Francis discusses Amoris Laetitia, money, just war and psychoanalysis in new book-length interview
By virtue of its very definition, marriage can only be between a man and a woman, Pope Francis has said in a new book-length interview.
“We cannot change it. This is the nature of things,” not just in the Church, but in human history, he said in a series of interviews with Dominique Wolton, a 70-year-old French sociologist and expert in media and political communication.
Published in French, the 417-page book, Politique et Société (“Politics and Society”) will be released on September 6. Catholic News Service obtained an advance copy, and excerpts appeared online.
When it comes to the true nature of marriage as well as gender, there is “critical confusion at the moment”, the Pope said.
When asked about marriage for same-sex couples, the Pope said, “Let’s call this ‘civil unions.’ We do not joke around with truth.”
Teaching children that they can choose their gender, he said, also plays a part in fostering such mistakes about the truth or facts of nature.
The Pope said he wondered whether these new ideas about gender and marriage were somehow based on a fear of differences, and he encouraged researchers to study the subject.
Pope Francis also said his decision to give all priests permanent permission to grant absolution to those who confess to having procured an abortion was not meant to trivialise this serious and grave sin.
Abortion continues to be “murder of an innocent person. But if there is sin, forgiveness must be facilitated,” he said. So often a woman who never forgets her aborted child “cries for years without having the courage to go see a priest”.
“Do you have any idea the number of people who can finally breathe?” he asked, adding how important it was these women can find the Lord’s forgiveness and never commit this sin again.
Pope Francis said the biggest threat in the world is money. In St Matthew’s Gospel, when Jesus talked about people’s love and loyalty being torn between two things, he didn’t say it was between “your wife or God”, it was choosing between God or money.
“It’s clear. They are two things opposed to each other,” he said.
When asked why people do not listen to this message even though it has been clearly condemned by the Church since the time of the Gospels, the Pope said it is because some people prefer to speak only about sexual morality.
“There is a great danger for preachers, lecturers, to fall into mediocrity,” which is condemning only those forms of immorality that fall “below the belt”, he said.
“But the other sins that are the most serious: hatred, envy, pride, vanity, killing another, taking away a life … these are really not talked about that much,” he said.
“The most minor sins are the sins of the flesh,” he said, because the flesh is weak. “The most dangerous sins are those of the mind”, and confessors should spend more time asking if a person prays, reads the Gospel and seeks the Lord.
One temptation the Church has always been vulnerable to, the Pope said, is being defensive because it is scared.
“Where in the Gospels does the Lord say that we need to seek security? Instead he said, ‘Risk, go ahead, forgive and evangelise.’”
Another temptation, he said, is to seek uniformity with rules, for example, in the debate concerning his apostolic exhortation on the family, Amoris Laetitia.
“When I talk about families in difficulty, I say, ‘Welcome, accompany, discern, integrate …’ and then everyone will see the doors open. In reality, what happens is you hear people say, ‘They cannot receive Communion.’ ‘They cannot do this and that.’”
That temptation of the Church to emphasise “no, no and no” and what is prohibited is the same “drama Jesus [experienced] with the Pharisees.”
This closed, fundamentalist mindset like Jesus faced is “the battle I lead today with the exhortation”.
Jesus followed “another logic” that went beyond prohibitions as he did not adhere to customs – like not touching lepers and stoning adulterers – that had become like commandments, he said.
Church leaders are used to “frozen norms” and “fixed standards”, but when they ask, “‘Can we give Communion to divorcees?’ I reply, ‘Speak with the divorced man and woman, welcome, accompany, integrate and discern”, which opens a path and a way of communication to lead people to Christ.
Encountering Christ is what leads people onto a path of living a moral life, he said.
When asked about the Church’s “just war” theory, the Pope said the issue should be looked into because “no war is just. The only just thing is peace.”
Concerning the persecution of Christians, particularly in the East, and the question of why God would allow such tragedy, the pope said, “I do not know where God is, but I know where man is in this situation. Men make weapons and sell them.”
It is easy for people to question God, he said, but “it is we who commit all this” and allow it to happen; “our humanity is corrupted”.
Speaking about women, the Pope said they have an important role in society because they help unify and reconcile people.
Some people mistake women’s demands to be represented and heard in the world with a kind of “machismo in a skirt”, but machismo is a form of “brutality” and does not represent what women should be.
He said with the reform of the Roman Curia, “there will be many women who will have decision-making power”, not just roles as advisers.
While he said he believes he will succeed in opening up more positions to women in the curia, it will be difficult and there will be problems – not because of misogyny, but because of “the problem of power”.
When Pope Francis and the French interviewer talked about differences between the Argentines and the French, the Pope said, “Argentines are quite fond of psychoanalysis.”
