Defending Marriage When Church Leaders Don’t

October 20, 2023 00:48:22
Defending Marriage When Church Leaders Don’t
Crisis Point
Defending Marriage When Church Leaders Don’t

Oct 20 2023 | 00:48:22

/

Hosted By

Eric Sammons

Show Notes

The institution of marriage is under attack; in fact, in many ways it seems to be on its last legs. How have Catholic leaders failed in defending marriage, and how can Catholics rebuild our respect for this sacred institution?
View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

[00:00:09] Speaker A: The institution of marriage is under attack. In fact, in many ways, it seems to be on its last legs. How have Catholic leaders failed in defending marriage? And how can Catholics rebuild our respect for the sacred institution? That's what we're going to talk about today on Crisis Point Home. Eric SAMAGE, your host, editor in chief of Crisis magazine. Before we get started, just want to encourage people to hit the like button. Subscribe to the channel. Follow us on social media at crisis. Mag at all the various social media channels. Subscribe to our email newsletter. Just go Crisismagazine.com and subscribe to an email newsletter. Also, a new feature of the podcast is if you write a question to [email protected], I will try to answer it on an upcoming episode. So if there's something comes up in this episode that you're like, hey, I really want to make sure this is addressed, just email [email protected]. We'll take care of it. Okay. So we have a great guest today, John Clark. He is a columnist, political speech writer, and ghost writer. He has authored two books on fatherhood and written approximately 500 articles and blogs about Catholic family apologies in such places as the National Catholic Register, Seaton Magazine, Maggots Center. Okay, I actually think it's got to be more than 500 because as much as I've seen your name out there, I actually thought 500 sounded low for you. [00:01:28] Speaker B: Okay, maybe, yeah. [00:01:29] Speaker A: So he holds a degree in political science and Economics from Christendom College. Most importantly, he and his wife Lisa have nine children. They live in central Florida. His most recent book, though, which we're going to talk about today, is Betrayed Without a Kiss. What a great title. Betrayed without a kiss. Defending marriage after years of failed leadership in the church. Welcome to the program, John. [00:01:49] Speaker B: Good to see you, Eric. Thanks for having me. [00:01:51] Speaker A: Yeah. Obviously this is a major topic in the Church today. I mean, has been for a very long time, but we're seeing it kind of ramp up. Right now I want to do is I always like to start at the beginning, so to speak. Can you basically just explain kind of the Catholic view of marriage, both its origins, natural marriage and sacramentally? What is it actually that we're defending? Because I want to make sure we have that clear before we talk about we can't know what the attacks are if we don't know what it is that we're defending. [00:02:21] Speaker B: Right. So that's a great question. So my focus in this book is the sacrament of matrimony. That's essentially what I'm looking at. So I'm not getting into I mentioned civil marriage, which in some senses should sort of travel by another name in a way, because we're talking about something different in this book. I'm trying to defend the sacrament of matrimony and specifically the sacrament, the sacrament itself. So I'm glad you make that distinction. So that is what we're trying to defend and so what I give these figures about annulments. I mean, this is not a book about I mentioned annulments, as, you know, in detail. I don't talk much about civil divorce because I mentioned it, but I'm trying to concentrate on the sacrament of matrimony itself. So that is the key thing in terms of origin. With this started, a friend of mine was having some troubles with his marriage. It looked like a divorce might be on the horizon. So the catalyst for all of this was for me to go back and try to really get to be an expert on what the sacrament of matrimony is. What did God intend it to be and what has happened since. That was basically the origin. So as you know from the book, I go back to the Garden of Eden. What did God intend? Marriage. So when I'm talking about marriage in this book, betrayed without a kiss, what was betrayed is the sacrament of. [00:03:44] Speaker A: Not talking. Obviously, there's something considered natural marriage. So, for example, if two Jews get married, that is a natural marriage. It's a valid marriage, but it's not a sacramental marriage because neither party is baptized. And also, if a baptized Catholic gets married to a non baptized person, that also is not a sacrament matrimony, because just basic Catholic theology is you can't receive a sacrament until you've been baptized. So that wouldn't be a sacrament of marriage either. So the focus here is