  18. “It’s provisional, and because of this the great majority of our sacramental marriages are null.”

    I don’t understand this statement. A sacramental marriage can be null?

    Is there such a thing as an invalid sacrament? How? If an act is invalid, that means the sacrament does not exist.

    How is it possible for a sacramental marriage to be a nonsacrament?

  19. “That’s a quote from Pope Francis. These “cohabitations” are a “real marriage, they have the grace of a real marriage because of their fidelity…” I have nothing else to say.”
    How is it then that I cannot find this quote in any of the Italian sources that I’ve checked?

    • Ask the Catholic News Agency. It comes straight from their report.

      As for Italian sources, do you have a complete transcript? My Italian translator has been trying to track one down.

      • As far as I can piece together from at least ten different Italian sources, including Catholic News Agency’s Italian article, and the Spanish for good measure, that quote is either complete fabrication or damnable mistranslation.

          • If the statement they reported turns out not to be the truth, then that becomes the story. CNA is a news agency with access we don’t have to the Vatican. If they report a story, we give them the benefit of the doubt that it is true until proven otherwise. When something has already been reported in the news, it becomes newsworthy, with that story as the source. That’s journalism 101.

          • But when simple fact-checking shows how blatantly wrong the translation is?

            Here’s just one quote combined from Italian sources (La Stampa and Acistampa):

            “Ho visto tanta fedeltà in alcune convivenze…” Per esempio quando ha citato una “superstizione” invalsa nel nord-est dell’Argentina, dove le coppie prima fanno figli, poi si sposano civilmente, e infine, da anziani, si sposano in Chiesa, perché, sostengono “farlo religioso spaventa il marito… dobbiamo lottare anche con queste superstizioni, con questi fatti culturali. La preparazione al matrimonio va fatta con vicinanza, lentamente, è un cammino di conversione senza spaventarsi. Dobbiamo accompagnare le coppie fino al momento della maturità: facciano il sacramento, ma gioiosi.”

            Edit: Even the headline is wrong. “Molti matrimoni,” “Many” not “the great majority”

          • Is in the Italian video. Someone I know who speaks Italian told me about that before the English even came out.

        • See below….it’s in the Italian video. Someone I know who speaks Italian told me about that before the English even came out.

      • I did watch the video in Italian, I happen to be a good part Italian, and what the Pope seems to say (the grammar was a bit confusing) is that the belief that cohabitation is true marriage is superstition, and that the path to true marriage is “un cammino di conversione.”

        • That’s not true. He says they marry in the Church only after they become grandparents (and marry civilly only after there is a child) because the superstition is that men are afraid of marriage.

          Then he goes on to say that their fidelity to each other in this irregular situation is like the grace of a true marriage, as though a sacramental marriage can be reduced to faithful cohabitation.

          Someone fluent in Italian gave it to me verbatim.

        • That is completely wrong. You are taking a phrase from the end of his rambling discourse (“un cammino di conversione”) and appending it to what he says many paragraphs earlier in response to a questioner.

          The “superstition” is that people who are affianced in the Argentinian countryside do not marry until they are grandparents because to marry in the Church “scares the husband” [laughter]. Yet Francis declares these cohabitations are true marriages and have the grace of marriage because of the “fidelity” they exhibit. Here is the original Italian:

          “Nella campagna argentina, nella zona del Nordest, c’è una superstizione: che i fidanzati hanno il figlio, convivono. In campagna succede questo. Poi, quando il figlio deve andare a scuola, fanno il matrimonio civile. E poi, da nonni, fanno il matrimonio religioso. E’ una superstizione, perché dicono che farlo [subito] religioso spaventa il marito! Dobbiamo lottare anche contro queste superstizioni. Eppure davvero dico che ho visto tanta fedeltà in queste convivenze, tanta fedeltà; e sono sicuro che questo è un matrimonio vero, hanno la grazia del matrimonio, proprio per la fedeltà che hanno.”

          He is not saying that the cohabitation as such is a superstition. Rather, the superstition is the fright of the husband concerning Church weddings: “It is a superstition, BECAUSE they say that to do the religious scares the husband!” That is, the men have a superstitious fear of sacramental marriage. Yet, he declares that men who have this superstitious fear are nonetheless truly married, whereas the vast majority of people who take vows are not truly married—even if they too live together in fidelity.

