News / Europe

    Pope to Marry Couples 'Living in Sin'

    Pope Francis blesses the Austro-Hungarian cemetery at Fogliano in Redipuglia, Sept. 13, 2014.
    Pope Francis blesses the Austro-Hungarian cemetery at Fogliano in Redipuglia, Sept. 13, 2014.
    VOA NewsReuters

    Pope Francis on Sunday plans to marry 20 couples whose relationships would traditionally be considered sinful, as he works to make the Catholic Church more inclusive.

    The mass wedding at St. Peter's Basilica will include couples who have been living together out of wedlock and those who already have children.

    This will be the first Vatican wedding ceremony since Pope John Paul II married eight couples in 2000.

    The event coincides with the upcoming start of an Extraordinary Synod of Bishops. The gathering will focus on a worldwide Vatican study of divorce, contraception and other family and social issues.

    Condemns war

    Pope Francis on Saturday said the spate of conflicts around the globe today are effectively a “piecemeal” Third World War,  condemning the arms trade and “plotters of terrorism” sowing death and destruction.

    “Humanity needs to weep and this is the time to weep,” Francis said in the homily of a Mass during a visit to Italy's largest war memorial, a large, Fascist-era monument where more than 100,000 soldiers who died in World War I are buried.

    The pope began his brief visit to northern Italy by first praying in a nearby, separate cemetery for some 15,000 soldiers from five nations of the Austro-Hungarian empire which were on the losing side of the Great War that broke out 100 years ago.

    People walk at the Redipuglia Military Sacrarium, Italy, Sept. 12, 2014.People walk at the Redipuglia Military Sacrarium, Italy, Sept. 12, 2014.
    People walk at the Redipuglia Military Sacrarium, Italy, Sept. 12, 2014.
    People walk at the Redipuglia Military Sacrarium, Italy, Sept. 12, 2014.

    “War is madness,” he said in his homily before the massive, sloping granite memorial, made of 22 steps on the side of hill with three crosses at the top.

    “Even today, after the second failure of another world war, perhaps one can speak of a third war, one fought piecemeal, with crimes, massacres, destruction,” he said.

    In the past few months, Francis has made repeated appeals for an end to conflicts in Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, Gaza and parts of Africa.

    Some portions of this article are from AP, Reuters.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
    by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
    September 14, 2014 11:02 PM
    Is religion still very relevant in technologically advanced society? What kind of role the religion plays in the Western world?.
    Here in this part of Africa only illiterates, fanatics, idiots and uneducated people practice religion. Is the same thing happening in Europe and Americas?

    by: Angel from: florida
    September 14, 2014 6:36 PM
    Marry people to seem more inclusive? And people will only see this as something God woild allow. The catholic church is a fraud to the true word of God. They donot follow the bible and consider themselves the last word, true blasphemy. Read your bible america. Nothing these people follow are from the bible.

    by: Jean from: Florida
    September 14, 2014 11:11 AM
    The Lord watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy. Psalm 145:20

    by: Joe Theisen
    September 14, 2014 12:09 AM
    What God has joined together let no man put asunder.
    In Response

    by: Francisco from: Mexico
    September 15, 2014 3:34 PM
    You are absolutely right. In fact, despite the title of the Reuters' article, there is no mention of divorece or remarriage. What the Pope is doing refers to people who are living together without joining their lives before God. He wants them to commit themselves to form a family under Our Lord.

    by: Cactusrose from: USA
    September 13, 2014 10:34 PM
    Considering that most wars in human history, and certainly this one, are caused by religious brainwashing I suggest the man in the funny hat keeps a lid on it.
    In Response

    by: Brandon from: Iowa
    September 14, 2014 10:27 AM
    I am an atheist, but actually you are wrong - most wars have nothing to do with religion. The Encyclopedia of Wars is a 3 volume set, several pages long. It discusses every known war fought by humans, nearly two thousand of them. One hundred twenty three (123) of them have been religious wars, less than 7% of the total wars fought by humans, and less than 2% of those who have been killed in war died in those religious wars.
    The claim that most or nearly all of the wars in human history are the result of religion or religious brain washing is anti-religious brain washing.

