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Pope: When marriages break down, share the pain

February 28, 2014

In his homily at a Mass on February 28, Pope Francis said that Christians should reach out to help those whose marriages have broken down, without engaging in “special pleading” about their situations.

Reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading (Mk 10:1-12), which retold the story of Christ’s encounter with the Pharisees on marriage and divorce, the Holy Father observed that the casuistry of the Pharisees was a trap. But Jesus responded by offering a higher, more beautiful vision of marriage:

As the Father had married the People of Israel, Christ married his people. This is the love story, this is the history of the masterpiece of Creation—and before this path of love, this icon, casuistry falls and becomes sorrowful.

When a marriage fails, the Pope continued, everyone should “feel the pain of the failure.” He urged the faithful to act charitably: “Do not condemn. Walk with them. And don’t practice casuistry on their situation.”

The Pope concluded his homily by underlining the spousal relationship between Christ and the Church. “You can’t understand Christ without the Church,” he said, “and you can’t understand the Church without Christ.”


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  • Posted by: John J Plick - Mar. 01, 2014 10:51 AM ET USA

    I did not understand at at first the concept "bachelor-Christ..." It can be correctly understood in contrast to our separated brethren the protestants... who sadly have diluted the concept of "Church" in order to remedy abuses as they saw it at the time. Even professed hermits cannot be saved in absolute isolation. There is always the "other," the brother, the sister..., the Church... Ave