Sign of things to come at the Synod?
Francis Presides over Weddings: Some Couples Lived Together Beforehand, Some with Child, Some with Prior Annulments
You can’t make this stuff up; you just can’t. Take a look at this news piece released by a Novus Ordo news service on September 11:
Among the men and women Pope Francis was set to unite in marriage were Catholics who have been living together as well as couples who already have children.
The pope, who is the bishop of Rome, will preside over his first wedding ceremony as pontiff during a nuptial Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica Sept. 14.
“Those who will get married Sunday are couples like many others,” the diocese said in a press release Sept. 10.
It said the couples also come from all kinds of situations with some “who have been engaged for a long period of time or for not as long; there are those who are already cohabitating; who already have children; who got to know each other in church,” it said.
While cohabitation is not in itself a canonical impediment to marriage, it is contrary to the church’s teaching on marriage and sexual love. The church urges that pastoral ministers help couples preparing for marriage by showing them the witness of Christian family life in such a way as they may regularize their situation before their wedding ceremony.
One of the brides, identified only as Gabriella, has never been married, but she had a daughter when she was quite young, she told the Italian daily La Repubblica Sept. 9. Her grown daughter will also attend the ceremony at the Vatican, Gabriella said.
Gabriella’s fiance, Guido, has had an annulment, the newspaper said.
“We’ve known each other for five years and our wanting to get married in the church stems from no longer wanting to live in a union and with feelings that are deprived of some of the sacraments,” the couple said.
(Carol Glatz, “Couples with kids, cohabitating are among those marrying at papal Mass”, Catholic News Service, Sep. 11, 2014)
“Pope” Francis — or “Chaos Frank”, as we like to call him — simply cannot refrain from upsetting everything and causing scandal. He must introduce his novelties at every step, no doubt another sign of his profound “humility.” He cannot even officiate at weddings without offending Catholic teaching and practice — without causing chaos, in other words.
The weddings occurred as planned on September 14, the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. Here is a video of the exchange of vows:
Take a look at how the brides are dressed. Many of them are quite immodest (sleeveless or even strapless dresses, low-cut tops) — things that often occasion sin in men, especially in youths. But then again, Francis doesn’t take sin all that seriously. He keeps saying “God never tires of forgiving” and always only talks “mercy”, never judgment or damnation (except for the Mafia!) and even went so far as to state that Christians need not worry about the Last Judgment! This one-sided overemphasis on mercy has the effect of encouraging people to continue in sin, under the guise of “mercy.” Contrast this with the words of our holy Lord Jesus Christ, who, when forgiving the woman caught in adultery, admonished her: “Go, and now sin no more” (Jn 8:11).
What’s also curious is that all of the brides at this wedding are wearing white, including the one(s) who have cohabitated with their boyfriends beforehand. But the white bridal dress is supposed to signify purity and virginity — making, again, a mockery of Catholic morals under the supervision of Francis.
The fact that chaste couples are mixed together with couples who have been living in sin in this ceremony is also a great affront to the virtuous partners, who remained pure and faithful to our Lord in their engagement. This is so not only because they are in the same ceremony as the public sinners are but also because people will always ask themselves, “I wonder which of these people were the ones living together?” What a sad spectacle! No one can ruin a beautiful thing like Francis can.
Needless to say, we wish all the best to these 20 newly-weds (assuming all of them were validly married). However, given the Novus Ordo Sect’s track record, how many of these do you think will petition for an annulment before too long, insisting that their exchange of vows today was not valid before God?
Here are some news reports about the weddings that took place on Sep. 14:
- “40 ‘I Do’s’ at Vatican as Pope marries 20 Couples”
- “Pope breaks taboo by marrying couples who lived ‘in sin’”
- “Pope marries couples who have cohabited, had children”
- “Pope defies doctrine in public wedding”
Now let’s analyze and clarify this a bit more, because we can already hear typical Novus Ordo objections being hurled at us from the blogosphere and the Twitterverse, along the lines of, “Oh, so you’re against people getting married? Isn’t that what cohabitating couples are supposed to do — get married? Who are you to cast the first stone? You self-righteous pharisees!” So let’s address this before Mark Shea & Co. can open their mouths (and already we find a clueless “Catholic” blogger dismissing the scandal on the grounds that “Nobody’s perfect” — such deep understanding of Catholic theology & canon law characterizes many a Patheos contributor):
First of all, anyone who does not have an invalidating impediment can enter into a valid marital union; there is no question about that. However, there is much more to all this than merely the contracting of a valid union.
Second, though cohabitation before marriage is not an impediment to validity, it is nevertheless forbidden for married couples to confer on each other the sacrament of holy matrimony because they are living in mortal sin and would be committing a sacrilege. Though it is a good thing they seek a valid marital union, they are obliged by the divine law to quit living in sin first. Besides, if they are so desirous of a valid marriage, why are they living together without being married? You cannot on the one hand say, “We recognize we ought to be married; living together without marriage isn’t right” and then on the other hand add, “However, until we get married, we’ll be happy to continue living in sin.” It is akin to a thief saying to himself, “I have stolen money, which isn’t right, so I will go to confession. However, until I do, I will steal some more.” There is no genuine repentance here; he is not fit to receive the sacrament of penance. Likewise, a couple that insists on continuing to live in sin is not fit to receive the sacrament of holy matrimony, and it is a sacrilege for them to get married without first abandoning their sin.
