One of the most disquieting traits of our time is the tendency to look at concrete, everyday situations without a general view of what is right and wrong. This attitude is typical of children – who can't understand why the dangerous dog should be put down – and shortsighted, when they are in good faith, adults – who can't understand why a murderer should be executed -.
The right answer is always the logical, not the emotional one. The dangerous dog should be put down because the interest of safety comes before the child's desire that the dog may live; similarly, the execution of the murderer should be carried on so that elementary needs of justice and deterrence may be satisfied, even if the crying girlfriend of the assassin is on TV all day telling us what a sweet, good-as-pie, misunderstood man he is. The child, and the girlfriend, will plea for mercy. But it is false mercy that puts others in danger, and takes away from criminals the fear of their own destruction.
Logic must come before emotions. Laws – both legal and moral – can't be bent to accommodate feelings. Lex, dura lex, sed lex. During the reign of Blessed Pius IX there were hundreds of executions, in a State with a population of merely a couple of millions.
This obvious reasoning applies also to the Sacraments; the more so, because the things of God are so much more important than the things of man.
Marriage, it is said, is in bad shape. We have in front of us the suffering of so many who have made a mistake. Should we not have mercy, and spare them?
Marriage is a sacrament. Once validly contracted, it stays. Whatever suffering the marriage causes, the once chosen bond stays. If the wife goes to bed with the entire regiment, she is still the wife. If the husband become violent, or alcoholic, he is still the husband. His becoming violent afterwards is nothing to do, absolutely nothing to do with his having married before. The once validly celebrated sacrament stays. Hitler didn't stop being baptised because he became the Fuehrer, either.
If you're married, you're married. “But if he has become violent, then it means that he did not intend to marry me” must be among the most stupid things that can come out of the mouth of a human being.
The man wanted to marry, which is why he did it. He could take this decision because he could think. He was considered an adult able to make his own decisions: drive a car, enlist in the army, buy a home. All decisions which have a big influence on his life, or can be deadly to others. Still, he was considered able to make them. No one doubts this.
If a soldier rapes a girl in an occupied enemy village his superiors do not say “evidently, you never wanted to become a soldier”. He still is very well a soldier, which is why he will be court martialled. The decision, once validly taken, stays. An adult is, by definition, one who is able to make his own decisions and will answer for them. Retrospective rearrangement of a taken decision is neither here nor there. If you validly bought a house and discover the mortgage is too big of a burden, you can't just make your decision null and void because “you didn't really know what you were doing”. Was the house legally purchased? Yeah? Then it's all yours, my boy…
Therefore, any argument aiming at persuading you that the church should be “flexible”, “merciful”, or whatever else, and ignore the reality of a decision once validly taken in order to pretend the decision was never there in the first place is not only factually and logically flawed, but radically sacrilegious. It is very obvious that the current climate encourages spouses to lie about the bond they once freely chose; the recent “simplifications” go even further down that road, encouraging a narrative in which the spouse is a victim (of his or his spouse's “inexperience”) and therefore, implicitly but clearly enough, authorised to lie.
This isn't mercy, this is a fraud, and a sacrilegious one at that. God will not be fooled. At seven, a boy can theoretically send himself to hell. Imagine an adult trying to fool God about his own marriage. Congratulations, Pope Francis. You have just made the devil a huge favour.
Mrs Pious Adulterer will, we have said, insist that she could not make the choice. But ask her whether she would be ready to consider null and void the purchase agreement of her house because, ten years later, the seller discover he wasn't “mature enough” to make such a decision, and see what she answers.
The same person who would be insulted at your implication that she should be incapacitated – because obviously not able to buy or sell cars, houses, heirlooms, and the like – will eat you alive if you tell her that if she was able to make an important decision like buying a car or a house, the more so she was able to make the obviously far more momentous decision to marry; a decision taken almost always very formally, very solemnly, with great pomp and ceremony, in front of all relatives and friends, and with all the attached, well-known emphasis on this bond being “forevah and evah”, and now suddenly discarded like a bad joke.
