Headlines Go Rapid Over Pope Marrying 20 Couples
Don't jump to conclusions, like any good academic will say, 'consider the source!'
|An example of Pope Francis' Crucifix|
Many of the Churches teachings are hundreds of years old. Francis, yet alone any Pope, is not going to come in and change things in a radical fashion. This is not good policy for anyone's business or organization no matter how big or small and whether you are running a parish or an entire Church! It is my belief however, that it is necessary on our part to have hope for our near future as I believe Francis is going to continue to slowly implement positive changes for our Church in the world today as he continues to be our fearless leader in these troubling times. (Please do not misinterpret what I mean. I do not believe Pope Francis is going to permit gay marriage, or even married priests. As such examples would go against age-old Doctrines). Perhaps such topics may be explored at another time.
It need not be ignored that Pope Francis followed all proper procedures and policies to marry these 20 couples in the Vatican. Namely, they certainly had gone through the Churches process of an annulment prior to saying their 'I do's'.
Annulment: unlike a divorce is usually retroactive, which means that the marriage was invalid in the first place.Unfortunately annulments can take time and can cause many unwanted emotions to be stirred up. Many people do not like to share their intimate details of their love life and past with clergy either, which can make annulments difficult for some individuals. Note: Please be assured the clergy has heard it all before, a good priest will be compassionate and will not look down on you for your sinful past. At this I am reminded by what the great Saint Pope John Paul II said readily, "Do not be afraid."
Have you ever noticed that anytime something even possibly scandalous in the Catholic Church happens, the media gets a hold of it and blows it out of proportion?
As my professors always told me, check and double check your sources and never use a source that is not academic one! This holds especially true for anything the media tries to convey to us. Especially in regards to anything that happens in the Catholic Church, as she has had a target on her back for a long time. The media is always trying to create or make some "scandal" in the Catholic Church larger than life.
To us as Catholics this happening is more than a story it is an event. These couples deserve an applause for what they have done. At one time they had turned away from the Church in some way or another, but they all share one major commonality, they were all living in some kind of state of sin (i.e.. Some we know had children out of wedlock, some were living together before they were married).
now they have turned back to the Church through the process of annulment and the Sacrament of Reconciliation (prior to entering into the Sacrament of Marriage). The Sacrament of Reconciliation is a sacrament of healing. The beautiful thing is this, Pope Francis has helped these couples become reunited with Jesus so that they are now able to join us at Mass and fully and actively participate in the Holy Mass!
Despite the possible scandal in the Catholic Church the media has directed its attention, these 20 couples being married in the Church has more to say than the media's hoopla. As the media focuses on the "sin" Pope Francis focuses on the "sinners."
Lead By Example, Lead By Faith
Based on how I have perceived Pope Francis, I think it is safe for me to say that Pope Francis accepts these 20 couples as they are, as sinners, because Jesus accepts them too. We are all called to this mission that Pope Francis is graciously and continuously leading us too, Discipleship--Disciples of Christ. We are all called to this mission. Jesus has given us many wonderful sacraments to help us live by faith, to help us become his disciples. There are Seven Sacraments they are Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation, Reconciliation, Holy Orders and Matrimony.
|The Priest is Jesus' Interceptor|
Pope Francis focuses on the fact that these couples faced towards Christ again, as they have completed their penance, after they had turned their back on Christ, and after they have gone to reconciliation and asked and was granted God's mercy and forgiveness, through the priest, for their sin and they come out of the confessional with a completely new, clean slate.
During the ceremony, Pope Francis' homily was truly heartfelt, in which he told the couples that Jesus Christ, "will bring them healing by the merciful love which pours forth from the cross, with the strength of his grace that renews and sets married couples and families once again on the right path." This is certainly in line with Pope Francis' belief that God is merciful, which he continuously reminds us since he has been elected pope.
A Piece and Part Pope Francis' Message
We pray that the positive momentum that is happening in the Church continues. We pray that we are not obstacles to such a movement, and we pray that we do not not let the medias pettiness turn us away from Christ or the Church. May Pope Francis continue to guide us as a true and faithful servant, as his warm heart penetrates new believers daily, and may he continue to remind us and show us that God is a merciful God who is ever forgiving. And may we ever be Christ-like. Amen.
Remember, you are loved.