WHAT POPE FRANCIS DID NOT SAY
Contrary to headlines in the news and to pundits on television who gleefully announced that last Wednesday “Pope Francis stunned the world when he opened the doors to divorce in the Church,” POPE FRANCIS DID NOT USE THE WORD DIVORCE in his weekly audience talk on the wounds that harm families.
He used the word SEPARATION.
Here is the original paragraph in Italian from his June 24 catechesis that is being twisted by the media:
“E’ vero, d’altra parte, che ci sono casi in cui la separazione è inevitabile. A volte può diventare persino moralmente necessaria, quando appunto si tratta di sottrarre il coniuge più debole, o i figli piccoli, alle ferite più gravi causate dalla prepotenza e dalla violenza, dall’avvilimento e dallo sfruttamento, dall’estraneità e dall’indifferenza.”
Here is the English translation:
“It is true that there are cases in which separation is inevitable. Sometimes it can become even morally necessary, precisely when it comes to subtracting the weaker spouse, or small children, from more serious injuries caused by arrogance and violence, by humiliation and exploitation, by extraneousness (non-involvement) and by indifference.”
After the Pope delivers his weekly catechesis in Italian at a general audience, that talk is summarized and translated into 7 other languages. At no time, in any language, did Pope Francis use the word “divorce.” He spoke solely of “separation.”
Here is the entire official English language summary from Wednesday’s audience:
Dear Brothers and Sisters: We know well that every family on occasion suffers moments when one family member offends another. Through our words, actions, or omissions, instead of expressing love for our spouse or children, we can sometimes diminish or demean that love. Hiding these hurts only deepens such wounds, leading to anger and friction between loved ones. If these wounds are particularly deep, they can even lead a spouse to search for understanding elsewhere, to the detriment of the family, especially children. Being one flesh, any wounds that spouses suffer are shared by their children, born of their flesh. When we remember how Jesus warned adults not to scandalize little ones (cf. Mt 18:6), we better understand the vital responsibility to maintain and protect the bond of marriage which is the foundation of the human family. We thank God that although these wounds may lead some to separation, even then many men and women remain true to their conjugal bond, sustained by faith and by love for their children. For those who enter into so-called irregular situations, we must reflect on how best to help and accompany them in their lives. Let us ask the Lord for a strong faith to see with his eyes the reality of family life, and for a deep love to approach all families with his merciful heart.
French: Ce sont les enfants qui souffrent profondément de ces séparations.
Italian: E’ vero, d’altra parte, che ci sono casi in cui la separazione è inevitabile.
German: Freilich gibt es auch Fälle, wo eine Trennung der Ehepartner zum Schutz des schwächeren…
Spanish: En algunos casos, la separación es inevitable, precisamente para proteger al cónyuge más débil o a los hijos pequeños.
From Arabic into Italian: Preghiamo per tutte le famiglie separate…
So, I ask: Could anything be clearer? So let’s stop putting words in the Pope’s mouth. And, folks, if you read that the Pope said something and it doesn’t sound right, go to the source. Go to the Vatican’s www.news.va and you’ll find what the Holy Father really said, not what the media wishes he had said!