The Pope praised those psychoanalysts who are able to be “open to humanism and to dialogue with other sciences”, particularly medicine and homeopathy.
“Those whom I have known have helped me a lot at one point in my life when I needed consultation,” he said, describing how met with a Jewish psychoanalyst once a week for six months when he was 42 “to clear up certain things”.
“She was very good. Very professional as a doctor and psychoanalyst” and “she helped me so much.”
Here-under are some articles about family and marriage for you to read or watch:
- Getting to know you, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=284
- Be Positive, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=288
- Love and Marriage, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=292
- Endless Love – Marriage after all, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=294
- Say it with love, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=298
- Quality family moments, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=300
- Secret of successful marriage, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=302
- The vocation of marriage, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=1968
- Marriage as Covenant, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=1974
- Humility: Foundation for Marital Happiness, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=1986
- Gratitude: Foundation for marriage, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=1980
- True Meaning of marriage, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=1972
- Marriage and incompatibility, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=2112
- Love is a garden, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=2116
- Three kinds of love, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=2095
Have the courage to marry, start a family, Pope Francis tells youths in Assisi http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/05/30/have-the-courage-to-marry-start-a-family-pope-francis-tells-youths-in-assisi/
THE DOWNLOAD: CLARIFYING MARRIAGE – A canon lawyer joins the panel http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/05/15/the-download-clarifying-marriage-a-canon-lawyer-joins-the-panel/
The Beauty of Marriage from a Biblical Perspective http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/02/12/the-beauty-of-marriage-from-a-biblical-perspective/
Saint Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body in Video Presentation Saint Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body in Video Presentation
Sophia Sketchpad on Marriage Sophia Sketchpad – Marriage
Sacraments 101: Matrimony (Why make it Catholic)? Sacraments 101: Matrimony (Why make it Catholic?)
Want to change the world? It starts with joy – Archbishop Charles Chaput says http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/07/28/want-to-change-the-world-it-starts-with-joy-archbishop-charles-chaput-says/
How to Fix the “Annulment of Marriage Mentality”? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/07/14/how-to-fix-the-annulment-of-marriage-mentality/
A love that is life long: The marriage God wants for you A love that is life long: The marriage God wants for you
What’s destroying some Catholic marriages? What’s destroying some Catholic marriages?
The Centrality of Love to the Teaching of Humanae Vitae http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/07/21/the-centrality-of-love-to-the-teaching-of-humanae-vitae/
Historian lays out how we’ve arrived at today’s unprecedented attacks on the family http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/05/20/historian-lays-out-how-weve-arrived-at-todays-unprecedented-attacks-on-the-family/
Divorce’s many victims Divorce’s many victims
What Catholics need to know about marriage and sex, Part 2 What Catholics need to know about marriage and sex, Part 2
Why happily married women need to talk about sex? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/04/08/why-happily-married-women-need-to-talk-about-sex/
Can a Catholic sign a pre-nuptial agreement? Can a Catholic sign a pre-nuptial agreement?
We want Church truth on marriage, young Catholics say We want Church truth on marriage, young Catholics say
Wives, Be Subordinate to Your Husbands? – John Paul II on Ephesians 5:21-33 http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/02/12/wives-be-subordinate-to-your-husbands-john-paul-ii-on-ephesians-521-33/
An Open Letter to the Adulterers outed by the Ashley Madison Hackers An Open Letter to the Adulterers Outed by the Ashley Madison Hackers
Pro-life, Married & Contracepting: Is there a a problem? Pro-life, Married & Contracepting: Is there a problem?