Third, though we are all sinners, not everyone is a public sinner, in the technical sense of the term: The Catholic Church very much distinguishes private sin from public sin. Being a public sinner actually bars one from reception of the sacraments, including that of holy matrimony:
If a public sinner or one notoriously under censure, refuses to go to Confession beforehand or to be reconciled with the Church, the pastor shall not assist at his marriage, except for grave reasons, about which he shall, if possible, consult the Ordinary [i.e. the bishop of the diocese].
(Code of Canon Law , Book III, Canon 1066)
A good commentary on this law is found in the work of Fr. Henry Ayrinhac, who writes:
The priest who assists at the unworthy reception of the sacrament of marriage co-operates, although remotely, in the sacrilege thereby committed, and this is to be avoided except for proportionately grave causes. A sin is public de jure when it has been proved juridically, in court; de facto when it has been committed in public or has become known to a large number of people… As in those cases the guilt is public, the reparation ought to be also of a public character, before the pastor may, in the name of the Church, openly sanction by his presence the marriage of the party.
(Rev. H. A. Ayrinhac, Penal Legislation in the New Code of Canon Law [New York, NY: Benziger Brothers, 1920], n. 132; pp. 132-133.)
The author, Fr. Ayrinhac, then goes into some examples of what would constitute a grave reason, but it is certainly clear that even if we were to grant that in the case of the 20 couples to be married by Francis, there is even one couple whose sacrilegious exchange of vows would fulfill the conditions of “grave reason,” there is absolutely no grave reason that their wedding be officiated by the “Pope” himself as a public spectacle.
Which brings us to our fourth consideration: Everything done by the Pope, which Francis claims to be, ought to set a good example, in fact, the best example possible, for obvious reasons. Hence even things that are not bad in themselves and are ordinarily permitted — such as the marriage between two parties who have legitimately and validly obtained a declaration of nullity of a prior union (i.e., an annulment of a prior “marriage”) — should be avoided by the Pope if they look bad or give rise to unnecessary suspicions, gossip, etc. Since there is no necessity whatsoever that the Pope himself officiate at a wedding, when he nevertheless decides to do so, it really isn’t prudent to choose people who have had a civil union before that was not valid, simply because in the eyes of the public it will always, to some extent, come across as a “second marriage” after a divorce, especially since this usually involves a civil divorce.
What Francis is doing is once again causing scandal: He is officiating the marriages of spouses who have persisted in sin beforehand and/or who have received an annulment (most of which in the Novus Ordo Sect are invalid anyway, but we’ll let that slide this time). This is a grave scandal to Catholics and to the world.
Here it is important to understand what is meant by the concept of “scandal”, which has very precise meaning in Catholic morality. By “scandal” we do not simply mean “bewilderment” or “outrage.” Rather: “Scandal in its theological sense is any word or action which has at least the appearance of evil and is the occasion of sin to another” (Rev. Thomas Slater, A Manual of Moral Theology, 5th ed., vol. 1 , p. 129). Notice that even the appearance of doing something evil suffices for scandal, even if one is not actually doing anything wrong. Sometimes, engaging in an action that is not wrong but has the appearance of being wrong is permissible, but only under certain circumstances, as any pre-Vatican II manual of Catholic moral theology, such as Fr. Slater’s, will explain, but which we need not get into here.
Clearly, for Francis to preside over weddings is needless as it is; but since he has chosen to do it, he has the obligation of ensuring that no scandal is given. Yet, scandal is most certainly given by allowing couples to marry who are living in sin; and scandal is also given through the appearance of doing something wrong by officiating the weddings of people who had prior unions even if these were invalid, because (1) to many people, it will appear to be a sanction of divorce and “remarriage”, and (2) there is no need for the “Pope” himself to preside, which necessarily gives great publicity to these weddings, when there is absolutely no necessity to do so.
The second component to scandal is that of occasioning sin in another, and this too is entirely verified here: For the “Pope” to preside over weddings of couples who lived together during their engagement, sends a clear message: Fornication is no big deal — it could even get you married by the “Pope” if you’re lucky! We can already hear young adult children tell their parents who have been desperately trying to get them to be celibate before holy matrimony: “But Mom! Dad! Don’t be so old-fashioned! Even the Pope would marry us!” Not to mention how Novus Ordo pastors now look who have been trying to tell young couples they cannot be living together and have refused to witness their marriages should they not comply.
Once more, Francis has stabbed those trying to be good, faithful Catholics in the back. The last bit of Catholic influence that may still exist in Novus Ordo parishes and families is being snuffed out by His Phoniness himself. He sure knows how to cause chaos. But then again, it is undoubtedly Francis’ deliberate and full intent to cause scandal, something he has accomplished with indefatigable zeal since his election.
In our opinion, all this is simply a prelude to the Synod of Bishops that will begin in about three weeks. In recent days, Francis has been preparing, or so it seems, his faithful to embrace significant change. Will the synod permit public adulterers to receive the Novus Ordo sacraments? Quite possibly so — after all, they know it still won’t make most people conclude that Francis is not a true Pope. The Vatican II Sect has been getting away with the Modernist Revolution for so many decades because most people have let them.
As one real Catholic priest recently remarked on Twitter: “Two things will increase with the October Synod: the number of [Sedevacantists], and the voluntariness of the error of [Non-Sedevacantists].”
Which camp will you be in?