Pope Francis: ‘Guard the Marital Bond That Gives Rise to the Human Family’

By Staff | July 6, 2015 | 10:26pm EDT

Speaking at an audience in St. Peter’s Square in Rome on June 24, Pope Francis alluded to two statements by Jesus Christ that are recorded in the Gospel of Matthew. In one Christ said that marriage is the indissoluble union of a man and a woman, and in the other that those who scandalize children would have been better off were a millstone hung around their neck before they were cast into the sea.

In light of this latter statement by Jesus, the pope said, “we can also better understand his words on the serious responsibility to guard the marital bond that gives rise to the human family.”

In its official transcription of the pope’s remarks posted on the Vatican website, the Vatican listed the exact passages the pope was referencing.

The first was Matthew 18:6. Here Jesus said:

“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

The second was Matthew 19:6-9. In this passage, Jesus defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman and said that those who divorce and remarry are committing adultery. Jesus said:

“So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” They said to him, "They why did Moses command the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss her? He said to them, "Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another commits adulery."

In his audience, citing these two passages, Pope Francis said:

“In the family, everything is connected: when her soul is wounded in some way, the infection spreads to everyone. And when a man and a woman, who have committed to being “one flesh” and forming a family, think obsessively of their own need for freedom and gratification, this bias affects the hearts and lives of their children in a profound way. Frequently these children hide to cry alone.... We need to understand this fully. Husband and wife are one flesh. Their own little children are flesh of their flesh. If we think of the harshness with which Jesus admonishes adults not to scandalize the little ones — we heard the Gospel passage (cf. Mt 18:6) — we can also better understand his words on the serious responsibility to guard the marital bond that gives rise to the human family (cf. Mt 19:6-9). When man and woman have become one flesh, all the father and mother’s wounds and neglect have an impact on the living flesh of their children.”

See Pope Francis's full remarks by clicking here.

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