Pope Francis’ General Audience: The Family is an irreplaceable source of stability for children Pope Francis’ General Audience: The Family is an irreplaceable source of stability for children
The 4 most important parts of marriage The 4 most important parts of marriage
Pre-Cana with St. John Chrysostom: 7 Tips to a successful marriage Pre-Cana with St. John Chrysostom: 7 Tips to a successful marriage
Reflections on the Indissolubility of Marriage and the Trinity http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/02/12/reflections-on-the-indissolubility-of-marriage-and-the-trinity/
Why Is Marriage Indissoluble? “The first natural tie of human society is man and wife.” St. Augustine http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/14/why-is-marriage-indissoluble-the-first-natural-tie-of-human-society-is-man-and-wife-st-augustine/
Sins Against the sacrament of marriage 44 Sins against the sacrament of marriage
Live-in: Research facts and analysis on cohabitation Live-in: Research facts and analysis on cohabitation
Bishop Olmsted Calls Men Into the Breach http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/02/05/bishop-olmsted-calls-men-into-the-breach/
Pope Francis: When families teach forgiveness, they strengthen society Pope Francis: When families teach forgiveness, they strengthen society
THIS EUROPEAN NATION JUST FOUGHT THE GAY AGENDA AND WON – Pope Francis lent a hand http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2015/12/23/this-european-nation-just-fought-the-gay-agenda-and-won-pope-francis-lent-a-hand/
Never Date a Feminist: 12 Warning Signs for Young Men http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/07/never-date-a-feminist-12-warning-signs-for-young-men/
Keeping sex for marriage helps marriages last the distance http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/06/15/keeping-sex-for-marriage-helps-marriages-last-the-distance/
Pope Francis: Most Catholic marriages are null, some ‘cohabitations’ are ‘real marriage’ http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/06/19/pope-francis-most-catholic-marriages-are-null-some-cohabitations-are-real-marriage/
Why Christ Will Never Let His Bride Redefine Marriage? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/08/19/why-christ-will-never-let-his-bride-redefine-marriage/
Gay ‘marriage’: It’s not gay, and it’s not marriage – G.K. Chesterton http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/09/14/gay-marriage-its-not-gay-and-its-not-marriage-g-k-chesterton/
Church’s Teaching on Marriage Comes From Author of Creation, Say Bishops http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/09/16/churchs-teaching-on-marriage-comes-from-author-of-creation-say-bishops/
The family in the era of soulmate marriage http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/09/29/the-family-in-the-era-of-soulmate-marriage/
Why millenials don’t want kids… Are their reasons good enough? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/09/29/why-millenials-dont-want-kids-are-their-reasons-good-enough/
Real insights about porn and marriage http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/10/28/real-insights-about-porn-and-marriage/
10 Issues You Should Discuss Before You Get Married (otherwise your marriage could be invalid!) http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/11/12/10-issues-you-should-discuss-before-you-get-married-otherwise-your-marriage-could-be-invalid/
Engaged Couple’s Spiritual Checklist http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/11/13/engaged-couples-spiritual-checklist/
Should You Get Married in the Church? 7 Couples Share Their Experience http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/11/13/should-you-get-married-in-the-church-7-couples-share-their-experience/
Must Catholics Marry in a Church? Must Catholics Have Their Wedding in a Church? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/11/13/must-catholics-marry-in-a-church-must-catholics-have-their-wedding-in-a-church/
Last Video Released in Series on Marriage http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/12/21/last-video-released-in-series-on-marriage/
For Catholics A Woman’s Place is in the Home http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/01/20/for-catholics-a-womans-place-is-in-the-home/
Real Women- The Catholic View Marriage and Family http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/01/20/real-women-the-catholic-view-marriage-and-family/
Real Women- Feminine Virtue and the Moral Life http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/01/20/real-women-feminine-virtue-and-the-moral-life/
The Human Person Is a Bioethical Word http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/01/20/the-human-person-is-a-bioethical-word/
Millennials stall the gender revolution in the home http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/04/08/millennials-stall-the-gender-revolution-in-the-home/
‘Don’t Judge’ — How to Respond When Your Relativistic Friend Quotes Jesus http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/04/22/dont-judge-how-to-respond-when-your-relativistic-friend-quotes-jesus/
Don’t divorce: Powerful arguments for saving and revitalizing your marriage http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/04/22/dont-divorce-powerful-arguments-for-saving-and-revitalizing-your-marriage/
Procreation: Still the Primary End of Marriage http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/04/25/procreation-still-the-primary-end-of-marriage/
Archbishop Charles Chaput: ‘The future belongs to people with children, not with things’ http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/08/02/archbishop-charles-chaput-the-future-belongs-to-people-with-children-not-with-things/
Birth Control and NFP: What’s the Difference? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/07/14/birth-control-and-nfp-whats-the-difference/
Divorce, Remarriage, and “Discerning the Body” http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/05/17/divorce-remarriage-and-discerning-the-body/
Annulments of Marriage: A Concession to Human Weakness http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/07/05/annulments-of-marriage-a-concession-to-human-weakness/
PSYCHOLOGIST VICKI THORN: FREE LOVE HAS CREATED CHAOS http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/07/27/psychologist-vicki-thorn-free-love-has-created-chaos/
Bishop Thomas Paprocki under fire for denying funerals for people in same-sex ‘marriages’ refuses to back down http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/07/30/bishop-thomas-paprocki-under-fire-for-denying-funerals-for-people-in-same-sex-marriages-refuses-to-back-down/
But What About Abusive Marriages? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/08/04/but-what-about-abusive-marriages/
What Makes a Marriage Valid? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/08/09/what-makes-a-marriage-valid/
“God himself is the author of marriage” (GS 48:1). The vocation of marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator. Marriage is not a purely human institution despite the many variations it may have undergone through the centuries in different cultures, social structures, and spiritual attitudes (CCC:1603)