          Utterly ridiculous nonensene.

          Note also the word “subito” [immediately] which I have placed in brackets. That word was added by the Vatican. Francis simply said “to do the religious” not “to do the religious immediately.”

  20. I am presently agonizing over the fact that my cohabiting son and his girlfriend do not want to marry in a Catholic church and live a Sacramental life. I have told them that we will not attend a secular wedding because I must question myself as to ‘what I would be witnessing.’ This is not an easy decision but we, as parents are called to be witnesses to Christ. And now I am told by our Pontiff that he is sure that they, as cohabiters, are in a ‘real marriage?” What on earth!!! Those who are married are null but those who cohabit are in real marriages. Heaven help us. And he bases all this on their fidelity? Faithful fornication? It doesn’t sound like he thinks that these couples even need to be prompted to sanctify their marriages. He has lost his bearings and is taking others with him down this rabbit hole. How many marriages begin in immaturity but with the constant graces flowing from the Sacrament of marriage, the Eucharist and Confession, they slowly grow, spiritually mature and flower. Sadly, the Holy Father does not seem to believe this. When have we ever heard such convoluted speech by any pope? Did St. Paul not tell us that fornicators ( those who have sex outside of marriage) will not enter the Kingdom of God? It seems that this papacy is tearing at the heart of the gospel and diminishing it beyond recognition.

    • my impression on these irregular unions ( living in sin ) they have their trial marriages to see if they are compatible and they don’t seem to realize that Satan is happy with their condition and he will keep them happy in their sin but as soon as they decide to make things right with God and enter a sacramental marriage then Satan in all his evil will do everything in his power to break the true marriage. He will not let them go easily. True marriage brings hardship and self sacrifice.


    What a complete and utter disaster this execrable papacy is. He ought to be ashamed but he is proud of his heterodoxy and can not abstain from tirelessly exhibiting it.

    O,and he will not shut up because, apparently, he thinks we have an insatiable hunger for his bizarre and unchristian ideological observations.

    Look, he is an embarrassing joke and he has forced IANS to explain to his children the conditions under which our putative Pope really isn’t our Pope.

    Lord have mercy

  22. “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

    That is good news and bad. Good News in that married couples have Christ’s blessings. But this also puts severe obligations on married couples. Christ demands that we remain faithful. And he warned that no man can dissolve what he joined. Not even adultery will separate in God’s eyes the union of Man and Wife. This should be a warning to priests and bishops.

    We cannot fully understand this edict from Christ. But, then again we do not fully understand transubstantiation, or the Dogma of the Holy Trinity.

  23. I can easily believe that half of the marriages celebrated by Catholic priests like Father Friendly (and a little faggy) in “isn’t that nice, aren’t we wonderful” parishes are null. But if Pope Francis really believed this we would expect a strong initiative for full-throated instruction and mass convalidations from the Vatican, and a fierce tightening of the requirements for formal decrees of nullity as part of a teaching initiative to help people understand that yes, sacramental marriage is in fact indissoluble.

    You have to pay attention to the dogs that don’t bark, as much as the ones that do bark.

    This is just usury all over again: the pastoral fog rises, doctrine disappears; eventually nobody understands what the doctrine actually meant in the first place; modern ignoramuses look with disdain from the pillar of the idiocracy on how silly were their predecessors, and fill their puffed chests and empty heads with the poisoned air of “enlightenment”.

  24. The most demanding job in the world is that of Jimmy Akin. If he can draft a Ten things to know and share about the Pope saying your marriage is likely null that makes sense then IANS moves for Jimmy’s immediate Canonisation.

  25. If as Pope Francis says, the great majority of our marriages are null, but many couples living together are in fact married, then shouldn’t we be refusing communion to the great majority of “married” Catholics but admitting communion to other “irregular” couples?

