“I do. Or, do I?” How To Undermine A Sacrament.
Are you a Pope? Do you want to damage for a long time the Sacrament of Matrimony? I suggest that you “speed up”, “simplify” or, as they say today, “streamline” the annulment process. You will achieve the following results:
1) Catholics the world over will begin to doubt the permanence and sacredness of the marriage bond. They will still know what a Catholic marriage is supposed to be. But they will have in front of them how it is lived in their community: a de facto easily broken bond.
2) Millions of public adulterers will think they have an easy way not to seek an annulment, but to keep living in sin. Hey, if 45 days can be enough, why undergo the “formality” in the first place? Mrs Pious Adulterer will rather decide that the Church would certainly declare her marriage null and void, so why bother? Just dare to tell her she must bother in order not to live in mortal sin and she will try to eat you alive. Francis is so merciful, and you are such a Pharisee? Of course, she does not want to run the risk that the marriage is not annulled; but again, why should she? Is the Church not admitting that the entire thing is “full of legalisms”? She knows her marriage is null and void. Shut up.
3) Millions of good Catholics who have taken their bond seriously in the face of, say, the adulterous spouse who has ran away with the milkman will feel very stupid, at least according to FrancisThink. They have remained faithful to a bond once chosen their entire life, whatever the cost. Little they knew they were just “obsessing” about their marital bond, no matter the suffering. A good Christian is a fool in Francis' Circus. A fool is a victim of legalism.
4) There will soon be a feeling in the air that many, many marriages are null and void. The Evil Clown is reported to say up to 80%, which would make of the Church herself the biggest joke on earth. Even if the often reported 80% was misreported or misinterpreted, “an awful, awful lot” is certainly the message. Marriage as a sacrament is further undermined.
5) Most rose water Catholic will get this message: the church got it all wrong for three centuries, and caused untold “innocents” to suffer. O baddy, baddy Church: when will you stop oppressing your children? Thank God we now have SuperFrancis! Once again, Francis looks good as he makes the Church look bad.
6) Bad marriages will be encouraged. Catholics of the next generation will grow accustomed to think that if they made a mistake and married the wrong one if was not really their fault, it's the marriage that was faulty. Marriage will be taken even more lightly by rose water Catholics than it is today. Marriage in church is so romantic after all. In one generation, expect a growing expectation of 45 day annulments. Again, the expectation may well be merely factual. Why bother, then?
7) The pressure on the judges to annul the marriage will be huge. May God help them to decide wisely. I predict a new category of self-styled church victims: those who have had their annulment denied. Injustice! Oppression! Patriarchate! Why them? We need more mercy. Of course we do…
8) There will be more annulment as many couples taken together by the knowledge of their sacred bond will now be encouraged to seek annulment. More suffering children, who will grow up knowing that the Church says “I do” means “but do I really, really, really do?” Answer to be postponed a number of years.
9) The perceived easiness of annulment will further concubinage. Wife is gone away with the milkman. Let's take the new woman in for now. Annulment won't be a problem, surely? Next step: point 2.
I am sure many other sides to this mess can be highlighted. But the real issue is this: marriage can't be taken seriously by half. The only way to strengthen marriage is to make annulment difficult, not easy. The only way to foster responsibility is to demand that once taken, responsibilities be honoured. The only way to educate people to right thinking is by enforcing it, which has never been easy or convenient.
I predict that after a first wave of annulments the thing will slowly ebb down among the great mass of non-practising or vaguely practicing adulterers. Not many adulterers will want to run the risk to ask and be told “no”, and the easier if is to be told “yes” the less motivation there will be to risk the “no”. Francis himself undermines the institution, and creates the perception of an easily broken bond. Heck, apparently he himself believes the bond exists in merely a clear minority of cases!
No, Pious Adulteress will not run any risk: she will prefer to keep living in sin, helped every step of the way by Francis, and tell to herself that she is most certainly all right, it's just a formality after all.
Don't we live in the age of mercy?
Please, Lord, free us from this evil man. He insults devout Catholics, despise orthodoxy, and poisons the sacraments. He insults you in every way he can. He undermines your work and spits on Your Bride even when he is not directly trying to rape Her.
Please, Lord. In your good time, free us from this evil clown.