The Marriage Mess

Some Catholics are worrying themselves over whether the pope will allow Catholics who are divorced and remarried to receive communion.

I am as concerned as anyone else about this issue and feel that the rule cannot be changed without changing the Catholic understanding of marriage. Indissoluble marriage is part of the revelation from Adam and Eve through the the teachings of Jesus himself. We can’t mess with it,  and  when we tinker with the Catholic understanding of marriage we are fiddling with our understanding of human sexuality and when we tinker with that we are tinkering with what we believe about the human person and once we fiddle with that we are fiddling about with the mystery of the incarnation. As a Methodist would-be convert exclaimed, “Gosh, all this Catholic stuff is connected.”

I think the synod might come up with some recommendations on how the annulment procedure might be applied more pastorally and effectively, but I can’t see the fathers of the church changing the rules radically without picking at the thread from which everything else will unravel.

When we stop and look at the reality, however, has it struck anyone else that the fuss over admitting remarried people to communion is a bit like re arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic?

Marriage in our culture is a mess, and it is a heck of a lot bigger mess than the question of whether remarried people can come to communion or not.

Consider the present state of marriage in our society. It looks like the aftermath of a tornado in a town.

Divorce rate is higher than it has ever been. Old people who have been married for forty years are divorcing. Meanwhile the old people are copulating like teenagers. With Viagra and other stimulants to keep them active, the rate of sexually transmitted diseases in old people’s communities is sky rocketing.

Let’s continue the list and the litany of disaster:

Most couples who come to get married in church are living together. They are not ashamed of this fact and are usually supported in their decision by their parents. Many of the are living with a boy or girl after having cohabited with a previous partner. They think nothing of it.

At least it is one guy marrying one girl.

What about the rest? Continue Reading


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