    Parish priest: “Hi, Bob and Betty! Come in! How are you! Good to see! And the kids? Fine! Now, I’ve called you in, because you took part in a marriage ceremony in my church, and, yes, when I was officiating. But I can now see, carefully reviewing your circumstances and having listened to Pope Francis … you really weren’t up to making that promise, were you? So, you, and – if it gives you any comfort – many other “married” couples in this parish, aren’t in fact married!! Bob and Betty, to be frank, you have these options. 1. You can resolve to go on living together as man and wife, in which case, as long as you do so resolve, I will refuse you confession and communion. 2. You can agree to live together as “brother and sister” for a serious reason, such as raising any children you may have, in which case you may receive communion provided it does not give scandal – ie, secretly. Or, 3. You can separate entirely and reflect that in an ecclesiastical annulment and a civil divorce, in which case you may receive communion publicly in this your home parish …

    … Next? Oh! Bill and Barbara! So glad to see you! And by the way, congratulations! Why? Well, on your marriage, of course! Well, yes, of course, you’re not FORMALLY married, but I can now see … you’re really faithful to each other! Unlike Bob and Betty … herhemm, the less said about them, the better, eh?! So, you’re actually married, and hence of course you can go to communion, and never mind the scandal that you’ve not actually made public vows! Only pharisees and stone-throwers would worry about that!!

    Whaaat? You’ve decided to break up?? I’m sorry, but it won’t be that easy. You see, as I’ve just said, as your pastor I’ve decided you’re really married, given your faithfulness to each other to this point and notwithstanding you haven’t made a public promise till death do you part. So, if you really think you’re not married, you’re going to have to submit to the procedures of the diocesan marriage tribunal. What a shame — you were sooo good together! …

    … Why, Bob and Betty, meet Bill and Barbara! I’m sure you’ll have a lot to talk about! But I can’t stay. I’m off to a diocesan conference on Pope Francis and how he’s the most pastoral pope ever !!!”

  26. He speaks of “local superstitions” but won’t accept a donation because it had the number “666” in it? Hilarious.

    In the future, Holy Father, a great majority of popes might believe that your pontificate is invalid.

  27. The implied invalidity of holy orders based on a similar premise invincible ignorance could well explain why many “priests” are preaching that which is opposed to the Catholic Faith. Look at how these men were formed. They were formed via the principle of manufactured ignorance. Many were intentionally malformed.

    • Holy Orders though is conferred by a bishop. Marriage is more analogous to confession: although absolution is conferred by the priest, valid confession of all known unconfessed mortal sins is up to the penitent, and confession is invalid when this is willfully omitted by the penitent.

      • ….and sacraments wherein the administer of them does not have the proper intention and/or do not follow proper form can similarly be called into question, Zippy. Just look to the heresy spouted by those who call themselves Bishops. Who knows what their intentions were.

  28. Catholic Pope Francis said the words my friends: “‘The great majority’ of marriages are null because couples don’t understand what they’re doing.”

    What could be the reason people lost their understanding? Who is deceiving who? Is this religious world wide circus alright?

    Is it really true that Jesus was a descendant of David?

    …to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph,
    a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.
    Luke 1:27 (NIV)

    Jesus’ real and true father is Joseph who belongs to the house of David. Thus, if we are to believe the teaching of the religions that Jesus is the “son of God,” it should be Mary who should belong to the house of David.

    To insist that Jesus’ father is God and not Joseph is to make it appear that God broke His own law in:

    If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her, you shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death – the young woman because she was in a town and did not scream for help, and the man because he violated another man’s wife. You must purge the evil from among you.
    Deuteronomy 22:23-24 NIV

    Mary was already pledged to be married to Joseph, of the house of David. What these Christian preachers claim that God made a woman who’s already pledged to be married to another man be pregnant with His “son” is a lie as they made it appear that God is an unrighteous and immoral god.

    The religious preachers insist that Mary is of the line of David making it appear that God chose a woman of the house of David who will bear His son thus fulfilling the prophecy in 2 Samuel 7:12-14.

    However, if we read what God said in the prophecy we can understand that Mary is not a descendant of David:

    When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom.
    2 Samuel 7:12 NIV

    God clearly says that the “anointed one” will be of David’s own flesh and blood. This means that the coming savior is not His Son but a factual offspring or descendant of David. The religions are wrong in saying that Mary is of the line of David because, if she was, then God’s word in the prophecy should be “I will raise my offspring from your flesh and blood”. This denotes that God will raise His son out of Mary, who these preachers claim was David’s descendant.
    Since God said “I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood”, it cannot be denied that Mary is not of the line of David. Joseph, as the chosen one according to God’s word is a genuine descendant of David.

    Does God speak lies like a man?

