Ever since Pope Francis took office, he has been under attack by a very determined bunch of conservative cardinals. More recently, however, the intensity of these attacks has been ratcheted up. Pope Francis has now been accused publicly of promoting “heretical” positions.

How so?

On 19 September 2016, four cardinals wrote to Pope Francis expressing their need to clarify whether Pope Francis intends to modify the position of John Paul II respecting if and when divorced Catholics who have entered into a civil marriage may receive Communion. John Paul II insisted that, in exceptional cases, this might be allowed if the couple was repentant and willing to live together as brother and sister (no sex).

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  1. Q. What is the logic here of requiring that Catholics in the civil marriage must live as “brother and sister”?

    A. Ever since the Council of Trent, every Catholic was required to marry before a priest and two witnesses. Any other so-called “marriages” for Catholics were declared null and void. In plain speak, God completely ignored civil laws governing marriage. Only Church Laws were binding on Catholics.

    The second assumption made by the Catholic Church is that “divorce does not exist” for Catholics. Marriages based upon coercion, incest, or prior secret marriages could be annulled, i.e., declared as null and void by a Church court.

    The third assumption is that sex outside of marriage is seriously sinful. Hence, any couple living together must be interacting as “brother and sister.” No incest. No sex.

    Put these three assumptions together, and you can understand WHY Catholics in a civil marriage must live as “brother and sister.”

    OK Now let’s look at some real cases in order to understand why the above solution is sometimes just plain cruel and mindless:

    Case #1 My Church “punishes” my second marriage =
    Case #2 Consider the case of Jesus being asked to approve the stoning of a woman caught in adultery =
    Case #3 Are the hands of the cardinals tied by canon law? =

    Tell me whether my response was useful to you?


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