World & Vatican
Pope sees ‘global war’ against marriage
October 4th, 2016
By Cindy Wooden
TBILISI, Georgia – Pope Francis said a global war against marriage is underway and Catholics must respond by helping couples stay strong and by providing pastoral care to those experiencing difficulty.
“Today there is a global war to destroy marriage,” the pope said Oct. 1 during a meeting in Tbilisi with priests, religious, seminarians and laypeople active in parish life.
“Today you do not destroy with weapons, you destroy with ideas,” the pope said. “It is ideological colonization that destroys.”
The only way to defend marriage against the onslaught, he said, is to help couples “make peace as soon as possible, before the day ends, and don’t forget the three words: ‘May I?’ ‘Thank you’ and ‘Forgive me.’”
“Marriage is the most beautiful thing that God has created,” Pope Francis said. In marriage, man and woman become one flesh, “the image of God.”
“When you divorce one flesh you sully the God’s image,” he said.
A woman named Irina, who with her husband, Zurab, minister to other families and teach natural family planning, had told Pope Francis that Georgian families are experiencing new challenges brought by “globalization, which does not take into account local values, new views on sexuality like gender theory and the marginalization of the Christian vision of life.”
Gender theory usually refers to the idea that what constitute male and female characteristics are largely social and cultural constructs rather than being determined by biology.
Responding to Irina, Pope Francis said, “You mentioned a great enemy of marriage: gender theory,” but he did not elaborate.
Instead, he insisted Catholic clergy and faithful must do everything possible to assist couples experiencing difficulty. “Welcome, accompany, discern, integrate,” he said. “The Catholic community must help to save marriages.”
From October 6, 2016 issue of Catholic San Francisco.