really on the sacrament of matrimony. Of course they're related because the undermining of just marriage, the idea of marriage in general in society, then bleeds into Catholic understanding of marriage and what it is, as you talk about some so what is kind of the history of the Catholic Church before modern times, like the Catholic Church has always been a promoter of marriage. And you mentioned, though, in the past, in history, there have been other times where the Church has defended marriage. What are some of the examples of when the Church has had to stand up and defend marriage? [00:04:53] Speaker B: Well, the most classic example, and I devote almost an entire chapter to it, is the case of Henry VI and Catherine of Aragon. So that explains the COVID of the book. So that is Henry VI and Catherine of Aragon. And without going into a ton of detail about all this, henry VI essentially went from being a very devout Catholic. In fact, he was a daily communicant, in fact, went to Mass some days more than once. He would go several times to Mass a day. He was a staunch defender of the Church and ironically enough, of matrimony. But there came a time when Henry decided he didn't want to be married anymore to counten of Aragon. He had trouble with the six 9th Commandments. I think that's probably a fairly charitable way of saying it. And he wanted a male heir to the throne, and so he wanted to get an annulment, but the Church did not grant him an annulment for reasons that were basically, this is a valid marriage. He claimed that he tried to find a few loopholes. He wasn't able to find them. Sadly, Rome took too long to basically rule on this, that this was a valid marriage. But the Rome did rule that Henry VI and Catherine Maricon had a valid marriage. Of course, Henry did a workaround in that and basically established a new church. And so when we talk about the Church offending marriage, the key thing I would look at, the key event, was that the Pope realized that he would lose the nation of England to the Church to save marriage. And that is what he did. He did affirm the validity of Henry and Catherine's marriage, and England was lost as part of the process. What's interesting about that is and I don't want to go into too much detail it's in the book, but Henry essentially issued directives and acts that the English people had to affirm his marriage to Anne Bolin, and Anne would be the new queen, which most of the English refused to do, and they were pretty adamant about not doing that. Alongside of that, though, Henry insisted that the same people reject the papacy. So it's interesting to me that a rejection of the faith and a rejection of marriage were essentially hooked by Henry as sort of one in the same thing, one of the same act. And I think that is the key time that the Church is fed. There was many times, but that is the key one. And I think that kind of started it all, what we're seeing now. [00:07:33] Speaker A: It is amazing when you put it like that. The idea that the Pope was willing to basically give up an entire nation, one that had been historically devoted to the papacy, devoted to the Pope, devoted to the Catholic faith, I mean, it was a crown jewel in a lot of ways of the Catholic Church for centuries. And the Pope was willing to say, well, we'll lose it all, because I just simply can't say that this marriage is not valid. And I think that's an amazing statement of the importance of marriage and how central it is to the faith, that if you throw that away, like Henry did, then you throw away the faith, essentially. Now, in modern times, though, we see obviously the degradation of the institution of marriage, of the sacrament matrimony as well, because 100 and 5100 years ago or so, most people believed in marriage, monogamous, lifelong, all the essentials that we would say matrimony has. But now, of course, that's completely not the case. Can you say kind of how that started? What really were the factors that led to the fact that most people today don't really think of marriage as a lifelong commitment between a man and a woman? [00:08:57] Speaker B: Well, there are so many different factors. As I mentioned, in the book, I think one of the key things was we talk about the Anglican rejection of the primary purpose of marriage, which essentially was similar to the Catholic Church, but their acceptance of contraception was kind of key to this. And so what you had was around if you want to go to the pinpoint, about 100 years ago or so, the key thing that was happening there was an embrace of contraception. In effect, that is kind of what started this. And so, as we know, the Church teaches that the primary purpose of marriage is the procreation and education of children. That's infallible teaching. So the Church is never going to change that. If people are hoping the Church changes that, the Church will never change that. But the Anglicans did. Basically different