Indeed, we have a formal public statement from the diocese of Rome on the couples chosen: “There are those who are already cohabiting, those who already have children, who got to know each other in Church.”
And don’t the people themselves just hit all the right notes, almost as if Walter Kasper himself had given them the talking points:
“We didn't feel worthy or able to meet the requirements of a good Catholic couple,” Gabriella told La Repubblica newspaper. “But the Church under the leadership of Pope Francis has welcomed and embraced us.”
“This Pope is marvellous – he is renewing the Church. Not even non-believers can remain indifferent to his drive and his disarming simplicity.”
Anyone who has studied art will know how important is the concept of ‘negative space,’ that the form of an object is minutely outlined by the empty space surrounding it. No one has to say, “The pope knows these people are in a state of mortal sin, and is going to give them the sacraments anyway, and that’s perfectly fine. And no, they haven’t been required to live apart, to repent and be shriven because Cardinal Kasper said that such heroic virtue isn’t ‘for everyone.’”
The implication is obviously deliberately left, for all paying attention, that Pope Francis knew perfectly well that these people were living in a state of mortal sin, that they had not repented, not received Sacramental reconciliation with God and the Church, and that he was just fine with that, went ahead and gave them a sacrilegious, illicit ceremony, complete with desecration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
But at the same time, everyone, as though they have received specific instructions, is carefully making sure that it isn’t being said outright, in keeping with this pontificate of masterful plausible deniability. As though the Catholic world were made up of gullible fools who will happily skip along to the papal tune no matter what the words are.
And once again, because everything that is objectively important about the story is left unclarified, both by the press and the Vatican, the “Trads” (which by now simply means anyone who is even vaguely concerned with the moral teaching of the Church,) are being accused of the usual litany of offences for asking about it. We have the usual crowd at Patheos and other places screeching, with apparently no consciousness of the irony, “Pharisee!” “Unforgiving!” “Judgmental!” “Who are you to decide who gets God’s grace!”
Well, the MSM certainly hasn’t missed the implications, even if the “conservative” papal apologists are doggedly refusing to acknowledge it:
The ceremony comes just three weeks before the start of an Extraordinary Synod of Bishops, which will discuss key social themes such as marriage, divorce and contraception.
The bishops will discuss the results of a questionnaire sent out to Catholics around the world, canvassing the opinion of priests, nuns and ordinary people on those and other hot topics such as single parent families and gay marriage.
The questionnaire contained 39 questions on issues such as surrogate mothers, 'hostile' forms of feminism, polygamy, interfaith marriages and the challenges posed by secularism.
It touched on subjects previously considered virtually taboo by the Vatican, such as the spiritual welfare of children adopted by gay couples, birth control and same-sex marriages.
In an interview last September, the Jesuit Pope said the Church must move away from its ‘obsession’ with condemning homosexuality, abortion and contraception. It should become kinder and more merciful or risk collapsing ‘like a house of cards.’
It has been pointed out in Francis’ defence that this is now standard practice; he’s really just catching the Vatican and the papacy up to the glorious developments of the modern post-Conciliar Church. It’s done all over the world. Parish registers are full, FULL, of the names of couples who have got a “church wedding” with their own children as bridesmaids and ring-bearers. It’s a perfectly accepted practice everywhere for couples to think of a church as simply a “venue” that you “rent” to have the “ceremony”.
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Priests know this and don’t care themselves about the sacraments, and allow it. And if they don’t, there are uproars, angry phone calls to chancery offices. Bishops, when confronted with these furious brides and brides-mothers often conciliate, and even offer to do the ceremony themselves in the face of their (very few remaining) recalcitrant priests. Everyone even vaguely or tenuously associated with the Catholic Church knows that her priests and bishops do not enforce, or even uphold, her teachings and disciplines.
It has also been said that Saint John Paul the Great was known to have done exactly the same thing, though no one has offered any citation. Perhaps the reason no citations have been offered, however, was that in his time, the press didn’t see marriage as a wedge issue and didn’t report it. That they would not have regarded it as newsworthy. At that time, JPII’s media-dispensed persona was well-established as that of “stern upholder of orthodoxy” and so no one was looking for an opening on the Church’s understanding of the definition of marriage where they could stick their crowbars. It was also only the beginning of the homosexualist movement’s work to unravel the meaning of marriage and the family.
