Photography by Ged Carroll, Kate Gardlner, Franco Origlia.
Pope Francis, the validly elected head of the Catholic Church has been recently criticized by various conservative catholic bloggers who are determined to protect the Church from its Pope.
Pope Francis recently commented on the state of marriage not as being as permanent as it should be. Conservative bloggers immediately leaped on to his words and their agonized replies ranged from ‘I don’t know where to start in expressing my dismay’ to ‘the Pope is wrong’ to ‘Is Pope Francis losing his mind?’
That most marriages are in trouble is something that traditionalist Catholic bloggers would like to usually point out. However, antipathy for the Pope’s expressing of Catholic teachings in areas usually uncomfortable for Catholic bloggers resulted in them giving the impression as if the Pope about to carpet bomb Catholic parishes with involuntary annulments for almost everyone.
Here is a selection of headlines from traditionalist Catholic bloggers whose intellectual blood pressure has recently gone up:
In the Catholic Church, there are several reasons that could nullify a marriage canonically speaking. These include:
- Simulation of consent by not consenting to a lifetime commitment or conditional consent to a lifetime commitment to the marriage.
- Deliberately lying about inability to conduct marital intimacy,
- Seriously lacking in intellectual ability to understand marital rights and responsibilities,
- Lack of intent to be open to the openness to life in marital intimacy.
In other words, if you get married and don’t feel it’s for life, can’t have sex, don’t want to have kids, or don’t know what you’re getting into, then the Catholic Church could decide to declare the marriage nullified because it can’t said to have been legitimately existing due to the above conditions. The wide spread of marriage nullity has been publicly spoken on with much more indirect and diplomatic language by previous Popes before-
The wide spread of marriage nullity has been publicly spoken on with much more indirect and diplomatic language by previous Popes before- including conservative favorite Pope Benedict:
Statement by Pope Benedict XVI
This is not the moment to draw up a balance sheet, but no one can fail to see that there continues to be a concrete and pressing problem in this regard. In some cases, unfortunately, one can still perceive the urgent need to which my venerable Predecessor pointed: that of preserving the ecclesial community “from the scandal of seeing the value of Christian marriage being destroyed in practice by the exaggerated and almost automatic multiplication of declarations of nullity, in cases of the failure of marriage, on the pretext of some immaturity or psychic weakness on the part of the contracting parties” (Address to the Roman Rota, 5 February 1987, n. 9).
It is the prerogative of the Holy Father in recognition of their strategic position to be as indirect, polite, and diplomatic in their public language whenever possible or on occasion use more direct language. This indirect language is because sometimes the Holy Father must encourage logistical and ground level change while not offending a major cause, issue, or organization opposed to change. It is an essential component of diplomacy and strategy by the Holy Father. However, conservatives have yet to become used to Pope Francis’s directness after the gently indirect language of John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI on this issue of people wanting the appearance of marriage but not the responsibilities thereof.
I feel that some traditional conservatives need to put on their big boy denim overalls and be not afraid about the Holy Father being more direct. Catholic marriages are in trouble.
The problem, of course, is the social walls which once held the fluid nature of marriage in place are being removed. Once human sexuality is no longer linked to procreation, the temptation to find a newer and more attractive partner is no longer held back by the necessity of staying committed with the father or mother of their children. Catholic persons intending to enter into marriage while using artificial means of birth control to prevent conception of children are also regarded as making null the sacrament of marriage. An essential element of marriage is the procreation and education of marriage, rejection of this is a nullification of marriage.
%82 of Catholics Feel using Artificial Birth Control is okay.
In Catholicism, people don’t take votes as to what is right or wrong. Even if %82 of married Catholics feel using hormonal birth control or prophylactics that doesn’t make it right. However if they intend to enter into marriage to do this, their intent and action does nullify what marriage should be.
Marriage is no longer regarded as permanent by most people, but only as ‘as long as I feel like it’ – which is not long. Perhaps they have more time if they are safely ensconced in the upper classes far removed from the winds of economic fluxation and turmoil in the job market.We do not live in a time where traditional marriage is prized, but rather where its destruction can result in cash in prizes for one spouse and thereby subsidizing a multi-billion dollar judicial and legal industry designed to destroy marriages.
However, for now, conservative Catholics and traditionalists attempt to save us from being misled by the Holy Father. I feel that we do not need to be saved from the Holy Father, but rather from our social storms not of his making.