Nods and Cohabitation

I see Mark Silk is getting some guff for his headline on Pope Francis and cohabitation.

One commenter frets about the ambiguity and uncertainty. Welcome to faith, I suppose I can say.

A “nod” may be a simple acknowledgement of fact. Not an affirmation. Personally, I find it a great source of hope and clarity to be able to encourage people to take the Church at our word, to give morality the benefit of the doubt, and by all means, to remain close to Christ with the thinking that a binge drinker, a sex addict, a liar and a cheat is better off clinging close to the Lord when Sunday comes rather than wrap their arms and aching head around a pillow in bed at 12 noon on the Lord’s Day.

In all seriousness, this issue is raised repeatedly for me through the people I see at Mass and those who are involved in liturgical ministry. I have no reason to doubt that some of the Sunday ministers have committed serious sins on Saturday night, or the prior week, or sometime in their lives.

In Francis’ view, by contrast, “The problem cannot be reduced to whether” these couples “are allowed to take communion or not because whoever thinks of the problem in these terms doesn’t understand the real issue at hand. This is a serious problem regarding the Church’s responsibility towards families that are in this situation.”  The task, he said, is to “find another way, the just way.” For him, God’s truth demands no less.

I don’t have a problem being told to work harder to find that other way. Issuing a letter is the easy way out. Especially when one can go with the flow of the culture and suggest that people who don’t pay attention are uneducated.

We definitely need a better approach than that.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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2 Responses to Nods and Cohabitation

  1. Liam says:

    Wile we noting changes in tone, albeiit on a different topic, pay attention to the last paragraph:

    http://www.vis.va/vissolr/index.php?vi=all&dl=5a291b50-36be-8b7d-6ada-523af413dd82&dl_t=text/xml&dl_a=y&ul=1&ev=1

    If you pay attention to the daily appointment notices (Other Pontifical Acts) at the Vatican Information Service, you can see that appointments seem to be moving more vertically than laterally than in the past. On the other hand, it’s not clear how long the Pope’s preferences will manifest themselves in terna controlled by the English-language cardinals on the Congregation of Bishops.

  2. Chris Sullivan says:

    I’m not sure that the line between marriage and cohabitation is at all as clear as some seem to think. Annulments indicate that not all supposed marriages are in fact sacramental marriages. And the history of Jewish and Christian marriage ceremonies indicates that at least some cohabiting couples may well be in genuine sacramental marriages, even if they don’t meet the norms of Canon Law.

    Reality is too complex to go around judging others.

    God Bless

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