On Feast of St. Valentine, a papal blessing

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One of the engaged couples who came to celebrate Valentines Day with the Pope Francis' blessings at St Peter's Square on February 14, 2014. RNS photo by Eyal Baruch (www.eyalos.com)

One of the engaged couples who came to celebrate Valentines Day with the Pope Francis' blessings at St Peter's Square on February 14, 2014. RNS photo by Eyal Baruch (www.eyalos.com)

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VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis gave the couples advice on how to have a happy and successful marriage.

  • gilhcan

    Good intentions, but as great as Francis is, both for being down to earth and a blessed breeze of fresh air from the staleness of the papacies of Paul VI, John Paul II, ad Benedict, “celibate” clergy are in no position to be advising about love and sex to anyone, least of all married couples or those planning on marrying. The pre-marital conference requirement before Catholic marriage is downright foolish. Celibate clergy shouldn’t know what they’re talking about even if they presume to or pretend to. This is where married lay people should be playing a part, and this is another argument for married clergy, including women.

  • Atheist Max

    The Pope’s advice on marriage is about as valuable as
    a janitor’s advice to a CEO on how to run a company.

  • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    It is amazing how uninformed about the Catholic Church of today some Church haters (and the media) are.
    The posting and comments show an ignorance about the Catholic clergy of today. Starting back in the 1980’s the Catholic Church began ordaining married men to its clergy ( I was ordained in 1980– now have 4 children and 8 grandchildren). Many of us are doing the pre-marriage instruction to couples and when not teaching couples about The Faith we deacons are frequently advising bishops and priests (who we communicate with a lot) about marriage or child-raising issues. In fact in our large city virtually all the marriage preparation in most parishes is given by married deacons and their wives.
    This arrangement (celibate priest, married deacon) works out very well because a priest’s family is supposed to spiritually be his “wife” and family. On the other hand, we deacons are supposed to give first place to our wives and children. (My pastor’s schedule is set up around Church meetings and duties. My Church schedule is set up around my family responsibilities and events.)

  • Fmr Cath

    (1 Timothy 3:1-5) 1) That statement is faithful. If any man is reaching out for an office of overseer, he is desirous of a fine work. 2) The overseer should therefore be irreprehensible, a husband of one wife, moderate in habits, sound in mind, orderly, hospitable, qualified to teach, 3) not a drunken brawler, not a smiter, but reasonable, not belligerent, not a lover of money, 4) a man presiding over his own household in a fine manner, having children in subjection with all seriousness; 5) if indeed any man does not know how to preside over his own household, how will he take care of God’s congregation?
    THERE YOU HAVE IT STRAIGHT FROM GOD’S WORD. THEY SHOULD BE MARRIED AND HAVE CHILDREN IN SUBJECTION IN THEIR OWN HOUSEHOLD. IT’S A REQUIREMENT… so why are priests, cardinals, bishops and even the pope required by “the church” to remain unmarried and celibate? It’s a MAN-MADE doctrine that is in DIRECT CONFLICT with God’s requirements. God knows what he is doing more than any man knows or understands. Do not confuse “church doctrine” with GOD’S WORD. It’s NOT the same thing…

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  • Atheist Max

    “Do not confuse “church doctrine” with GOD’S WORD. It’s NOT the same thing…”

    How could you know? Who could even try to know?
    Religious people need to understand that there is no such thing as ‘God’s Word’ anywhere in the world – The Bible is contradictory on every point.

  • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    Fmr Cath: Try reading Mt. 19:12 where Jesus talks about those who have “renounced marriage (become eunuchs, according to some translations) for the sake of the kingdom.”
    Try reading 1 Cor 7:32 where St. Paul writes: “An unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord. But a married man is anxious about the things of the world, how he may please his wife.”
    And there are many passages that show that the Church has the authority to decide which passages should be emphasized or practiced in which times, in which places and in which cultures. That is why there are married ordained deacons in the Eastern and Western Catholic Churches, while there are also married ordained priests in the Eastern Catholic Churches. There are also hundreds of married ordained priests who were formerly Protestant ministers.

  • Atheist Max

    The Catholic Church is authoritarian and it is totalitarian.
    It is also fascist.

    For these reasons, among many others, it is the wrong institution for our times.

    Ignorance will continue to grow regarding Catholicism. To ask them to care about the Catholic Church is like asking them to take up blacksmithing.

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