That’s a real problem. I’ve spoken to the pope himself about this, and he said he believes that 50 percent of marriages are not valid. Marriage is a sacrament. A sacrament presupposes faith.Doctor Ed Peters has done an excellent job pointing out the consequences of the words attributed to Pope Francis (the Holy See has yet to respond to the claim, though Dr. Peters makes a good case as to why a response is needed).
I had not planned to weigh in on the interview until I read the interview and saw where Cardinal Kasper discusses the possibility of a man and woman in a civil - not sacramental - marriage living "as brother and sister," that, is, not engaging in sexual relations. Such a situation is, said Cardinal Kasper, "a heroic act, and heroism is not for the average Christian." Here I must strongly disagree with the Cardinal.
Through his Twitter feed this morning, Pope Francis seemed to turn his attention to the heroism needed in marriage:
Holiness means giving ourselves in sacrifice every day. And so married life is a tremendous path to sanctity!Whether this tweet is a subtle response to Cardinal Kasper's words or is one that had already been on the docket, as it were, is uncertain.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) May 9, 2014
When Holy Mother Church examines the life of one of her sons and daughters who has been presented for beatification and canonization, she looks first to see if there are signs that the Christian lived with heroic virtue. The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council never tired of reminding us that, "Fortified by so many and such powerful means of salvation, all the faithful, whatever their condition or state, are called by the Lord, each in his own way, to that perfect holiness whereby the Father Himself is perfect" (Lumen Gentium, 11, emphasis mine). Could we possibly say that holiness is not heroic? Of course not. If we are to be saints, we must strive for lives of heroic virtue!
This is something the Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI also never tired of reminding us. I think especially today, and often, of his profound words:
The world promises you comfort, but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.(I know there words are his, but I cannot find the source; can anyone provide it?)