    God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind.
    Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?
    Numbers 23:19 NIV

    God does not lie like humans do! God will not break His righteous decree and therefore did not make Mary pregnant with His son. God will not make Himself a man otherwise, He will become a liar.

    The Bible revelations of the last prophet of God (Deuteronomy 18:18-19), Maestro Teacher Evangelista of and

    This is not about a new religion or cult but a MESSAGE and this means whether you accept the ‘Prophet like Moses’-Maestro Evangelista’s Bible revelations in the previously mentioned websites or not is your prerogative -what is important is you have been informed and it is now your choice if you, the readers of this article would also inform others especially your family, friends, loved ones, the people in your community and most importantly your leaders about the messages that the Almighty God of Moses’ commanded Maestro Evangelista to reveal through the Bible in the said websites.

    • Heretics and incense. They share a common end.

      “Be thou blessed by Him in Whose honour thou shalt be burned.” – Pius IX blessing a Protestant.

      • You can find these “great word” wherever you like to read and finally find out the ultimate and only truth is written by the prophets of God only. (Hosea 12:10, Amos 3:7, Rev. 10:7) Thanks of your interest improving yourself.

      • We all have the God-given Free Will. You can stick the lies of religions, I only share the message of God and do not argue.

    • This is the argument that those who do not respect God’s intention for marriage and the family, use to justify the affirmation of “irregular” sexual relationships.

      • Every respond is welcomed but I suggest you to read all the revelations of Maestro Evangelista first to find out the real intention of God. You may check Proverbs 18:13 to see the “nickname” you will receive if not listen to the last prophet of God. Thanks of your time.

      • Yes, Pope is the main deceiver in our days and he talks whatever comes to mind and it is not from God Almighty of the Prophets in the Old Testament but the false teaching of the apostles of Jesus. Sex is only between man and woman. Boys may only kiss each other and girls also.

  29. If a marriage is “null” it can’t be sacramental. That’s basic Catholic theology. In order for the sacrament to take place, the marriage must be valid. So the statement that “most of our sacramental marriages are null” is a complete nonsense. And this from a Pope.

    Francis the talking mule.

  30. This ignorance premise could also apply to the validity of baptism. Babies certainly do not know what they’re doing and increasingly the parents/god-parents who are supposed to speak on their behalf know absolutely ZERO of the Catholic Faith. The reason?

    Faith comes through hearing and the apostate shepherds are teaching ignorance on purpose.

    • The matter of the sacrament of marriage is the free consent of the parties to the essential elements of marriage. This is not the case with baptism. Invalid marriage is more analogous to invalid confession.

      • An invalid confession may be a better analogy, but the focus being set on ill formed consciences (consciences that are intentionally ill formed by the promulgation of ambiguity in lieu of clear teaching) is the same.

        The priest who baptizes could invalidate the baptism by not having the proper intention to do what the Church has always done. How? Because he now has been formed to equate clarity with heresy and ambiguity with the concept of accompaniment on a shared journey to – I don’t know – and neither does he.

      • …. and yet you have “baptisms” wherein Catholic priests are guilty of ad libbing. That calls into question the form.

  31. Should anyone present themselves for Holy Communion since, by the Pope’s intimation, they are incapable of understanding clear teaching. Or would he condemn all to the punishment of not discerning the Body of the Lord?

    What’s needed, Holy Father, to combat the problem is sound teaching.

  32. I agree that too many couples are not well-formed in the Faith, and this is not just a “marriage preparation” problem; it’s a lack of catechesis.

    At our pre-marriage retreat, the priest running it told us all that if we went into the marriage with the attitude of “If we don’t work out, we can just get a divorce” then that marriage is invalid. I knew this, and so did my fiancé, but you should have heard the gasps and “Wha??” that went around that room. The priest clarified, “I’m not talking about the fleeting fear that you might end up divorced, or even the brief thought that divorce could be a way out. Those are fears. What I am talking about is that you go into the marriage with the idea that you can get out of it if you turn out not to be compatible with your spouse, or if problems come up.” Someone asked why (!) and he responded, “Because Catholic marriage is FOR LIFE and you have to understand that and accept it. If you don’t, if you think that you’ll be married only as long as you’re happy or some such thing — then I don’t care how big a wedding you had — your marriage will not be valid.”