sects of Protestantism followed and that essentially started it. But what was happening then was so you have this idea of overpopulation. People still are talking about that now there's overpopulation. And so you have to use contraception. And so from their perspective, all the world was going to end. There wasn't enough food. This was essentially kind of the key thing. And so people were thinking they were doing humanity a great service by not having children. So 100 years ago, that's what started it. From there, there became a breakdown and there became more and more pressure on the Catholic Church to change your teaching, which obviously she can't do. But I would think if you go back to about that stage, that was sort of what started it all, was the embrace of contraception. [00:10:36] Speaker A: I think it's interesting because I think you put it well, because it wasn't contraception, acceptance of contraception as much that started as the rejection of the primary purpose of marriage, because it was now separating. Yes, you can be married, but you don't have to worry about having kids. If you don't want them, you don't have to have them. And that goes completely contrary to this idea. Can you speak a little bit more about, though, why the Church? Because I think most Catholics today, let's be honest, do not think or do not know that the primary purpose of marriage is appropriation education of children. Can you explain why it is that the Church is insistent that that is the primary purpose? It's not just a union or love or luv love or anything like that. And why is that? [00:11:26] Speaker B: So the Church is not pulling this teaching out of a hat. And I wanted to basically, in terms of defending that, was again with trying to go back and develop a theology of marriage so I could advise my friend, well, I wanted to go all the way back, so I went back to the Garden of Eden. And what did God intend marriage to be? Because one of the key things that I try to make in this book is that the key points is that the sacraments are restorative in nature. So if you really want to try to understand them, we should go back as far as we can so we can see from the beginning god's command be fruitful and multiply. That's the starting command. Right. And so we can see the aspects there of matrimony as they should be. Now, when we talk about the procreation and education of children, I'm much happier using the word upbringing or raising or something like that, right, because it's a little bit too vague. So when we talk about indissolubility, we can see the link between the indissoluble nature of marriage and that aspect of upbringing, because it's meant to be parenting is meant to be a lifelong project. It's not sort of an event, it's a process or it's a lifelong process. And I think in terms of trying to understand why the Church teaches what she does is because you can see it in Genesis. It's very clear right there. And there are other stories in Genesis, too, which I mentioned, too, that confirm this teaching. But that is essentially why the Church teaches, because that's what God commanded us to do. [00:13:04] Speaker A: Now, the Church, obviously, at the time when the Anglican Church folded on this in the 1930s, the Catholic Church stayed strong. Pope Pius the 11th was it? I'm all of a sudden forgetting which Pius it was 11th, right. That then wrote Cassie canobi yes. Right. [00:13:25] Speaker B: Yes. [00:13:25] Speaker A: So Pope Pius 11th wrote that defending the Church's teaching and the Church and of course, then Paul VI Rohimite in the late 1960s, also defending the Church's teaching against contraception, which also then supports the idea of the primary purpose of marriage is the procreation and education of children. But I think one of the things you mentioned subtitle your book is defending marriage after years of failed leadership in the Church. Clearly, that's not the whole story, that we had a couple of popes that wrote some good things because now we've had a lot of failed leadership. Can you tell us when that started? When the Catholic Church, the leadership at least started to crack, so to speak, on this? [00:14:12] Speaker B: So, yeah, that's a great to obviously, these are questions that I asked myself when I sat down to research this. So I think if you go back to around that time, 1930s castor Canobi, you did have a Marxist infiltration of the Catholic Church. This is not a conspiracy at this point. It's very well documented. So you had people that were trying to come in to the Church to destroy the Church. I think that's fairly clear. [00:14:42] Speaker A: Paul Kingor on a podcast about his book on Bella DoD and what she I mean, it's pretty like you said, it's pretty well documented. This isn't like tinfoil hack territory at this point. [00:14:53] Speaker B: No, sadly, that's just it. And so, yeah, the Bella dot I should mention that exactly from that period. So from