From Mahound’s Paradise:
Antonio “Sock-Puppet” Spadaro is at it again, this time with a pro-cohabitation tweet.
Actually, in true Spadaro fashion, the tweet is in fact a retweet of his own original tweet. He realized that the first tweet didn’t pick up the evocative photo centered on the “back” of the young women, so he added it on the retweet. I’m not kidding about that.
Don’t blame me, man. I didn’t even notice it at first. I was looking at the Pope’s welcoming expression.
The picture heads a short article in Spadaro’s CyberTeologia titled (you guessed it), “The welcoming of those young people who prefer to live together without getting married…” The piece seems to classify cohabitation as a sort of potentially benign stepping stone (made all the more pervasive by the uncertainties caused by modern capitalism or whatever):
And this is why he [Pope Francis] asks for the welcoming of those young people who prefer to live together without getting married.
But the Pope has done nothing more than to repeat what the Synod of Bishops 2016 approved with more than an 80% consensus . . . and that is that one realizes that simply cohabiting is often chosen due to a general mentality against definitive commitments, but also because the couple is waiting for existential security (work and a fixed salary).
All these situations must be addressed in a constructive manner, trying to transform them into an opportunity to journey towards the fullness of marriage and family in the light of the Gospel.
Rather, in many circumstances, the decision to live together is a sign of a relationship that needs to be directed to an outlook of stability to which it is important to focus.
In my experience, living together as a sort of stepping stone is how most cohabitating couples view things anyway: “We’re not ready yet.” “We’re going to try it and see what happens.” “He might get transferred.” And so on. Very few couples, again in my experience, would brand cohabitation itself as a permanent arrangement.
So, Spadaro’s novel interpretation of Church teaching appears to be nothing more than the outlook of the average indecisive twenty-seven year-old.
But of course, it’s not simply Spadaro’s novel interpretation, but that of Pope Francis. Spadaro’s article was no doubt written at the direction or blessing of the Pope, and is taken from an address that the Pope gave to priests on the “new matrimonial process” just the day before:
“At the same time, be neighbours in the style proper to the Gospel, in encounter and welcome, to those young people who prefer to cohabit without getting married”, he said, “because on a spiritual and moral level they are among the poorest and the least, for whom the Church, following in the footsteps of her Master and Lord, wishes to be a mother who does not abandon them, but rather who approaches and cares for them. Christ also loves these people with all His heart. Look upon them with tenderness and compassion. This care for the least, precisely because it emanates from the Gospel, is an essential part of your task of promoting and defending the sacrament of marriage”.
Sorry, I meant to give you the more illuminating shortened version:
welcom(ing) those young people who prefer to cohabit without getting married . . . is an essential part of your task of promoting and defending the sacrament of marriage”.
As to whether Francis/Spadaro believes that cohabitating couples should take communion: based on that photo and the texts, what do you think?
There’s a hidden irony here. The photo above is not a recent one. It was taken in the first year of the Pope’s pontificate at a “Valentine’s Day” audience with “20,000 engaged couples” in St. Peter’s Square.
In other words, the unidentified young woman whose un-jacket-covered bum Antonio Spadaro saw fit to appropriate for his religious magazine was not “living together without getting married,” but was instead engaged to the young man holding her hand.
Spadaro wrote a book on cyberethics.
Let me end on an obvious but serious point. The Church has always believed that premarital sex is a grave sin. The proper response to grave sin is not “maybe it will develop into something else” but “stop.”
The Pope clearly does not believe the Church’s teaching. He doesn’t want that couple to believe it. He doesn’t want you to believe it.
Either he’s wrong and this is therefore another example of why he either isn’t or shouldn’t be Pope. Or else, on this subject, what the Church has taught for the last 2,000 years, going all the way back to the words of our Lord, is a lie.
Which do you think it is?