Pope Francis recently made a simple comment about the state of modern marriages which sent shock waves around the globe and instantly became a trending topic online. He was responding to a question at a conference and he launched into a lament about our culture’s devaluing of commitments and consequently, a crisis in marriages. In his own words, he said…
“We live in a culture of the provisional … It’s provisional, and because of this the great majority of our sacramental marriages are null. Because they say ‘yes, for the rest of my life!’ but they don’t know what they are saying. Because they have a different culture. They say it, they have good will, but they don’t know…It’s a social issue, and how do we change this? I don’t know.”
The statement that “a great majority of sacramental marriages are null” caused instant push back.
Could the majority of all marriages really be invalid? The implications of that statement are immeasurable. An audio transcript of his words was later modified to replace the phrase “the great majority of marriages” with “some marriages.”
Taken out of context, I don’t know what the Pope’s intended message here may have been. I certainly don’t agree that most marriages are “invalid;” but on some level, I wholeheartedly agree that there is a crisis in modern marriages. We’ve lost sight of true commitment. We’ve trivialized the sacredness of marriage. As a society, we’ve settled for something less than the sacred, beautiful, lifelong gift marriage is intended to be.

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