Where Peter Is has $0 in regular revenues and has zero full-time contributors. We have been sustained through the generosity of others and the contributions of our own writers and editors. Our passion and dedication to the mission of WPI derives from our love of the Church, the mystical, incarnational union of Christians and the Body of Christ.
Unlike savvy users of social media, we’re not here to rile people up to generate a faithful following, nor are we under any delusions about our scope and reach. We depend on our readers, to whom we express our sincere gratitude, to share this resource with others as they see fit. We hope it serves as a counter-balance to a mainstream mass media which perverts the truth of the faith and the plain meaning of Francis’ statements and ministry for its own ends and to the segments of Catholic media which does the same.
We are not full-time Pope-watchers nor would we recommend the practice for anyone not a Vatican journalist. At the same time, so much good and edifying content from Pope Francis can simply fade into the background noise of our heated and tribalistic debates. This is extremely sad and unfortunate. As we are able, we hope to advance the “positive” side of Francis by reflecting, every now and then, on an aspect of his teaching that is relevant to issues today. This is one of those reflections, if not a very long-winded one:
Just the other day, the Pope presented his Angelus Address to the faithful, which in very short order, summarizes his approach to marriage and the family. Since not a few people doubted if Francis really believed in hell or the devil, despite dozens of statements on the matter previously, it’s become clear to me that sometimes the obvious needs to be restated. And so, it’s worth mentioning that in this address, the Pope reiterates Jesus’ teaching on the indissolubility of marriage. Importantly, he states that “a love of mutual giving sustained by Christ’s grace” is what gives husband and wife the ability to stay together and “remain united.” Conversely, self-centeredness and egoism drives couples apart.
In Francis’ vision, the Church has a two-fold mission. On the one hand, the Church must preach the fullness of Christ’s teaching. It must confirm what Jesus taught 2000 years ago, as a source of hope and strength to couples everywhere and an encouragement to turn to Christ for daily help in their loving their spouses more perfectly. On the other hand, the Church must be a source of comfort and of consolation, to lead those wounded by “painful conjugal failures” back to the loving arms of God. As Francis discussed in Amoris Laetitia and elsewhere, for a variety of reasons, it is becoming harder and harder for couples to stay together. And so, an important part of the Church’s ministry must include a ministry to those separated from their spouses, so that the Church might become a vehicle for God’s mercy and forgiveness, an encounter with Christ himself during very difficult times.
He ends the address as I would like to end this short article: “Let us invoke the Virgin Mary, may she help spouses to live and ever renew their union from God’s original gift.”