Pope Francis: ‘The Image of God is the Married Couple: The Man and the Woman’

April 7, 2014 - 12:54 PM

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Pope Francis and President Obama meet at the Vatican on Thursday, March 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Gabriel Bouys, Pool)

(CNSNews.com) – Although the national gay magazine The Advocate named Pope Francis its “Person of the Year” in December 2013, the Pope repeated on Apr. 2 the Catholic Church’s teaching that marriage is reserved for one man and one woman, adding that this is part of “God’s design” and that “the image of God is the married couple: the man and the woman ….”

During his General Audience speech at St. Peter’s Square on Apr. 2, before a crowd estimated at 45,000, Pope Francis first cited Genesis, saying, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female he created them. … Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.”

“The image of God is the married couple: the man and the woman; not only the man, not only the woman, but both of them together,” said the Pope. “God’s covenant with us is represented in that covenant between man and woman. And this is very beautiful.”

“When a man and a woman celebrate the Sacrament of Matrimony, God as it were ‘is mirrored’ in them; He impresses in them his own features and the indelible character of his love,” said Pope Francis.  “Marriage is the icon of God's love for us.”

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He continued, “Indeed, God is communion too: the three Persons of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit live eternally in perfect unity. And this is precisely the mystery of matrimony: God makes of the two spouses one single life. The Bible uses a powerful expression and says ‘one flesh,’ so intimate is the union between man and woman in marriage. And this is precisely the mystery of marriage: the love of God which is reflected in the couple that decides to live together.”

“Therefore a man leaves his home, the home of his parents, and goes to live with his wife and unites himself so strongly to her that the two become — the Bible says — one flesh,” said the Pope.

In its December 2013 cover story on Pope Francis, The Advocate noted that Pope Francis is the leader of 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide, which is three times the population of the United States, and thus, “Like it or not, what he says makes a difference.”

The Advocate also emphasized the Pope’s response to a question about homosexual priests, back in July 2013, where he said, “If someone is gay and seeks the Lord with good will, who am I to judge?”

Currently, 17 states and the District of Columbia recognize gay “marriage” in the United States. On this issue, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops says, “For several reasons a same-sex union contradicts the nature of marriage: It is not based on the natural complementarity of male and female; it cannot cooperate with God to create new life; and the natural purpose of sexual union cannot be achieved by a same-sex union. Persons in same-sex unions cannot enter into a true conjugal union. Therefore, it is wrong to equate their relationship to a marriage.”