A reader writes:
I’m curious on your take about the marriage validity argle-bargle going around. I tend to give Francis the benefit of the doubt here (and I REALLY see his point about most not getting what marriage really is) but a lot of folks have pilloried him.
I find the whole thing ridiculous. Francis’ observation that most marriages are probably invalid is, as is typical for him, the observation of a pastor on pastoral reality. What amazed me was that anybody doubts it, much less has a cow about. We have a 50% divorce rate. We have people entering into marriages *constantly* for the most fluff-brained and immature reasons. We have a population that believes that gay “marriage” is a marriage. How much more obvious can it be that vast numbers of people have not the slightest idea what marriage is, what its purpose and meaning is, and why they are getting married?
But, on cue, the Right Wing Panic Machine decided that it would be smart to vilify the pope for noting all these obvious facts. Absurd.
And even more absurd, we have R.R. Reno pursing his lips and tisk-tisking that Francis (again, like the pastor he is at heart) tends to want it to be harder for people to enter into marriage than to approach the Eucharist. He scolds:
Francis reminds us that the Eucharist is “not a prize for the perfect”. But marriage, apparently, is.
Well, yes. People don’t wind up pregnant, abandoned, and impoverished when they receive the Eucharist in ways unacceptable to the finicky hyper-criticism of the Greatest Catholics of All Time. But they do when they rush into marriage ill-prepared. Only people bound and determined to be baffled and offended by this pope have a hard time figuring this stuff out.
I am so mortally weary of the Right Wing Francis Outrage Machine.