The Holy Francis has told priests that they may no longer witness the marriages of women who are pregnant.
You read that right.
The priest has the obligation to block [the celebration of this kind of marriage]. ... In my diocese ... I forbade the celebration of rushed marriages. Continue with the engagement, let the baby come, let time pass. I did it as well with people in my family."Rushed" marriage is the Francine equivalent of "shotgun" marriages here in the US. So has Francis gone to a moral rigorism--a Pharisaical manualist haughtiness--regarding this sacrament?
Let us accompany each other on a walk about in pastoral practice.
It goes without saying that the couple has some moral laxity when she shows up preggers. Now the question is "Will this marriage succeed, given its inauspicious start?" Recognize this: under Francis' novus praxis, the child will be born illegitimate. And it's possible (nay, likely) that the couple will be cohabiting at great risk of sin, sometime near or just after the birth. Hmmmm.
This presents a question which the priest should make all efforts to answer, (albeit at the risk of error), and since the Church's position is that marriage is forever, this is important. The priest must attempt to ascertain the "good faith" level of the couple. That probably means that the priest will make discreet but thorough inquiries of the couple's families and perhaps friends, in addition to spending a fair amount of time face-to-face with the couple.
It's possible that after due diligence, the priest will NOT witness a marriage. It's also possible that he WILL witness a marriage. But this is not a decision which can be made a priori in Rome by some Pharisaical cleric removed by several layers from the smelly sheep.
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