In his time it was perhaps a plausible excuse to say that the pope himself didn’t know the particulars of the couples he married, (though this excuse is offered for the saintly John Paul so often one wonders what he did know) who were chosen by his “aides.” These aides are assumed to have received the information and screened the couples, and perhaps some of the cohabiting couples slipped through that process without mentioning their lifestyle? Or even that the whole thing was arranged according to the rules and it just didn’t get reported, because of course the Vatican would follow the rules, right? Otherwise, up is down and white is black. Right?!
But it’s news now, isn’t it? With this pope, known to be a micromanager; known especially for his grand, spontaneous “pastoral” gestures; known also to be (*whistle*footwashing*whistle*) more or less indifferent to the actual canonical and liturgical requirements… Oh, indeed it is news now!
But in the Officially Accepted Catholic Bloggosphere, we are sternly instructed to look away. “Nothing to see here, folks.” Move along. The redoubtable and admirably determined Kathy Shiffer gives us a stern and matronly talking-to.: “Good gracious! There is an undercurrent of insinuation, that once again Francis is breaking the rules of the Church, striking a new chord, changing the ‘business as usual’ approach of his predecessors Benedict XVI and John Paul II.
“…Here’s the question I have for those of you who think this is new stuff: Have you ever met someone who obeyed church teaching perfectly?”
Good gracious! Heavens to betsy! Kathy is “Shocked, Shocked!” that any Catholic could possibly be thinking what she thinks they’re thinking. What kind of awful people could possibly imagine such dreadful things! You can almost hear her teacup rattling in the saucer.
From her commenters we get somewhat more forthright slap-downs for the people asking the hard questions: “There are so many folk who have nothing to do but sit in judgment. Why on earth would they think these people had not been to reconciliation. There seems to be so much hardness of heart with some in our church they look for faults sins and point the finger. Why does it give them so much pleasure if God forgives why can't they. this just might be a catalyst for others to dare come home. If they see compassion.”
Yes, why on earth would anyone imagine that persons approaching the Sacraments of the Church would do so without proper preparation? I can’t imagine why anyone would think such a thing! Can you?
Kathy herself adds, “Of course, it was done the right way. I think the Catholics who have reported on this story simply take that for granted. Yes, confession would be required before reception of another sacrament.”
Of course! Because otherwise up would be down, black would be white! Don’t be so silly.
But hey, Officially Nice People, when you have a quiet moment, ask yourselves a few difficult questions. Why, if it was done in the time of JPII, was it not news then? And why is it such huge news now? And why has the secular press, right. at. this. moment. chosen to give what 20 years ago was a non-story, such enormous prominence?
Anyone? [Synod?] Anyone? Bueller...?
Yes, the times are quite different now, aren’t they? And we might have noticed that the definition of marriage is HUGE news everywhere, and that churchmen throughout the western world are picking up their skirts and racing away from the Church’s teaching on it as fast as their podgy legs and well-fed frames will carry them. So now, the press has smelt blood in the water with the developments regarding the Synod and the pope marrying couples in illicit unions is also HUGE news.
Simply, by calling the Synod on the family in a conciliatory response to the pressure from the German bishops – a pack of brazen heretics and homosexual-enablers who have for decades been forthrightly demanding that the Church change its teaching - and by allowing his goon favourite theologian, the notorious heretic - and leader of the German liberal contingent - Walter Kasper to serve as the frontman for the Synod project; by praising this man’s “serene theology” both from the loggia and at the Consistory, Pope Cuddlytoy has given the press a massive crack to stick in their devices and shove. And so far, it has rewarded them mightily and the stones of the edifice are giving way in a most satisfactory manner, with the rotten mortar of doctrine crumbling down as a fine inconsequential dust, long since deprived of its power to hold them together.
And do we need to mention all the rest? That his chief of staff in the little Gang of Eight junta, Cardinal Maradiaga, recently said in a speech, (in English, so, no it wasn’t the “translations”) that the Church is “reconciled with Modernism”? And that this assertion also received no clarification from the pope or the press office? And do we talk about the endless stream of non-clarifications from that good office from all the pope’s other gestures? Like when he called a divorced and civilly “remarried” woman in South America and tells her that if her parish priest refuses her Communion she should just go find a nicer priest?
The Church-hating press, who howled every day of his pontificate for Benedict’s head on a platter, have been mightily gratified with this new, improved pontificate. And with nearly his every move, they have proved themselves much better judges of papal signals than the sad sycophants in the ever-shrinking pond of “conservatives” who doggedly continue to parrot the lines they’ve been taught: “Don’t judge!” “You don’t know what really happened!” “It’s the translaaaayshuns!!”
But we certainly do know what’s happening, don’t we. We have been hearing the drums rolling since last March, and they’ve been getting louder and louder…