Pope Francis: “there cannot be confusion between the family desired by God and every other type of union”

The other day His Holiness Pope Francis gave the annual address to the Roman Rota. HERE

The Rota, the Tribunal Apostolicum Rotae Romanae or Apostolic Tribunal of the Roman Rota is the Church’s highest appellate court.  It takes its name from the round table that was used.  A great deal of its business has to do with cases of nullity of marriages.

Here are a few excerpts of Pope Francis address in my fast translation:


The Church indicated to the world that, among other things, there cannot be confusion between the family desired by God and every other type of union.


The family, founded on indissoluble marriage….


It is good to reaffirm with clarity that the quality of faith is not an essential condition for matrimonial consent, which, according to perennial doctrine, can be undermined only at the natural level (cf CIC can 1055 § 1, 2).


The Church, therefore, with a renewed sense of responsibility, continues to propose matrimony, in its essential elements – offspring, the good of the spouses, unity, indissolubility, sacramentality – not as an idea for few, notwithstanding modern models centered on the ephemeral and transitory, but as a reality that, in the grace of Christ, can be lived by all the baptized faithful.


Those who promote homosexual relations and who undermine the indissolubility of marriage won’t be happy with this.   Sorry Fishwrap.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. LeeF says:

    Although we await the pope’s official document on the synod, this pretty clearly signals what the result will be, i.e. adherence to orthodox doctrine while urging some greater pastoral engagement short of admission to communion for those in an objectively sinful relation, whether hetero or homosexual.

    The pope’s modus operandi seems to be to have a free-wheeling discussion followed by no doctrinal change. Something for us to keep in mind for future synods.

    Sorry Fishwrap indeed. Hard to see how they can spin this with a happy face. No ordination for women and no acceptance of adulterous or homosexual unions. Frowny faces for MSW and PZ and their heretical brethern.

  2. slainewe says:

    “its essential elements – offspring, the good of the spouses, unity, indissolubility, sacramentality”

    By the grace of God, was “offspring” actually listed before “the good of the spouses” in the untranslated document?

  3. LeeF says:

    Something to further note is a more complete excerpt than what Fr. Z gave above from the Italian. The English translation can be found on the VIS site here: http://visnews-en.blogspot.com/2016/01/to-tribunal-of-roman-rota-adequate.html

    In particular the paragraph:
    “It should be clearly affirmed that the quality of faith is not an essential condition for matrimonial consent, which according to the longstanding doctrine, can be undermined only at a natural level. Indeed, the habitus fidei is infused in the moment of Baptism and continues to flow mysteriously into the soul, even when the faith is not developed or psychologically appears to be absent. It is not unusual for newly-weds, drawn to marriage by the instinctus naturae, at the moment of celebration have a limited awareness of the fullness of God’s plan, and only later, in family life, discover all that God the Creator and Redeemer has established for them. The lack of formation in faith and also an error regarding the unity, indissolubility and sacramental dignity of marriage may vitiate matrimonial consent only if they determine will. It is precisely for this reason that errors regarding the sacramental nature of marriage must be evaluated very carefully”.

    Note that while the Holy Father wishes there to be better pre-marriage preparation, he also seems to say that lack of good formation only vitiates consent if it determines will. To me this means that one or both parties would not have consented if they fully understood what marriage requires of them.

    But how can they now understand fully in faith what is required, which they presumably now will apply, perhaps retroactively to a second marriage, if they are/were unwilling to apply it to the first by way of reconciliation with their first spouse? That is, can their fully formed will dependent on who the spouse is/was?

    Most importantly, how can it be assumed that post-annulment, a party to a previous marriage now in fact possesses that full formation for a second marriage? If not, then logically this could lead to serial annulments.

  4. Matthew says:

    If you don’t want angry people ‘unfriending’ you on Facebook you probably shouldn’t link to this.

    I’m crushed I tell you, crushed. I hope he and his husband get over it.

  5. Benedict Joseph says:

    The God of surprises strikes again. Thankfully. I regret appearing ungrateful. But really, why should we be surprised about this? This is at least what need be expected, especially given the silence offered as before the Italian consideration of legal recognition of same-sex hook-ups.
    But be careful, there is always another surprise to come…

  6. DonL says:

    This insures the pope’s bona fides on paper, but the real test is the praxis, the application of all this, while under his authority. As one who live through the corruption and destruction by the spirit of Vatican II, I shall wait and see how the confused message of “mercy” melds with the truth shouted by Christ and John the Baptist—“repent.”

  7. Ferde Rombola says:

    Like Don L above, I have my misgivings. Marry the Pope’s current statement with his intention to celebrate Luther’s revolution with Lutherans and we have more confusion. The rending of the Body of Christ is not cause for celebration.

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