    by: mortimerzilch from: usa
    September 13, 2014 8:57 PM
    In the past, - correct me if I am wrong - the Church used to make the couple SEPARATE for a period of time before marrying them. This article seems to indicate that the separation is no longer being required. Is that so?
    In Response

    by: Mosha M from: Vatican
    September 13, 2014 11:28 PM
    You are correct. and the separation was carnally

    This article is nothing but non-sense.
    In Response

    by: kris from: usa
    September 13, 2014 9:31 PM
    Pastors have found that many couples have children who not only need both parents or who would not understand such a separation. Rather it is important the couples realize their sinful situation, confess before participating in the sacrament of marriage. Mother Theresa used to find the easiest pathways to sacramentally normalize the non-baptized or others in such situations as discussed here...and by great numbers.

    by: wavettore from: USA
    September 13, 2014 7:39 PM
    The World conspiracy is not a theory. Israel was a concept before it became a State and today is a State like no other. In fact it is the only Country in the World that has never defined its borders since its Declaration of Independence and now is ready to expand its territory through the use of any means. The New World Order is precisely a Greater State of Israel that extends to the whole World, as written in the Bible, but an objective like this would face massive resistance from all populations if its Plan were exposed and remain unfulfilled without the use of Deception. The Zionists and their Plan want the US forces to fight on behalf of Israel. All media and the many US politicians on payroll of Israel demand with one voice the US involvement against ISIS. But one should ask how was it possible for ISIS to grow so quickly, so organized and well-armed without having a State behind as sponsor. The chief of ISIS is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi who spent time in a US detention camp before being released in 2009. It seems straight from Hollywood the new strategy of filming horrific beheading. In a World without coincidence, the sponsor is the same hidden hand responsible for 9/11. There is no doubt that the Zionists have all the means to enlist mercenaries from all Countries and Islamic extremists without having to show their face.Obama is aware of it and feels stuck in a quicksand.
    The stalemate will go on until Jeb Bush will become US president, then … How could anyone still believe the story of Osama Bin Laden?

    by: RJ from: USA
    September 13, 2014 6:45 PM
    Pope Francis understands as did Pope Julius II, that once ISLAM gets the upper hand they will TEAR DOWN the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel and worldwide everything associated with Christendom...including St Paul's Cathedral...

    ISLAM is the scourge of the earth...

    by: lukas77 from: United States
    September 13, 2014 6:41 PM
    Those who live in sin before they are married are under the power and control of satan -- the consequences of this mortal sin include using each other as sex objects, the murder of unborn babies through abortifacient contraceptives and abortions, the contraction and transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, physical and psychological abuse resultant from these illicit and indecent relationships, long term mental problems that invariably result from such evil relationships (when not repented of), and the mocking and immolation of the Mystical Body of Christ (i.e., the Church). Remember the wages of sin in death!

    Christians, in name only, engaged in such premarital sex and cohabitating relationships can be forgiven, if they are truly sincere, through the Catholic sacrament of confession. This means, first, they break off their illicit and indecent relationships and cohabitationships with opposite sex partners and, second, for such respective partners still contemplating marriage that they, after a decent period of breaking off there illicit relationships, engage in prayerful discernment and seek counseling from a "good" Catholic priest with respect to whether they should still go through with marriage that may not, otherwise, survive for very long.

    Based on the foregoing, while unrepentant couples may attempt to exchange Christian sacramental nuptial vows, the Holy Trinity will clearly and certainly not recognize past, present and future attempts at marriage where couples have not sincerely repented of any of the foregoing sins that inevitably bring death to unrepentant souls engaged in these sins. Unrepentance can never make and invalid contract of marriage between couples and God valid. God cannot be mocked!
    In Response

    by: ussjimmycarter from: Minneapolis
    September 13, 2014 11:57 PM
    The "Sacrament of Confession"? Really! C'mon! No wonder Luther left the church! I can confess my sins directly to the Father in Jesus name! I don't need the church to make it a Sacrament! Good grief! Communion and Baptism...yes. Repentance, NEVER!
    In Response

    by: Brian from: Los Angeles
    September 13, 2014 10:41 PM
    Sounds like you are more Catholic than the Pope.

