Pontifical Council for the Family…

…judges Francis’ idea on this being the wonderful moments of the Church

  • A lack of vocations follows from the breakdown of the family

Christian revelation presents the two vocations to love: marriage and virginity. In some societies today, not only marriage and the family, but also vocations to the priesthood and the religious life, are often in a state of crisis. The two situations are inseparable: ‘When marriage is not esteemed, neither can consecrated virginity or celibacy exist; when human sexuality is not regarded as a great value given by the Creator, the renunciation of it for the sake of the kingdom of heaven loses its meaning’. A lack of vocations follows from the breakdown of the family, yet where parents are generous in welcoming life, children will be more likely to be generous when it comes to the question of offering themselves to God. (Pontifical Council for the Family, The truth and meaning of human sexuality, no. 34, December 8, 1995)

…judges Francis’ idea on interpersonal relationships no longer need to seek purity and perfection

  • Help married couples to be aware of the path of their holiness and to carry out their mission

To help married couples be aware of the path of their holiness and to carry out their mission, it is fundamental that their conscience be formed, and that God’s will be fulfilled in the specific area of married life, that is, in their conjugal communion and service for life. The light of the Gospel and the grace of the sacrament represent the indispensable elements for the elevation and the fullness of conjugal love that has its source in God the Creator. In fact, ‘the Lord, wishing to bestow special gifts of grace and divine love on it, has restored, perfected and elevated it’ (Gaudium et Spes, no. 49). (Pontifical Council for the Family. Vademecum for confessors concerning some aspects of the morality of conjugal life, February 12, 1997)

…judges Francis’ idea on Christian marriage realized in a partial and analogous way by adultery

  • In cases of irregular second union, ascertain whether previous religious marriage was null

As long as they remain in a situation that is objectively contrary to the Gospel, they are not in full communion with the Church, and thus, cannot be admitted to receive the Eucharist, a sacrament of not only of spiritual, but also visible communion. […] to develop good relations with them, some specific encounter may be opportune. It is necessary to also ascertain whether there exist eventual possibilities of regularizing their living together, as in the case of the previous religious marriage having been null. (Pontifical Council for the Family. Conference on ‘The bishop and family ministry’, September 16, 2009)

  • It is devoid of reality and good sense to think that the liberation of women implies liberation from matrimony

It is just to promote equal opportunity for men and women, refuting fixed roles and social hierarchies. But it is devoid of reality and good sense to think, as some have, that the liberation of women implies liberation from matrimony (a word some sought to eliminate from the code [of canon law] and civil [law]) and of maternity (a job that, as they thought, would be substituted by the machine for the gestation of the new human beings). Children need the love of father and mother be born and to grow in a dignified manner. (Pontifical Council for the Family. Conference, Regina Apostolorum, The bishop and family ministry, September 16, 2009)

…judges Francis’ idea on family

  • It is contrary to common sense to equal marriage to homosexual relationships

The truth about conjugal love also makes it possible to understand the serious social consequences of the institutionalization of homosexual relations: ‘We can also see how incongruous is the demand to grant ‘marital’ status to unions between persons of the same sex. It is opposed, first of all, by the objective impossibility of making the partnership fruitful through the transmission of life according to the plan inscribed by God in the very structure of the human being. Another obstacle is the absence of the conditions for that interpersonal complementarity between male and female willed by the Creator at both the physical-biological and the eminently psychological levels’ (John Paul II, Discourse to the Tribunal of the Roman Rota, January 2, 1999). Marriage cannot be reduced to a condition similar to that of a homosexual relationship: this is contrary to common sense. In the case of homosexual relations, which demand to be considered de facto unions, the moral and juridical consequences take on special relevance. “Lastly, ‘de facto unions’ between homosexuals are a deplorable distortion of what should be a communion of love and life between a man and a woman in a reciprocal gift open to life” (John Paul II. Discourse to the Participants in the XIV General Assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Family, June 4, 1999; Cf. John Paul II, Angelus, June 19, 1994). However, the presumption to make these unions equivalent to ‘legal marriage’, as some recent initiatives attempt to do, is even more serious. Furthermore, the attempts to legalize the adoption of children by homosexual couples adds an element of great danger to all the previous ones. ‘The bond between two men or two women cannot constitute a real family and much less can the right be attributed to that union to adopt children without a family’ (John Paul II, Angelus, February 20, 1994). To recall the social transcendence of the truth about conjugal love and consequently the grave error of recognizing or even making homosexual relations equivalent to marriage does not presume to discriminate against these persons in any way. (Pontifical Council for the Family. Family, marriage and ‘de facto’ unions, no. 23, June 26, 2000)

…judges Francis’ vision on the divorced who re-marry

  • More necessary than the number of Christians is the authenticity of the Christian life