    I know of several marriages where the couple were merely going through the motions of marrying in the Church to please their parents, or because the bride wanted a wonderful theater for “her” day. I also have heard of marriages where one or the other lied about the desire to have children, etc. Like you, I wouldn’t put a percentage on it; but they are definitely out there. On the survey sent to parishes prior to the Synod, I wrote about this very problem — the lack of catechesis, the lack of clarity and firmness during the preparation for marriage, and especially the lack of moral fortitude in the priests who know that a couple is doomed or lying or not understanding or not accepting what marriage means in the Catholic Church, but marry them anyway.

  33. You know, for a man who’s constantly being hailed as the “most pastoral Pope EVAH”, Francis certainly has a knack for undermining the efforts of the few people who actually might be interested in what he has to say—you know, the relatively few Catholics who actually accept all the teachings of the Church and try to follow them, humbly going to confession when they fall short—and causing them to come dangerously close to the sin of despair. How in the hell is it “pastoral” to come out and say “the majority of our sacramental marriages may be invalid”, thus causing those of us who, prior to his elocution, believed our marriages were fully sacramental and valid to now begin to question what we presumed was true? But, according to Francis the Merciful™, those who aren’t actually sacramentally married but are instead cohabiting may actually somehow have the “grace of a real marriage” . , , just because?!

    It’s becoming enough to seriously consider throwing up one’s hands and asking “why bother?” I mean, we all get to Heaven anyway, right?

  34. I never thought I’d see the day that the pope would be a cross the Church had to bear. God save us and him.

  35. “The final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family. Don’t be afraid, she added, because anyone who operates for the sanctity of marriage and the family will always be contended and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue. And then she concluded: however, Our Lady has already crushed its head”

    -Sr. Lucia

  36. “It’s provisional, and because of this the great majority of our sacramental marriages are null. Because they say “yes, for the rest of my life!” but they don’t know what they are saying. Because they have a different culture. They say it, they have good will, but they don’t know.”

    So his position is that the great majority of people who say, “Yes, for the rest of my life!” don’t actually understand what the rest of my life actually means because culture?

    That’s just stupid.

    Certainly they may not understand the implications of this commitment and the challenges they’ll face (who at the altar does), but if when they say it they actually mean “for the rest of my life”, even amidst doubts or fears, they’re validly married, and even if they change their mind about it later.

    • So his position is that the great majority of people who say, “Yes, for the rest of my life!” don’t actually understand what the rest of my life actually means because culture?

      That’s just stupid.

      Of course it is. Unless—and I grow so tired of this game of “What Does Francis Actually Mean?”—he has such contempt for people that he believes the majority of people have the intellectual maturity of first-graders when they declare they’re going to marry one of their classmates in elementary school, then announce the next day they have a new “boyfriend/girlfriend”.

      If that’s truly what he thinks, if he truly believes that adults are too stupid to know what “for life” means, then we’re down yet another rabbit hole in this pontificate.

      • Superhuman cognitive function is not required to make an oath. If it were, the Church would refer to marriage as only an ideal. Wait…

  37. Good Lord. It makes me almost want to boycott the Church. How can 99.999% of the so called Shepherds stay silent while calling lay Catholics “haters” for speaking out is beyond me. It’s literally demonic.

  38. Regarding the update: If a cohabiting couple somehow generates a “real marriage,” how can it possibly be the case that people who actually make a vow of lifelong fidelity only get it right less than half the time?

    These comments are inconsistent in addition to being ridiculous. The intent requirement is not a burdensome one. There need only be an intent at the time of the vow, and even in this culture, no one goes into a marriage ceremony and has the intention at the time they make the vow to terminate the marriage. Everyone thinks their marriage will last forever. They might quickly change their mind, but in that instant when it matters, the intention is clear.

  39. He spoke of his encounter with a woman in Buenos Aires who “reproached” him. She said that priests study for the priesthood for years and can get permission to leave the priesthood to marry and have a family. For the laity, this woman said, “we have to do the sacrament for our entire lives, and indissolubly, to us laity they give four (marriage preparation) conferences, and this is for our entire life.”

    Would it be impertinent to ask what specific measures the then-Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires took to strengthen marriage preparation courses during his 15 year tenure?

