Pope Francis may float compromise on divorce - John L Allen
#1
John L Allen from his new paper, The Boston Globe


Pope Francis may float compromise on divorce

By John L. Allen Jr. |  GLOBE STAFF    FEBRUARY 17, 2014

In the Catholic church, just like on Capitol Hill, sometimes you can almost smell a compromise solution to a thorny problem taking shape. That may be the case now with regard to allowing divorced and remarried Catholics to receive the sacraments, among the headaches facing Pope Francis during what promises to be a very busy week.

Believe it or not, the classically Italian concept of “mamma-ism,” meaning control over a married couple by a domineering mom, may play a key role.

Starting today, Francis will take part in three days of meetings with his “G8” council of eight cardinal advisors, a body in which Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston is the lone American. They’re expected to examine Vatican finances and downsizing the bureaucracy.

Next, Francis will preside over a Feb. 20-21 meeting of most of the cardinals of the world just before Saturday’s consistory. That’s an event in which the pope will induct 19 new members into the church’s most exclusive club, the College of Cardinals.


The session with cardinals will set the table for a global summit of bishops in October to talk about marriage and the family. Among the hard questions is whether Catholics who divorce and remarry without an annulment, a church declaration voiding the first marriage, should be allowed to receive communion and the other sacraments of the church.

It’s hard to overstate how important the issue is at the retail level. A 2007 study found that in the United States, nearly 10 percent of Catholics are divorced and remarried 10 years after their first marriage, a figure that rises to 18 percent after 20 years.

Finding a way to let those folks receive the sacraments has been kicked around for decades, and Francis seemed to open the door to relaxation of the rules during remarks in July. Senior cardinals have differed, with the coordinator of the G8 panel saying change is possible but both the Vatican’s doctrinal czar and O’Malley signaling it’s probably not.

German Cardinal-to-be Gerhard Müller and O’Malley have argued that given Christ’s teaching on marriage – “what God has joined, let no one separate” – somebody who remarries without an annulment is at odds with the faith, and therefore can’t receive the sacraments.

Sometimes mocked as “Catholic divorce,” an annulment is a declaration by a church court that a marriage never existed in the first place because one of the conditions for validity wasn’t satisfied, such as free consent by both parties.

Facing that tension, a compromise may be coming into focus: No change on the sacraments ban, but an easier and broader process for granting annulments.

O’Malley floated that idea during a recent Globe interview, saying that perhaps annulments could be sped up by eliminating the possibility of appeal to Rome, a provision that often means a case can drag on for years if one of the parties wants to contest the result.

A Feb. 15 conference of church lawyers in the Italian region of Liguria seemed to point in the same direction, arguing that the grounds upon which an annulment can be granted ought to be expanded.

In particular, these church lawyers proposed adding “mamma-ism” to the list, meaning a situation in which spouses are so completely under the thumb of one of their parents – usually, according to the jurists, the mom – that they don’t have free will.

Whatever one makes of “mamma-ism” as a legal or psychological concept, it illustrates how eager many Catholic officials are to make annulments more user-friendly.

Here’s why.

Many Catholic conservatives believe now is the wrong moment to be weakening the church’s defense of the sanctity of marriage, especially in light of growing momentum for gay marriage across the developed world. As they see it, letting divorced and remarried Catholics return to the sacraments en masse would amount to throwing in the towel.

Liberals and moderates wanting change can’t just ignore this pushback from those concerned about the doctrinal and political implications.

Faster, easier, and cheaper annulments may be a way to give everybody at least some of what they want – upholding the indissolubility of marriage, but also providing millions of divorced and remarried Catholics an exit strategy from their form of limbo.

We’ll know soon if that’s how it looks to the almost 200 cardinals of the world, who will be sharing their thoughts with Francis this week.


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#2
Cardinal O'Malley gave a recent interview in which  he said he really didn't think it would be possible for the divorced and remarried to receive communion.