Men will not believe in Christ and will not take His Gospel seriously if they do not find signs of his presence. Especially today there is a necessity of finding him and of somehow seeing him. ‘The men and women of our own day – John Paul II observed – often perhaps unconsciously, ask believers not only to ‘speak’ of Christ, but in a certain sense to ‘show’ him’ (Novo Millennio Ineunte, 16). Christ can be seen in miracles; but even more so he can be seen in the saints, not only in those heroic and extraordinary saints, but also in the ordinary saints who tend toward sanctity as a ‘high standard of ordinary Christian living’ (NMI, 31) and are not content with ‘a life of mediocrity, marked by a minimalist ethic and a shallow religiosity’ (ibid.). Today, more than ever, there is a lack of exemplary Christians, of united Christian families, of feverous ecclesial communities. To resolve the crisis of the family – which is a crisis of matrimony, of natality and education, that results in the disunion and exhaustion of society – the most important pastoral mission is to form in each parish groups of families that are a living gospel. To evangelize our secularized world and the people that ignore our faith, the authenticity of the Christian life is more necessary than the number of Christians. It is though a few that many are challenged, and can orient themselves toward eternal life, even though on this earth they do not arrive at being fully inserted in the Church. What is more important is that there exist lit fires to enlighten and warm the night. (Pontifical Council for the Family. Homily of Cardinal Ennio Antonelli at the Closing Mass of the Help the Family Today Congress, December 12, 2010)

…judges Francis’ idea that the Pope should not judge

  • Homosexuality must be presented to the youth in light of the documents of the Church

A particular problem that can appear during the process of sexual maturation is homosexuality, which is also spreading more and more in urbanized societies. This phenomenon must be presented with balanced judgement, in the light of the documents of the Church. Young people need to be helped to distinguish between the concepts of what is normal and abnormal, between subjective guilt and objective disorder, avoiding what would arouse hostility. On the other hand, the structural and complementary orientation of sexuality must be well clarified in relation to marriage, procreation and Christian chastity. (Pontifical Council for the Family, The truth and meaning of human sexuality, guidelines for education within the family, no. 104, December 8, 1995)

  • The demand to grant ‘marital’ status to unions between persons of the same sex is incongruous

The truth about conjugal love also makes it possible to understand the serious social consequences of the institutionalization of homosexual relations: ‘We can also see how incongruous is the demand to grant ‘marital’ status to unions between persons of the same sex. It is opposed, first of all, by the objective impossibility of making the partnership fruitful through the transmission of life according to the plan inscribed by God in the very structure of the human being. Another obstacle is the absence of the conditions for that interpersonal complementarity between male and female willed by the Creator at both the physical-biological and the eminently psychological levels’ (John Paul II. Discourse to the Tribunal of the Roman Rota, January 2, 1999). Marriage cannot be reduced to a condition similar to that of a homosexual relationship: this is contrary to common sense ( – ‘there is no equivalence between the relationship of two persons of the same sex and the relationship formed by a man and a woman. Only the latter can be described as a couple because it implies sexual difference, the conjugal dimension, the ability to exercise fatherhood and motherhood. Obviously, homosexuality cannot represent this symbolic whole’. Statement by the Permanent Council of the French Bishops’ Conference regarding the legislative bill ‘Civil Pact of Solidarity’, September 17, 1998.) In the case of homosexual relations, which demand to be considered de facto unions, the moral and juridical consequences take on special relevance (- with regard to the grave, intrinsic moral disorder, contrary to natural law, of homosexual acts, see: Catechism of the Catholic Church, Nos. 2357-2359; Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction Persona Humana, December 29, 1975; Pontifical Council for the Family, Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality, December 8, 1995, no. 104). ‘Lastly, de facto unions between homosexuals are a deplorable distortion of what should be a communion of love and life between a man and a woman in a reciprocal gift open to life’ (John Paul II. Discourse to the Participants in the XIV General Assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Family, June 4, 1999; cf. John Paul II, Angelus, June 19, 1994). However, the presumption to make these unions equivalent to ‘legal marriage’, as some recent initiatives attempt to do, is even more serious (cf. Pontifical Council For The Family, Statement on the Resolution by the European Parliament making de facto unions, including same sex unions, equal to the family, March 17, 2000). Furthermore, the attempts to legalize the adoption of children by homosexual couples adds an element of great danger to all the previous ones ( – it cannot be overlooked that, as some of its promoters acknowledge, this legislation constitutes a first step toward, for example, the adoption of children by persons living in a homosexual relation. We fear for the future as we deplore what has happened (Statement by the Chairman of the French Bishops’ Conference after the promulgation of the ‘Civil Pact of Solidarity’, October 13, 1999)). ‘The bond between two men or two women cannot constitute a real family and much less can the right be attributed to that union to adopt children without a family’ (John Paul II, Angelus, February 20, 1994). To recall the social transcendence of the truth about conjugal love and consequently the grave error of recognizing or even making homosexual relations equivalent to marriage does not presume to discriminate against these persons in any way. (Pontifical Council for the Family, Marriage and ‘de facto’ unions, no. 23, November 21, 2000)