Author Topic: Most marriages today are invalid, Pope Francis suggests  (Read 713 times)

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Offline Luthien

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Most marriages today are invalid, Pope Francis suggests
« on: June 18, 2016, 04:35:33 PM »
Okay, I looked to see if anyone posted this, but I couldn't find it. This story is being posted all over Facebook and Catholic forums.
 
https://cruxnow.com/cna/2016/06/17/308755/

I just need to vent here. Maybe someone will read this who can relate?

I'm soooooo irritated right now. It is just one thing after another as a Catholic, and I am asking myself what on earth is happening?

If what Pope Francis says is true (and I myself have contemplated the idea on occasion given the current state of affairs in the RCC in relation to marriage and anullments).... then I would have to seriously wonder how is it possible that the RCC can possibly be THE Church. I mean, if can't even administer this sacrament in any meaningful way...what now?

Orthodoxy is always in the back of my mind (sometimes in the front) , but things like this are pushing me increasingly away from the RCC. There are a number of factors why I cannot convert to Orthodoxy (or at least perceived obstacles), but remaining a Catholic at this point is starting to feel like an exercise in futility and frustration.

I can pretend all I want that the Catholic Church, at its heart, is representative of traditional Christianity...but, in reality what Orthodoxy practices is, in fact, traditional, and I often find myself saying things like: "Oh, well, it used to be that way in the West...the Orthodox still do this even today" when trying to explain why the Catholic faith is the way it is today. Many Catholics have warned me that that is Orthodoxy's allure.

It SEEMS traditional, but it is really Satan's trick in order to take believers away from the True Church. They also like to suggest giving Orthodoxy 50 years or so to catch up to post Vatican II levels of decay. I even here some hardliner Orthodox saying much the same about the latter idea much to my dismay.

Well, now I am starting to feel like...if Orthodoxy is wrong, then I don't wanna be right.

Enough of that.

Really though, does the idea that most marriages administered by the Church are invalid even make sense? Any Catholics our there willing to defend that idea?
« Last Edit: June 18, 2016, 04:38:09 PM by Luthien »

Offline Rohzek

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Re: Most marriages today are invalid, Pope Francis suggests
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2016, 05:01:33 PM »
Just a few comments. First, on a personal level, I don't think the differences between Catholic and Orthodox views on marriage are all that diametrically opposed. I don't believe the idea that the couple marries one another (Catholic) and that the Church marries the couple (Orthodox) are mutually exclusive.

All that being said, the idea that people don't know what they are getting into when they get married is somewhat laughable. Sure it might occur in some instances, but the slip of the tongue from Pope Francis seems to suggest that he thinks it occurs often enough. People often go into marriages with the right intentions, but then for one reason or another grow apart and fracture it. It's the Catholic legalism and inability to understand the subjunctive verb tense of Christ's command on marriage that is the root of the problem. Marriages do get torn asunder. The sacrament can be dissolved. But the insistence that it cannot compounds the pastoral problems that have already resulted in the real breakdown of a marriage. As a consequence, the Catholic Church at various levels have sought ways to rationalize a few pastoral options, that is annulment generally, that would otherwise seem extremely gymnastic.

One further note, there won't be an Orthodox Vatican II.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2016, 05:03:56 PM by Rohzek »
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Offline Gamliel

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Re: Most marriages today are invalid, Pope Francis suggests
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2016, 06:03:51 PM »
I have seen what Pope Francis is referring to.  Some people get married and think, "Hey, if it does not work out, we will just dissolve it.  No big deal,"

Offline PJ26

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Re: Most marriages today are invalid, Pope Francis suggests
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2016, 09:20:27 PM »
It's not only that he said that the great majority of Catholic marriages are invalid, he also said:

“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."

So your church marriage is invalid, but that couple next door who is "shacking up" - they have the grace of a real marriage...

I'm so glad I converted...now, I just have to get my wife to see the light, assuming she is actually my wife.... ???

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Most marriages today are invalid, Pope Francis suggests
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2016, 10:31:07 PM »
Are Catholics this unsure about any of their other sacraments? "Well, we did sprinkle you with water, but we don't know if it was a valid baptism or not..." or "we think we consecrated this Host, but it might actually just be a wafer still..."
The term planet earth is an innovation which has arisen in recent centuries with the error of heliocentrism.

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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Most marriages today are invalid, Pope Francis suggests
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2016, 07:07:31 PM »
Why do you trust that site?
Quote from: Pope Francis
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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Most marriages today are invalid, Pope Francis suggests
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2016, 09:21:11 PM »
Are Catholics this unsure about any of their other sacraments? "Well, we did sprinkle you with water, but we don't know if it was a valid baptism or not..." or "we think we consecrated this Host, but it might actually just be a wafer still..."
If people were as eager for a new baptism as they are for a new marriage, conveniently degracing first baptisms might be a suitable option.
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Offline Minnesotan

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Re: Most marriages today are invalid, Pope Francis suggests
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2016, 10:32:02 PM »
Are Catholics this unsure about any of their other sacraments? "Well, we did sprinkle you with water, but we don't know if it was a valid baptism or not..." or "we think we consecrated this Host, but it might actually just be a wafer still..."
If people were as eager for a new baptism as they are for a new marriage, conveniently degracing first baptisms might be a suitable option.