like, the 1930s to 1960s, you did see the infiltration. So after Hermane Vitae. If you have gray hair like me, you probably remember Father Charles Curran. Now, the name not many people he's not sort of in common parlance anymore. But I can tell you that growing up in the 1980s, father Curran was very well known. The Washington Post said he was probably the most well known prelate in the United States. I think that's probably true. [00:15:35] Speaker A: Kind of like the Father James Martin of the day. [00:15:38] Speaker B: Well, you said that. No, I think that's a fair you know, can you name your own? You know who? Yes. So, yes, it was similar in that. So almost literally before the ink was dry on Humane Vite father Curran assembled a press conference and basically know, he disagreed with all of this. And I detail some of his more direct statements in the book. Now, why that mattered was that Father Kern was teaching at U, which was theoretically the most Catholic university in America, right? It's called the Catholic University of America. All right. So at first, after Father Kern was rejecting Humane Vitae and in effect, just to underscore a point here rejecting Humane Vitae meant rejecting 2000 years of church teaching. It wasn't, oh, I don't like that document. Okay. He was rejecting scripture. He was rejecting Genesis. Okay? So when we say he's rejecting Amani Vitae, we should be clear that no, he was rejecting Genesis. That's fairly clear. In any case, he ended up staying at the Catholic university for about a generation. He was there about 20 years or so. There was an entire book written about his time at Catholic university. But you're talking about Father Curran teaching heresy and dissent for 20 years in the nation's capital at the Catholic university. And so that led to more and more dissent. And part of the problem is and I mentioned this in my book there was a strong reluctance that's probably putting it mildly, to police heresy and heretics. But the problem is, if you don't do that, people sort of think, well, I guess it's okay. I mean, after all, Rome hasn't done anything. It's been 20 years. If they were serious, they would say he couldn't say these things anymore. Which, in effect, eventually did happen, but it just took so long. But that is kind of what sped up the process. It is worth wondering what would have happened if Catholic you had simply fired Father Curran right away. And that is an interesting episode because. [00:18:01] Speaker A: If you think about you hear stories from the 1930s or forty s. Fifty s where bishops would basically just if somebody was out of line, they would make sure it was known. I mean, they would even keep Hollywood policed. And there's great stories of bishops who are like, if you're a segregationist, basically you're excommunicated where they were actually standing up. But then Curran, he's able to do this for so long. And I don't know if you know the story, but I heard that the Archbishop of Washington DC. At the time, in the 70s, he did try to go against I don't know if it was Kearney tried to curtail, but he tried to stand up for humanevitae, and basically the Vatican just threw him under the bus. And they just were like, we're not going to really support your efforts here. And so I gave a signal to all the bishops, there's no point in really trying to fight for this one too much. Have you heard that? Did you hear that story about that? I can't remember his name, though. The bishop the Archbishop of DC at the time. [00:18:56] Speaker B: I haven't heard mean I think this is probably detailed in that book. I wish I could remember the title, because there was a book written about sort of the whole Father Kern episode that wouldn't surprise me based on what else happened at the same time, the bottom line is, in terms your to your point about why contraception got to be more and more popular. Well, Father Kern was large. No, he wasn't the only priest. In fact, I mentioned that it's widely reported that they would know father Kern would sort of get groups together, and other priests would get groups together to just say, no, we're descending from I don't think they used the word descent, but they would say, well, we don't like him also. So you would have groups get together, and there would be different groups, and they would say, would they want the Church to overturn this? And so it's never going to happen. But that's essentially what happened. And that was essentially the issue, is that a lot of people started embracing contraception largely because, to your point, they rejected the primary. [00:19:56] Speaker A: Mean we've always had heretical priests among us. I mean, this is, you know, was a heretical. Mean I think the big difference here is that nothing was done like you said. And that sends a message. Yes, we have this beautiful encyclical by Pope Paul VI that clearly states the Church's teaching, but then there's no backup of