  40. At this point, I would like to remind anybody viewing this post about the vision Pope Leo XIII had in the 1880s, the one that motivated him to write the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel to protect the church.

    Leo saw the following conversation between Jesus and Satan:

    Satan: I can destroy the Catholic Church.
    Jesus: Then go ahead.
    Satan: I need time and I need power.
    Jesus: How much time and how much power?
    Satan: I need about a century and I need the power to dominate those who will give themselves over to me.
    Jesus: You have the time and you have the power. Do what you want.

    Now, I ask you, if St. Michael’s loyalty to the Triune Godhead is absolute and if Jesus Himself gave such a command to Satan, do you seriously believe that any archangel will abrogate Jesus’ authority, even at the request of a Pope?

    Catholicism is doomed unless its leadership, from Francis on down, repents of its institutional arrogance and its obsessions with intellectual fashion, political influence, secular prestige and wealth, and returns to its First Love. Remember the warnings to the churches in Revelation 2-3. Remember what happened to Israel and Judah (the Northern and Southern kingdoms, respectively), when they reached the point of no return with God.

    The Triune God head will protect the faith. He will not protect apostate leadership, nor those who follow it blindly.

    That is all.

  41. This is Francis’ way of getting around the adultery accusation, as aided and abetted by his fast-track catholic divorce (errrr, “annulment”) canon law updates.

  42. Pope Francis could hardly be elected through the guidance of the Holy Ghost for Pope Benedict XVI. was and is still the true pope. That is my understanding of Archbishops Gänswein`s speech a couple of weeks ago. Aren`t both something like a “cohabiting couple” with Benedict still being the chief?
    Therefore, whatever “pope” Francis may utter or do in regard to the teachings and dogmas of the church: it is not last authentically- and his private papal talking should not bother at all. He himself said: who am I to judge? So, he has got nothing to say.

    • Excellent analogy about the “expanded Petrine ministry!”
      The Holy Ghost allows free will to reign. Papal elections are in no way infallible or inspired acts. Not that you believe that but many erroneously do, hence my comment for them.

  43. Most “average Catholics” have no concept of sin or purgatory. Their loved ones depart from this world with a funeral rite replete of white vestments, Alleluias, Jesus loves us all, kumbaya. These people also believe all “good” people, and certainly those they love, go to Heaven. There is no conception of anything other than light and happiness at the end of the rainbow. Nothing is truly offered for the reparation of the deceased’s sin in the Novus funeral rite. People are there to meet, greet, eulogize, and canonize. Problems then are catechesis, priests, and modern social beliefs. If we follow Pope Francis’s logic on null marriages, giving more reverence to the religion of humanism & modernity than to Almighty God and His Holy Church, perhaps Francis should just declare everyone’s loved ones saints upon death.

    Yeah, no false idols here! Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!

  44. If you don’t play the game; you don’t make the rules. And if you’ve never been married, you’ve no concept of how it works to begin with.

  45. He’s finally done it. I’ve been waiting. I’ve been sitting here chewing my nails for a couple of years now. Pope Francis has actually managed to make me angry! How DARE he insinuate that there’s a good chance my marriage to my wife is invalid? How DARE he cause those who are trying so hard in difficult circumstances in their married life think they might not actually be married? How dare he cause children to question their own legitimacy? I’m actually angry.

    • Same here. I am infuriated as well that he judge in such a way, the man who said, “Whom am I to judge? How dare he cast doubt upon these marriages! I do believe that he has more trust in the fallibility of nan than in the omnipotence of God and the Church’s role as Bride. If he doubts the validity of these marriages, he doubts the Bride and therefore doubts the Bridegroom. Jesus Christ

  46. Maybe Pope Francis’s election was null. Actually, there is more probability of truthfulness of the statement that his election was null than the ludicrous statement that the great majority of Catholic marriages are.

  47. Adherence to The Dogmatic Sacraments as handed down from The Fathers, unmolested and distorted by Modernists, leads to true charity, true faith, true hope!

    Who are we to believe? Jesus Christ, John The Baptist, St Paul, all Holy Saints and all his predecessors for 2000 years or Pope Francis? I’m going with Jesus Christ and his friends.
    The Pope’s fundamental job is the same as Jesus Christ’s mandate to Peter, “confirming the brethren in the faith” not to disorient, confuse, destabilize and mislead.

    Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus!!!

