In the past, our fearless leader at PR Newser suggested that Pope Francis has solidified his position as the Patron Saint of PR (though he has not ascended). And with all due respect to the now canonized Saint John Paul II, the Catholic Church desperately needed some good mojo.
And then the white smoke appeared introducing the world to Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who later changed his name to Francis.
He has embraced the Twitter, left the grandiose Popemobile for a leisurely walk, proclaimed the Internet to be a gift from God, scored his own weekly magazine, stated that no one should work on the Sabbath (yeah right), and excommunicated the Mafia.
But what he did over the weekend may have the Catholic Church looking as progressive as a non-denominational community picnic.
Regardless of the reason — be it the economy, disinterest, or ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ — cohabitation is considered the “new normal,” according to statistics.
By the time they’re 20, 1 in 4 women ages 15 to 44 in the U.S. have lived with a man, and by the time they’re 30, that ratio climbs to 3 in 4,
Il Papa reads that, knows that, and decided to do something about it for all these couples who are good Catholics but happened to be “shacking up.” Going against what many of his predecessors have done to bastardize those couples in the eyes of the Church, he married 20 couples at St. Peter’s Basilica!
Francis in his homily likened families to the “bricks that build society.”
The Vatican views sex outside marriage as sin, but Francis stresses the church should be a forgiving one.
He said marriage was “real life, not some TV show.” He told the couples love of Jesus can help whenever their love “becomes lost, wounded or worn out.”
This was the first marriage Francis has granted during his papacy, and he certainly made it into a statement (it even trended worldwide on Twitter). Do you smell that, Catholic parishioners?
It’s the 21st century. Inhale deeply.