bishops. I'd lived in the Washington, DC diocese for a long time. That's where I heard that story from a number of priests that that's what happened. I wish I could remember the priest's name. Sorry, the archbishop's name from the 70s, but yeah, so it really was now that we're not going to do anything about it. And so that sends a message because there were priests who bragged about the fact that they would tell people in confession who would confess contraception. They would say, It's okay, you don't have to confess that, it's not a sin. I mean, they would openly state that they would do that, and nothing was done by them. And so do you think that nothing was done because the bishops or the Vatican didn't really believe it themselves, or it just was like, this is the way we do things now. We're supposed to dialogue. We're not supposed to be big meanies or anything like that. I know it's hard to know exactly. [00:21:07] Speaker B: Why, but why didn't they do like the yeah, that's the million dollar question or so at the time for at least some of this you're talking about Pope John Paul II was in there. And I think that he with Cardinal Ratzinger is the head of the CDF which eventually know the document was sent by Cardinal Ratzinger. To think that again, it's sort of a speculation. Right? But I think the concern is that when the church excommunicates someone, I think the church is worried, I should say the leadership of the church may be worried that 1000 people go with them, right. And then they start to be a leader of a movement and then a lot of people go. And I think that's the concern. But the problem is that if you don't, those thousand are still with him except for now he presents himself as a Catholic. That's the problem. So I'm with you. I mean, there has to be some if there's no policing of heresy, where does that leave us? The faithful have a right to know the Church teaching and to have them reiterated, frankly. I mean, we need to hear that. I mean, again, I'm 52 years old, I go to mass every Sunday. I try to go to daily mass and I'm trying to remember ever hearing from the pulpit the primary purpose of marriage. And when I don't hear it, it makes me wonder who do priests think is in a congregation? I mean, these are people who are married or children of marriage in large measure, right? Why are we hearing it? And so that's one of the things we need to keep having that reiterated and 100% you're right, it should been policed better. It should be better policed now, right? Let's be honest, it's probably worse now. So it should be policed now. [00:22:58] Speaker A: If 1000 go off with the excommunicated priest, will 10,000 stay with him in the Church with heretical beliefs and that really impact their lives. I mean, this isn't just some theoretical thing. If you don't believe procreation of children is primary purpose of marriage, you're going to live your life a lot differently and engage in a lot of activity that is immoral. Now at the same time in the 1970s that we have this happen with Curim, we see at least in America and other places less so, an explosion of annulments that just is unprecedented in Church history. So could you first of all make I just always want to make sure everybody's clear what an annulment is not Catholic divorce, what anulment is and how did this happen that all of a sudden annulments were given out at an exponentially higher rate than they had been in the past. [00:23:52] Speaker B: So an annulment, right. Annulment is not divorce. There is no divorce. As a Catholic, divorce is a civil procedure. An annulment is a finding that the marriage never existed. That's a key thing to remember. So it's a finding I'm not a big fan of the word annulment. I would rather say finding of nullity, a finding that there was never a marriage. It's a key thing, which I think a lot of people have forgotten. So I forgive me for reiterating that, but I think this is key. So what changed was in the late 1960s, there was a petition to the bishops to change the current structure of what was necessary for a finding of finality and make it much. They probably would have said they streamlined the process, but I think the process was wrecked because what happened was that if you look at numbers so in the late 1960s, there were I believe in 1968, there were 338 annulments. I'm going to roll around to 300 and 5350 annulments. That is, every diocese in America. Total 351 generation later, there were over 70,000 annulments. [00:25:13] Speaker A: Wow. [00:25:14] Speaker B: So 350 to 70,000. Those numbers in any field would be like, my gosh, what happened? So in the late 1960s, there was a push to have what's called the American procedural norms to change from three judges to a single judge to make the process of sort of a preponderance of the evidence, we might call it in civil law. It was much easier to find that. Now, there also came to be something sort of people would