The Pope: Separation Can Be Morally Necessary

by Rodney Pelletier  •  •  June 25, 2015   

You are not signed in as a Premium user; we rely on Premium users to support our news reporting. Sign in or Sign up today!

The teaching magisterium of the New York Post triumphantly declares there's been "a massive shift in tone in the Catholic view about matrimony." It's talking about Pope Francis' comment at his recent Wednesday general audience: "there are cases in which separation is inevitable. Sometimes it can even become morally necessary."

Liberals aren't quite tired out from doing their happy-dance from the Pope's latest encyclical. In the article, Lisa Fullam, an associate professor at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University, expresses with great relief, "Francis' message might give women trapped in violent relationships the strength to put their safety ahead of doctrine."

In reality, the Church's doctrine has never forced women to be "trapped" in violent relationships, not even in "tone." Canon Law from both 1917 and 1983 pretty much agree, saying, "If either of the spouses causes grave mental or physical danger to the other spouse or to the offspring or otherwise renders common life too difficult, that spouse gives the other a legitimate cause for leaving, either by decree of the local ordinary or even on his or her own authority if there is danger in delay."

Pope Francis' comment agrees with canon law. "Sometimes it can even become morally necessary, when in fact it is a question of removing the weaker spouse, or little children, from the gravest wounds caused by arrogance and violence, humiliation and exploitation, estrangement and indifference."

While all that is true, the Church always hopes these separations are temporary and used as a means to point out to the errant spouse he's crossed a line. Forgiveness, reunification and reconciliation with God and family are the real aims of separation.

The Holy Father's not saying anything revolutionary or different than what's been taught by the Church. In other words, nothing new to see here, folks — but good for you, New York Post — you learned something about the Catholic faith; you get a gold star.


Have a news tip? Submit news to our tip line.

We rely on you to support our news reporting. Please donate today.
By commenting on you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our comment posting guidelines