“Me? Promise? Solemn? Oh no, I wasn't really serious, you see!”
“What do you say? Incapacitation, guardian, protecting me from myself? You b@st@rd!!!”
The new rules about annulment may well make of the Catholic sacrament of marriage – better said, of its indissolubility as perceived by the populace – a tragic farce.
In a world in which most people think in term of “rights”, and think they have the right to get whatever they want, there will be no scarcity of people ready to (wink wink) lie to a priest willing to (wink wink) believe the lie, particularly in those dioceses in which the bishops will steer things towards a very frequent use of the “fast track” procedure; fast track for which a lie, or two lies, will be enough.
Therefore, we will have the situation of countless annulments that are the fruits of a lie, and are therefore sacrilegious.
God will not be mocked, but I am sure most of those progressive priests and laymen will not be worried by that in the least.
“My marriage has been annulled”, will Mrs Pious Adulterer say. “That's what the competent authorities have stated. Therefore, I am completely fine!”.
Francis is here – in that satanical way so typical of his – encouraging exactly that kind of pharisaism he so frequently criticises. It is actually tragically amusing to see how the devil mocks even the pope, forcing him to assume all those traits he criticises in others: the stunning hypocrisy of playing poor and living like a king, preaching co2 reduction and travelling around the planet with a big entourage, criticising gossip and spending half of his time insulting everyone, criticising legalism and propose the demolition of Sacraments from a purely legalistic perspective.
Francis' attack on marriage is the definitive example of Pharisaism. I am sure he feels very smart because of it, though. Fool.
God will not be mocked. Every sound Christian will know what a marriage promise is, and will be terrified of playing with it. The reprobates who will abuse the system using the huge doors to abuse Francis has (wink, wink) opened to them are reprobates anyway.
God will not be mocked. Who is the Pharisee now?
With usual rhetoric, yesterday's “innovations” to the annulment process have been justified with the need to “help the poor”. This is first class poppycock. Let us see why.
1) Poor people have, to my knowledge, the money to marry. Even in poor Countries, the “poor” often expend What is – for their standards – a rather significant amount of money for ceremony, eating, and drinking. It does not seem that poverty is such an issue. “Oh, Mundabor, but it is a marriage! It is soooo important to the p… pp… ppp… oor!”
Well, exactly. It is important. It is a sacred bond, a solemn promise. Made in front of the entire community. Considered so important, that a correspondent amount of money is spent; because there is, and rightly so, money for what is important. Why, then, the celebration of this solemn promise should rightly cost, and the absolutely momentous, grave, equally as important decision that such a promise never validly took place should cost less, or next to nothing, or nothing at all? Hey, you have solemnly promised in front of the entire community, in front of Christ! How is now the reneging of this promise less important than the original promise?
2) Poor people have, or so the Vatican tells us, no money to pay for the expenses. But the others have. Why, then, not reduce the cost to the poor, rather than the cost of the procedure? When has the Church been shy in asking for money to provide for the spiritual needs of the poor? When have the “rich” been stingy in denying the poor the money for their spiritual needs?
No: if the problem really is poverty, the solution is to ask those who aren't poor to contribute. I hear you say: “but in this case there would not be much in contributions, because people would understand that in very many cases what is wanted is merely a cheap and easy escape from a bond once freely chosen!”. Oh, I agree. I agree completely! That's exactly the point! In this instance, helping Francis do what he wants would be seen as encouraging sinfulness and sabotaging the sacrament!
No. The poor are not the issue. The godlessness of Francis and his entourage is. The forma mentis behind the papal Ukase is very simple: the marriage bond is a burden from which the spouse must be freed. This must be done in a way that circumvents the spirit of the annulment discipline without making the proceeds openly heretical.
The Church is the problem. Francis is the solution.
The Church is made to look bad. Francis is made to look good. The rest does not count. This is what this pontificate is all about.
I invite you to renew your prayers for the speedy end of this Pontificate and the return to sanity.
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.