And many other headlines playing fast in loose with a cut and paste
He made the comments in his annual Christmas address to the Vatican bureaucracy, one of his most important speeches of the year.
You know an article is going to be really fair when the Roman Curia is called the Vatican Bureaucracy. Though that is fair enough. Really all political reporting should refer to politicians addressing the bureaucracy whether of state, federal, parliamentary, etc stripe.
Still the annual address to Roman Curia being described as one of the Pope’s most important speeches of the year is quite odd and really pure hyperbole. Why is it considered one of the most important speeches of the year? Because the reporter says it is.
The great joy with which families from all over the world congregated in Milan indicates that, despite all impressions to the contrary, the family is still strong and vibrant today. But there is no denying the crisis that threatens it to its foundations – especially in the western world. It was noticeable that the Synod repeatedly emphasized the significance, for the transmission of the faith, of the family as the authentic setting in which to hand on the blueprint of human existence. This is something we learn by living it with others and suffering it with others. So it became clear that the question of the family is not just about a particular social construct, but about man himself – about what he is and what it takes to be authentically human. The challenges involved are manifold. First of all there is the question of the human capacity to make a commitment or to avoid commitment. Can one bind oneself for a lifetime? Does this correspond to man’s nature? Does it not contradict his freedom and the scope of his self-realization? Does man become himself by living for himself alone and only entering into relationships with others when he can break them off again at any time? Is lifelong commitment antithetical to freedom? Is commitment also worth suffering for? Man’s refusal to make any commitment – which is becoming increasingly widespread as a result of a false understanding of freedom and self-realization as well as the desire to escape suffering – means that man remains closed in on himself and keeps his “I” ultimately for himself, without really rising above it. Yet only in self-giving does man find himself, and only by opening himself to the other, to others, to children, to the family, only by letting himself be changed through suffering, does he discover the breadth of his humanity. When such commitment is repudiated, the key figures of human existence likewise vanish: father, mother, child – essential elements of the experience of being human are lost.
While certainly the Holy Father is referencing the crisis that affects marriage, it goes a little far to see this totally in the light of just same-sex “marriage.” It goes deeper than that with divorce, single parenthood, and other deconstructions of the family. You can see this by the simple fact that the Pope is talking about attitudes in actual marriage of lifelong commitment and the false idea of freedom. The idea of self-giving and sacrifice in the face of an individualistic view of marriage where love is a feeling that can pass and not the willing of the good for the other. There is a crisis that goes way beyond same-sex “marriage” that has crippled family life and in fact made the way for the view of marriage that made same-sex “marriage” seem to be the same thing. The Pope does go on to talk about the new philosophy of sexuality that is a profound falsehood and what I would call the “dictatorship of sexual relativity” to mangle a phrase from the Holy Father.
In the Pope’s Message for the World Day of Peace he did specifically talk about same-sex “marriage’.
There is also a need to acknowledge and promote the natural structure of marriage as the union of a man and a woman in the face of attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different types of union; such attempts actually harm and help to destabilize marriage, obscuring its specific nature and its indispensable role in society.
This led to a small protest in St. Peter square by activists. It always seems to surprise them that the Church has not yet become a proponent of homosexual acts and a sterile view of marriage. The Church has become like the prophets of old. Proclaiming the truth to a generation that does not want to hear it. Although the call to repentance is a call we can all be rather deaf to.
This was a part of his World Day of Peace message that I had highlighted when I previously read it.
“The precondition for peace is the dismantling of the dictatorship of relativism and of the supposition of a completely autonomous morality which precludes acknowledgment of the ineluctable natural moral law inscribed by God upon the conscience of every man and woman.”