    Luke 17:1-2; Matthew 28:19

  48. BTW… as I just remarked to someone, the Pope didn’t change the Code of Canon Law or anything else for that matter via off-the-cuff remarks to a layman during Q&A at a conference. What he said may be confusing, and we can use his words as a stimulus to do a better job of marriage prep, but his words change nothing: the Church’s pernnenial teaching and law are today what they were the day before yesterday.

    Don’t have a spittle-flecked nutty. Just shake your head with a smile as you flip to another page and say, “Bless him, he sure likes to gab with people, doesn’t he!”

    Maybe Fr. Z. has the right response to his habitual heterodoxy; infantilise him and treat him as though he were a youth spouting-off on a playground for in treating him that way one does not have to make a judgment about him and how he is or isn’t faithfully discharging his duties.

    One simply can not imagine taking that as a serious approach were we not talking about whom we are talking about but, rather, imagine we were talking about, say, the President of the United States who habitually claimed that he First Amendment does not mean what it means but the exact opposite.

    Who would respond to such claims by pretending the POTUS is just a cute lil’ inoffensive person whose opinions and statements did not actually result in an Amendment to the Constitution and so we should just smile and ignore him rather than to confront his errors?

    Is he who we are talking about occupying an office less important than the POTUS?

    Clearly, there is a reluctance to face the execrable crisis presented by he whom habitually engages in heterodoxy but ignoring him and smiling at his putative cuteness is not the response of an adult catholic militant.

  49. What I am about to say is a little off topic, but then again not really. Here we are arguing and debating about that which is not arguable and debatable, all because the Bishop of Rome, as he prefers to be called, has made heretical statements about the Sacrament of Marriage. His words are simply heretical. Ann Barnhardt has a new article up on her website stating what I have known in my heart for some time. I agree with her one hundred percent. She states that Bergoglio is an antipope, and that this is not to say that the seat in Rome is empty because we already have a pope, Pope Benedict XV1. Her thesis is sound. Go read it. You can find her website among the favorites of Vox Cantoris. Unless and until the ugly reality of Bergoglio’s true antipope status is admitted he, and the evil, masonic cabal for which he is the front man, will continue to dismantle our precious Faith. Let us pray for Holy Mother Church and for each of us who will have to take a stand for Christ or for the evil one masquerading as a man of God.

    • More ridiculous than the Siri thesis. At least with the Siri thesis, you had on the record conversations with Cardinal Siri where he never denied being elected at the 1958 conclave.

      The Benedict thesis utterly fails because the Pope Emeritus himself addressed the rumors.

      “”There is absolutely no doubt regarding the validity of my resignation from the Petrine ministry,” Benedict, 86, who now has the title “pope emeritus,” said in a letter to the Italian website Vatican Insider published on Wednesday.

      “The only condition for the validity of my resignation is the complete freedom of my decision. Speculation regarding its validity is simple absurd,” he wrote in answer to a request by the website for comment on recent Italian media reports.”

  50. I just put a comment on this site regarding Ann Barnhardt’s latest article stating that Bergoglio is an antipope, and I also stated in my comment that I agreed with her one hundred percent. Has my comment been deleted? If so why?
    I am so sorry. I found my comment. You did not delete it. Thanks.

  51. This is typical of the statements made by this Pope and many bishops in the Church.
    The average Catholic, who is poorly catechized if they are catechized at all, and non Catholics will totally fall for everything he says, being ignorant of doctrines on infallibility, the sacraments, validity, Church history, etc etc etc.

    But here’s the catch — Pope Francis is actually correct about the woeful status of premarital preparation in the Catholic Church. He may be wrong about nullity, but 100% correct on how pathetic and poorly executed marriage “preparations” can be in some parishes. Absolutely NO spiritual retreat or guidance.

    Dear Lord have mercy! You warned what would happen to those who lead these little ones of Yours astray!

  52. For me, this discussion on the Internet has to be one of the oddest ones in a long time. I hear the Pope FINALLY pointing out, though in an admittedly brash and even crude way, the abject state of crisis within marriage, in catechesis, and in adherence to Church teaching, something more traditional Catholics have been saying for decades, and everyone pounces.

    As any thinking Catholic knows, marriage as a sacrament well pre-dates the existence of canon law; canon law neither creates nor dissolve marriages—these arguments to me are special pleading.