C.
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#3
(02-17-2014, 08:55 PM)Cetil Wrote: Cardinal O'Malley gave a recent interview in which  he said he really didn't think it would be possible for the divorced and remarried to receive communion.


C.

Jesus Christ gave a similar interview 2,000 years ago and He agrees.
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#4
What i think is going to happen is that a commision may recommend a compromise and Pope Francis will reiterate what the Catholic has always taught. Then his popularity with the "policically correct" people will plummet. This is exactly what happened to Pope Paul VI when he promulgated Humanae Vitae.
 
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#5
(02-18-2014, 01:54 AM)Poche Wrote: What i think is going to happen is that a commision may recommend a compromise and Pope Francis will reiterate what the Catholic has always taught. Then his popularity with the "policically correct" people will plummet. This is exactly what happened to Pope Paul VI when he promulgated Humanae Vitae.
 

I don't think this will be settled by the G8 cardinals. It's on the agenda for the Extraordinary Synod in October of this year. There won't be a decision before then.

http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories...304231.htm

C.
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#6
(02-17-2014, 08:55 PM)Cetil Wrote: Cardinal O'Malley gave a recent interview in which  he said he really didn't think it would be possible for the divorced and remarried to receive communion.


C.

The problem I have with this is Cardinal O'Malley has a very consistent pattern. I've seen it over and over again. Cardinal O'Malley will come out in a public interview and state something that is very clear church teaching and take a clear stand, like this. Then in the background an agenda will proceed and that exact thing he spoke out against will silently move forward without him uttering a peep.

- The Gay Mass at St Cecilia's in Boston

He spoke out against this, could've stopped this, didn't stop it and then did nothing when it happened.

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massach...olic_mass/

- Euthanasia legislation in Massachusetts, he spoke out against it and the law was defeated. It's coming back and the Archdiocese is silent..

http://bostoncatholicinsider.wordpress.c...is-silent/

I'm sure I could dig up more examples.

DON'T BE FOOLED!!
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#7
Here's a question
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#8
From New Advent

"The inadmissibility of absolute divorce was ordained by Christ Himself according to the testimony of the Apostles and Evangelists: "Whoever shall put away his wife and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if the wife shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery" (Mark 10:11, 12 — Cf. Matthew 19:9; Luke 16:18). In like manner, St. Paul: "To them that are married, not I but the Lord commandeth, that the wife depart not from her husband. And if she depart, she remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband. And let not the husband put away his wife" (1 Corinthians 7:10, 11). In these words Christ restored the original indissolubility of marriage as it had been ordained by God in the Creation and was grounded in human nature. This is expressly stated by Him against the Pharisees, who put forward the separation allowed by Moses: "Moses by reason of hardness of your heart permitted you to put away your wives": but from the beginning it was not so" (Matthew 19:8); "He who made man from the beginning, made them male and female. And he said: For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be in one flesh. Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder" (Matthew 19:4-6). The indissolubility of all marriage, not merely of Christian marriage, is here affirmed. The permanence of marriage for the whole human race according to natural law is here confirmed and ratified by a Divine positive ordinance."

There is a LOT more info at the follow link... It really doesn't look like there is much wiggle room.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05054c.htm
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#9
(02-18-2014, 11:40 AM)Ptochos Wrote: I don't know how they justify allowing the 2 divorces but the fact that they do indicates the possibility of the Church being flexible.

protestants can justify anything .
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#10
Any formula or decision that is not simply a restating of the established doctrine, will end in corruption and confusion.
I don't think that the early church situation can be used as an example because they went from a pagan concept to the Christian, which was a movement towards the true understanding.
I don't see how we can justify going from a Christian vew back to a pagan one.
The problem isn't about divorce, the problem is about having sufficient devotion to keep from mortal sin so one can receive communion.
People want to do whatever they want in bed and also receive Our Lord on Sundays.... this is the real problem... people aren't willing to sacrifice anything for a true spiritual life, they just want to go through the motions.
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