say so in the late 1960s, if you think back to that was the golden age of bad psychology, right? Which I guess sort of statements in a way. But the idea was, if you read some of the articles in the Canon Law Society of America's magazine, basically the idea was that people weren't psychologically didn't have the psychological capacity to marry. This was kind of the thing, like they weren't psychologically ready. So that became the springboard for many annulments. So if you start mapping this out and the problem continues by the and what's what's alarming right now is people will say, well, the annulment numbers are down, john, what are you worried about? Because you're right, it was 70,000, but now it's in the 20s or whatever. Well, here's the problem. People aren't getting married anymore, right? So we go from the late 1960s, there were 425,000 weddings a year in America. In 2020, there were less than 100,000 marriage, 100,000 weddings. So from 425 to 100. So you got the annulment number skyrocketing and the marriage number is going way down. It's a problem. So it's bad. [00:27:05] Speaker A: Yeah. What was the argument given for streamlining of the annulment process? I mean, was it just like, we've got all these terrible situations and we need to help solve them, or it's too expensive. What's the reason they gave? Because clearly it ended up leading to just this increase in annulments. Crazy increase in so why did they. [00:27:27] Speaker B: Say what was the reasoning that's a really good question. What answer to that? I would simply say that I don't know if there was much logic other than the fact that the Canon Law Society of America essentially forms a bit of a monopoly in terms of canon law. Right. I mean, the interpretation of canon law. And so I think that when you're going in to have your before a marriage tribunal, you're going to hire a canon lawyer. There's canon lawyers involved. I don't think there was ever a great rationale to that, to be honest. I'm not aware of a good rationale, but I don't think they felt the need to rational to provide one. Okay. I think that's the answer. I don't think they did. And so the system of that was in place. And again, I always reiterate this. My contention is not that there should never be a finding of nullity, right? Clearly there should. My contention is that when it goes from 350 to 70,000, something pretty bad happened. Did humanity change? What changed? So I think that's the thing, but I think you're asking a great question. I wish they knew the answer, and I wish they would provide a better one than has been provided. [00:28:44] Speaker A: Now, I've heard some today this isn't necessarily an argument for when it first started in the 70s or anything like that, but I've heard some good Catholics today argue that the large number of annulments, it's not because the diocese are being too loose in giving them. It's because most Catholics don't understand what marriage is, and therefore they go into their wedding without knowledge, which is a potential finding of nullity then. Because if you don't really know what the purpose of marriage is and all this the argument is, then it's not a valid marriage. And in fact, the Pope himself, Francis, I can't remember the exact thing, but I think he said something effective like, half of all marriages are probably not valid, or something like that. Some crazy comment probably made on an airplane. But what would you say? That do you think it is possible, at least today, not necessarily in the 70s, when they might have better catechesis? But would you say today that we should kind of almost assume guilty until proven innocent as far as whether or not a marriage is valid? [00:29:50] Speaker B: No, it's the opposite. If you go to canon law, marriages are presumed valid unless and until proven otherwise. The problem is to your initial question, if that's the argument, by the way, it's hard to get exact numbers on these cases because there is some degree of privacy involved. But it is not a common argument to say it's not a common argument to say, no, I didn't intend fidelity. So you have openness to children permanence fidelity. I think most people do understand that on their wedding day. I think if you ask them, yeah, they understand that. I'm familiar with a case recently where someone had gone to a. Priest wanted to have a Catholic wedding, and the priest mentioned that he asked him, well, are you open to children? You're open to children? And they said, no. And he said, Well, I can't marry you. So that's the correct response. Right. That's a good thing. It's a bad thing from the couple's perspective. But I think that in terms of the presumption that there is a marriage, I mean, this is in canon law, so there's always that unless and until proven otherwise. But I simply think that I think people do understand that quite well on their wedding day. And I do challenge the priests on this and the