The throw-away culture places marriage under attack
In an audience with the members of the Schoenstatt Movement on October 25, 2014 in the Vatican’s Paul VI Audience Hall, Pope Francis spoke about the attacks that the Sacrament of Marriage is undergoing in today’s culture. The Schoenstatt Movement is an international Marian apostolic organization that recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of its founding in Germany. There were more than 7,000 pilgrims present and the audience took a question and answer format. In this discussion, Pope Francis warned that the throw-away culture has placed marriage under attack now more than ever. Vatican Radio states, “[The Holy Father] said marriage should not be seen just a social rite and urged priests to stay close to couples and especially children experiencing the trauma of a family break-up.”
The growing relativism over the concept of marriage is the root of the attacks, Pope Francis said. Warning that the common view in society is that “you can call everything family, right?” the Pope stressed that “what is being proposed is not marriage, it’s an association.” There are many new “forms” of unions, which he called “totally destructive and limiting the greatness of the love of marriage.”
Another issue he addressed was the lack of proper marriage preparation for engaged couples. Too many couples misunderstand the difference between marriage as a Sacrament and marriage as a social rite. In viewing marriage as a mere social rite, union with God is lost, which is the most indispensable element. Marriage as a lifelong commitment has been lost in our culture today, which only values the temporary.
Pope Francis encouraged priests to walk closely with married couples, patiently accompanying them and encouraging them along their journey. He also urged the people to turn to Mary, saying that the Church without Mary is like an orphanage.