    When Jesus met the Samaritan woman, He told her to "go call your husband." Despite the fact that He knew she was with a man who she was not married to, He approached this woman with compassion, and she in turn called her entire village to discipleship.

    Jesus came to save what was lost, and Pope Francis is following His Master's example. God bless this Pope and His ministry of reconciliation.
    In Response

    by: kris from: usa
    September 13, 2014 9:34 PM
    So they are asked to confess beforehand....sheesh!

    by: Mark from: Virginia
    September 13, 2014 6:29 PM
    I have nothing against the Pope, I'm sure he means well and has the best of interests at heart. But I may ask...

    What plans does the Pope have to end all this violence? He can condemn it all he want, as I do, but apart from words, what can he possible do? If he has any suggestions, I'm sure the world leaders would be grateful to hear them.
    In Response

    by: billyrumble from: USA
    September 14, 2014 11:36 AM
    What you're saying is that all the world leaders and their academicians are so vain and stupid that none of them come up with a solution to prevent wars and they need the Pope to tell them what to do. The Pope is telling them what to do. Make this a priority.
    In Response

    by: kris from: usa
    September 13, 2014 9:55 PM
    A previous experience of similar near but on a smaller scale for the times:

    The Spirit of Lepanto

    "The history of the Battle of Lepanto is a parable of Marian Chivalry. It is all about the idealism of the cross, devotion to Our Lady, and the manly translation of prayer into action for the glory of God and the salvation of men.

    In the late sixteenth century Christendom faced the onslaught of the Ottoman Empire. The Muslim armies threatened to overrun Christian Europe and establish Islam as the prevailing religion. It was a time for heroism, but there were few heroes. It was time to rally under the banner of Christ the King and His Holy Mother, but only a remnant of Christian soldiers were prepared to fight. The two principal protagonists of the Battle of Lepanto were the Vicar of Christ, Pope St. Pius V and Don John of Austria, the bastard son of Charles V. Both were men of prayer and action. The one, a priest, gave witness first of all to the power of prayer. The other, a layman, epitomized the translation of prayer into action.

    Pius V also enlisted the help of Spain and Venice, to which he added the Knights of Malta and troops from the Papal States. This became the Holy League led by Don John. However, much the rest of Christian Europe stood by and risked the complete loss of Christendom to the Islamic invasion.

    The Protestant heresy, indifferentism and politics kept France, Germany and England from participating. Most of all there was a decadence of mind and conviction, what Chesterton called the “tangled things and texts and aching eyes,” of a spiritless Europe falling headlong into relativist philosophy, the slogan of “scripture alone,” and the rejection of the Woman whom God made worthy to be the Mother of His Son.

    A Turn of the Wind

    Mediated through the maternal Heart of Mary, providence brought the natural forces of gallant knights under the influence of supernatural direction and power. Pope St. Pius V sent Don Juan of Austria and the Holy League with rosaries into battle, and he asked all of Christendom to pray along with them and for them. He said: “I am taking up arms against the Turks, but the only thing that can help me is the prayers of priests of pure life.” An image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was even sent by Philip II of Spain to Admiral Giovanni Adrea Doria, which he mounted in the cabin of his flagship and took with him into battle.

    On the morning of October 7, 1571 the ships of the Holy League sailed into the Gulf of Lepanto, against the wind toward a fleet that was vastly larger. Don John of Austria was a true knight, a man of both prayer and action. During the battle with crucifix in hand, Don John went from ship to ship calling out repeatedly to his men: “My children, we are here to conquer or die. In death or victory you will win immortality.” But the good captain of the Holy League was prepared not only with prayer, but also with a plan. His galleys were state of the art with greater firepower and defensive protection, and the enemy was not prepared to deal with them. Still Don John was badly outnumbered.

    In the end, it was God, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who indeed gave the Don John the victory. When the fleet entered the Bay of Lepanto they had the wind in their faces. The galley slaves struggled to power the fleet into battle, while the much larger Muslim fleet rested and waited with the wind in its favor. But as Don John and his officers knelt in prayer beneath the blue banner of the Holy League, the wind suddenly changed, the Christian sails filled and Our Lady’s host was now suddenly bearing down upon the Turks. What had looked like a certain loss for Christendom suddenly turned into a rout of the Turks."

    The rest of the story:
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