People continue to reflect much on the departed Pope Benedict XVI. I heard of one person complaining that Pope Francis mentioned him by name but once in his funeral homily last week. Strange, that: it seems there may be significant overlap between B16 fanfolk and the anti-eulogy crew.
While the previous pope wasn’t my favorite churchman, I was struck back in 2006 by his remarks in Poland. Here he discusses the reality of young people from different traditions choosing to marry:
We know that among Christian communities, called to witness to love, the family occupies a special place. In today’s world, in which international and intercultural relations are multiplying, it happens increasingly often that young people from different traditions, different religions, or different Christian denominations, decide to start a family. For the young people themselves and for those dear to them, it is often a difficult decision that brings with it various dangers concerning both perseverance in the faith and the future structuring of the family, the creation of an atmosphere of unity in the family and of suitable conditions for the spiritual growth of the children.
A number of years ago–around the time of this statement, I think–I read statistics suggesting lower rates of marital break-ups of Catholics in mixed marriages, than even Catholic-Catholic unions. Do couples coming from different religious traditions work harder at marriage?
Nevertheless, thanks to the spread of ecumenical dialogue on a larger scale, the decision can lead to the formation of a practical laboratory of unity. For this to happen there is a need for mutual good will, understanding and maturity in faith of both parties, and also of the communities from which they come.
Neil wrote of this here over fifteen years ago. His essay is far superior to the topic.