    But, if you drill down a bit, I think what’s actually bugging the Monaghan Cabal (Peters, Fr. Zuhlsdorf, et al.) are the ramifications of what certain Cardinals and/or the Pope might try to do with all this down the road. And that’s concerning, even threatening, but that’s also not something that’s happened yet. Faithful Catholics can’t scream “heresy” at a Pope (or anyone else) based on whether or not he has got his facts right–only whether his teaching is in accordance with the Magisterium of the Church. To say that half of marriages are “null” is not Church teaching, it’s a judgment about the current state of affairs. There’s a difference between being wrong and being heretical.

    So, does the Pope have his facts right? Unless Pope Francis has magic powers, or unless a tribunal judges every marriage, he can’t KNOW this is the case. But what’s his evidence? Is this a reasonable conclusion?

    What IS known is that the vast, vast majority of marriages that are examined by a marriage tribunal are judged to be null, and the most common judgment is ignorance about the nature of marriage at the time the marriage was entered into (Cn. 1096, 1). Ignorance in the Church!! Whodahthunk?!

    While the Pope’s statement is a 2×4 up the side of the head, to say that half of Catholic “marriages” are null is far from an unreasonable conclusion—just an extremely uncomfortable one. Given the state of marriage preparation and catechesis, I’d be shocked to find out that it’s even half.

    Thus, more traditionally-minded Catholics are, now, out of the blue, arguing that everything in the Candyland of pre-Cana is just hunky-dory? Just to jump the Pope? Peters, a perfect example of this faulty line of reasoning, seems to be arguing straight out of the NCR playbook: “But he’s not being paaaaastoraaaal!”

    Peters doesn’t say that the Pope is wrong, just that he’s being being mean. What a bizarre world.

      • If you follow Jimmy Akins’ logic, you’d have to argue that the Church has been incorrect in its tribunals’ judgment of nullity in the vast majority of cases brought before them, and moreover in their reasoning therein (ignorance; Canon 1096,(1) etc.)—something Akins avoids even pointing out because the implications are simply too grave. Akins is essentially saying that the Church has misunderstood the nature of marriage over the centuries.

        Akins thus turns the Church itself into a prime promoter of adultery in their acts of assuring people they were invalidly married (because of ignorance or lack of form) and thus free to marry someone else, when they actually ARE married, at least under Akins’ understanding of the Bible. That’s a far, far more scandalous accusation than anything the Pope has said.

        Either Akins is correct and the judgments of most tribunals are wrong or the Pope is correct and most people who think they are “married” actually are not. You can’t have it both ways.

        • No, Our Lord’s teaching is clear, and the Church simply judges whether the individuals in the annulment process deliberately intended AGAINST the vows they pronounced. That’s a completely different thing altogether, which requires more time than I have at the moment to make the necessary distinctions.

          • davend, yours is one of the best comments ever. 1″Akins avoids even pointing out because the implications are simply too grave.” 2.” the judgments of most tribunals are wrong or the Pope is correct and most people who think they are “married” actually are not. You can’t have it both ways.” Robert Vasoli in his book “What God has Joined” explains that the USA tribunal system is de facto in schism with Rome because 93% of american annulments are overturned at the Rota. The pope is logically suggesting that “most marriages are invalid” because that is the message coming from Western tribunals. The dirty little secret is that the Western tribunals are wrong – along with the pope.

  53. I think Jimmy Akins over at National Catholic Register has made some fantastic points that definitively address the question and why this statement by the Holy Father is so outrageous.

    The main thrust is this….

    Our Lord came to a world and culture that had no more regard for the permanence of marriage than does ours; not even among the Jews, who also permitted divorce.

    So the Holy Father’s pretense that this “provisional” mindset with regard to marriage is something new that nullifies the vast majority of marriages is an absolutely false premise.

    Akins goes on to make the absolutely correct point that Christ addressed the entire world when He said “He who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, etc….”

    Our Lord didn’t qualify His meaning by saying He was addressing only those whose marriages had been impeccably effected in form and intent to begin with.

    No, He was speaking to everyone.

    This is why Pope Francis’ statements were so frightfully inappropriate and just add to the already mounting moral confusion he is sowing in the Church and in the world.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Popular on OnePeterFive

Share to...