Or just a conditional baptism.

The problem is, there is no such thing as conditional marriage. "If you are not already married to someone else, then I hereby pronounce you married to this person" just wouldn't work.

If polygamy were still an option then the whole divorce-and-remarriage thing would be moot. Of course Rome is never going to full-on allow polygamy, no matter how much some of the African faithful might want them to. But I suppose if Rome wanted to have their cake and eat it too, they could make it possible to merely "inactivate" (rather than dissolve) the first marriage, and then make a provision that bigamy is allowed only as long as the first marriage has already been inactivated. This would provide a face-saving way to avoid contradicting their own theology of marriage, although it'd be only slightly less controversial. There would have to be restrictions to prevent this from happening frivolously (i. e., that the spouses must be separated for 5 years first, for instance). It still sounds better than the Marty McFly approach that annulment may end up becoming.

The other thing is, what if one spouse is missing and possibly dead, but their actual status is not known for sure. How do Roman Catholics deal with that situation? It doesn't seem fair to me to deny remarriage to someone in this situation just because it can't be proven with 100% certainty that their partner isn't alive somewhere on a desert island or in a remote tribal village.

I agree with Rohzek that the differences between West and East on their views of marriage aren't necessarily irreconcilable; these differences existed long prior to the Schism too, if I'm not mistaken. If Rome were to make "inactivation" an option, it would effectively make Rome and the EO's pastoral approach to marriage more or less the same, even if they define their terms differently.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2016, 10:34:48 PM by Minnesotan »
I'm not going to be posting as much on OC.Net as before. I might stop in once in a while though. But I've come to realize that real life is more important.

Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Most marriages today are invalid, Pope Francis suggests
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2016, 10:46:31 PM »
Do Eastern Catholics follow the same basic matrimonial laws regarding marriage as Latins?
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Offline Luthien

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Re: Most marriages today are invalid, Pope Francis suggests
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2016, 07:54:26 AM »
Do Eastern Catholics follow the same basic matrimonial laws regarding marriage as Latins?

Yes, they do.

Which makes the whole matter even more confusing. Easterners retain Orthodox sacramental theology and practice, so...I don't know how the whole annulment thing would make sense in that context. It would suggest some issue with the Church administering this sacrament, which in turn would suggest a defect in the Church, or perhaps Donatism.

I suppose there are contexts in which an Orthodox wedding could be "invalid"... but it has nothing to do with the intent of  the couple involved. Since the priest himself administers the sacrament, and since divorce is not allowed for any Catholics, then when an Easterner gets an annulment, I have no idea how that would proceed. I also have no idea how there can be two different sacramental theologies in one Church either...

Since Latin Catholic laymen administer the sacrament of matrimony themselves they can suggest, as P. Franks has, that most marriages today are invalid.

I have often wondered how Eastern Catholics fit in with all of this, but honestly, nobody in Catholicland knows about them, let alone cares.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2016, 08:00:44 AM by Luthien »

Offline Luthien

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Re: Most marriages today are invalid, Pope Francis suggests
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2016, 08:02:25 AM »
Why do you trust that site?

I'm not sure why you are ask. This story has appeared on numerous websites, both secular and Catholic, saying the same thing. So, I didn't really think about the sources beyond it being a well-read Catholic site. I myself don't follow it.

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Most marriages today are invalid, Pope Francis suggests
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2016, 01:59:11 PM »
Why do you trust that site?

I'm not sure why you are ask.

Contrarianism?
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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Most marriages today are invalid, Pope Francis suggests
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2016, 05:56:30 PM »
Why do you trust that site?

I'm not sure why you are ask.
Because the interpretation that he means most marriages are actually invalid in the eyes of the Church is something we might call into question.
Quote from: Pope Francis
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Offline Justin Kolodziej

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Re: Most marriages today are invalid, Pope Francis suggests
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2016, 08:34:57 PM »
Do Eastern Catholics follow the same basic matrimonial laws regarding marriage as Latins?

Yes, they do.

Which makes the whole matter even more confusing. Easterners retain Orthodox sacramental theology and practice, so...I don't know how the whole annulment thing would make sense in that context. It would suggest some issue with the Church administering this sacrament, which in turn would suggest a defect in the Church, or perhaps Donatism.

I suppose there are contexts in which an Orthodox wedding could be "invalid"... but it has nothing to do with the intent of  the couple involved. Since the priest himself administers the sacrament, and since divorce is not allowed for any Catholics, then when an Easterner gets an annulment, I have no idea how that would proceed. I also have no idea how there can be two different sacramental theologies in one Church either...

Since Latin Catholic laymen administer the sacrament of matrimony themselves they can suggest, as P. Franks has, that most marriages today are invalid.

I have often wondered how Eastern Catholics fit in with all of this, but honestly, nobody in Catholicland knows about them, let alone cares.
It wouldn't be all that different. In the east the Bishop figures it out, if one or both of the couple had some impediment that the priest did not know about that made the marriage invalid, then it wouldn't matter if the priest or the couple is the minister. In the west the Bishop puts together a marriage tribunal and the validity of the marriage is put on trial, as it were. Though now Pope Francis has made it a law that if it's obvious the Bishop can just say it's invalid in the west too.

I just feel that Pope Francis is leading lots of people into sin with his Apostolic Exhortation and now these types of comments.
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