bishops on this, because if that continually is the argument no, they just yeah, Bill was yeah, he got married, but he was planning on dating another girl the night after the wedding. And it was this big thing when you have dioceses that are approving 100% of applications for nullity. So this is a new argument now, essentially, somebody who holds that would basically argue that humanity has changed, like human nature has changed. I don't see that, and I don't know that that's actually a fallback position. Usually you have the psychological incapacity issue. So now we have a scenario. And what's interesting about that is and again, you sort of go down these rabbit holes trying to the argument for many of these cases, right? And again, to reiterate, there should be some cases where there is a finding of nullity, but in many of these cases, they're a little bit like a time travel movie. And by that I mean that you ever watch a time travel movie and you think you have to try to follow it enough to make sense of it, but if you follow it too much, it doesn't make any sense. So it's like this time travel paradox. So you have sort of this annulment paradox. What's happening now is the psychological incapacity question. So you have somebody was mentioning to me the other day that he knew a priest. He was on, I guess, involved in his parish. He was saying the priest was looking reviewing somebody who was applying for the 6th annulment. 6th, his 6th annulment. And so one of the arguments they're using now is and this has, I guess, been in place for decades at this point is that, well, Bill didn't have the capacity to marry Julie, but he does have the capacity to marry this other lady. Right? I mean, imagine that. So the idea that, well, no, it would have been a valid marriage except for she didn't like the kind of car he drove or something. And some of the reasons that are given it's not serious, right? It's not a serious discussion right now. [00:33:30] Speaker A: Another reason that I think that annulments have dropped, not just because, obviously, less Catholics get married in the church or else, but because a lot of Catholics, especially in the last 2030 years, they don't even bother with the annulment. They just get a civil divorce, and to them, then it's over. The marriage is over. There's no need to do anything else. And of course, a lot of them end up getting remarried. Remarried just for everybody clear. It's not a real marriage, but that's the terminology used. And they go through another wedding and get remarried. And so I know this is such a mess right now. I mean, it's unbelievably a mess. I help run the RCA conversion class at my parish. And this is just such a big issue. On day one, you have to address this. Somebody says, I'm thinking about becoming Catholic, or something like that. The first thing you have to do almost, is try to do it in a pastoral way. But the first thing you have to do is be like, okay, what's your marriage history? Because often it's just multiple and things like that. So that's become a big issue, is the divorce and remarried, because a lot of them, they get civilly divorced, they get remarried, and then they want to participate in the life of the church, the sacramental life of the church. And so how has this also helped to undermine marriage? And I should say, how have we had failed leadership on this in the church, on this particular issue? [00:34:57] Speaker B: Well, the field leadership here would be to the point kind of where you're getting at typically manifests itself in the approach to the Eucharist. So if your key thing is we've got to get them back to the Eucharist, I'm all for getting people back to the Eucharist, right? But the problem is, if somebody comes to me and they said, John, if I talked to a priest and I said, look, I'm in this state of mortal sin, but I want to go to the Eucharist, what's the first thing he ought to do? Well, I could tell you what it isn't. It's not to give me the Eucharist, it's to go to confession. We seem to have lost sight of the idea that, well, we've lost a sense of sin, right? I mean, this is nothing new. We've lost a sense of sin, and that's pretty clear. I think a lot of people have written about that loss of sense. And so the problem is, I think when you have people in a situation that you're outlining it, does them people say there's sort of a subordination of doctrine to past what's called what they would call pastoralism. Well, I'm a pastor, and this is my job. When you start subordinating doctrine to pastoralism, it's no longer pastoralism, right. Or it might be pastoralism if we're looking at it sort of as an ism, right. But you're not acting pastorally. If you're not telling people the truth, you're doing them no favors. All of a sudden. That's a revolutionary statement I just made. Again, we have to act, and truth is truth, right? So the problem is that. I think that just simply to get people back at all costs. I think they're thinking, well, we want to get people back, but you can't do it. But you can't do that. So end of sentence, end of paragraph. But there's another problem to it and that's this the immediate cause of serious scandal is pretty obvious. You think, well, my gosh, she left her husband, she's married him, she's on a new marriage, she's back to communion. Who's not likely to go back to church is the rest of the family. Why are they going? The church doesn't seem serious. [00:37:17] Speaker A: Right. [00:37:18] Speaker B: And to the extent that this is the push, it's not serious. We have to be in the state of grace again. It's in the Bible, right. The churches are sort of thinking, well, you know, it'd be good idea. No, this is divine law. And so I get that's an issue. But the fact of the matter is that we're not only not helping them, we're now betraying future generations by having this sort of policy. We got to get those people back to communion. It's kind of funny. The most emphasis, there's a Eucharistic revival going on right now and I hope it bears a lot of fruit, I really do. But first of all, it has to accompany a revival of the sacrament of matrimony. I think that's key. I just think that we need to realize what the Eucharist is and I wonder the sacrament of Eucharist has been betrayed also. And I think that's a clear to make. I try to make that point in the book that the sacraments rise and fall together. We need to start realizing that. Yeah. [00:38:27] Speaker A: You mentioned how when Henry rejected the sacrament of matrimony, henry VI, he ended up rejecting the church. How has today you've kind of already kind of mentioned a little bit how has our lack of defense for the sacrament matrimony and allowing it to fall into such dire straits, how has that impacted the whole church and the whole faith in general? [00:38:55] Speaker B: So that's a good question. So I would say it like this, I guess. So when I was in doctrine class this is Wednesday morning, 08:30, a.m. Father Mark Peelon was my doctorate professor, first class, and he said, if you deny one truth, you deny them all. Well, I wrote that down. Right. And I think that I've tried to live my life that way, where, look, you may not like the truth, but that doesn't change it. It doesn't make it falsehood because you don't like it. And I think that denial of truth becomes a domino effect. I think it's always going to do that. Do you accept truth or not? I think that's the answer to your question. So when you have people when our Lord instituted the Eucharist and people left, he didn't say, wait, come back. This is hard teaching. Each of the sacraments can be hard teaching, quote, unquote, hard teaching, right? Right. But we can't change the teaching simply because it's hard. The sacraments are also beautiful teaching. That's our faith. So I think, to your point, if you start denying truth, sooner or later yeah, you just get to deny them all. When did you start denying truth? Like, what was the first domino? That might be different for people. For some, it's a teaching on marriage. For some, it's the Eucharist, for some, it's confession. I don't know, maybe for some it's confirmation. I think that the first denial of truth does frequently occur with one of the seven sacraments. But then you start denying things. Are their marian doctrines true. Are they real? That's what happens. You got to accept truth. You got to accept all truth to teach the faith whole and entire. That's what we should be doing. [00:40:53] Speaker A: Now, your book details a lot of the failed leadership in the church when it comes to Sacramento matrimony. And I think one question I have then is what can we as laypeople do or even just the regular parish priests can do to try to defend marriage and really bring it, make it so it really is respected again in the Church. And I want to say before I let you answer that question, I worked for diocese for five years. I've been involved in parishes for a long time. I have developed an allergy to, well, this new program will fix it. And so my question is, how can we really make an impact and start defending marriage that isn't just, oh, this new program will do it, right? [00:41:44] Speaker B: Yeah. So it's essentially a two part question, and I like that. So let's think about the priest first. So from the priest perspective, the priest should be cheerleaders, for lack of a better term. The priest should be cheerleaders from marriage. Right? So we need to be hearing about the joy of marriage from the pulpit. We need to be hearing about the joy of the primary purpose from the pulpit. Children are good. We need to hear that. We need our basic things. We need to hear casti canobi quoted in sermons. We need to hear humane, vite quoted sermons because they're beautiful teachings. We somehow forgot that marriage is beautiful. So I think the priest needs to do that. And by the way, it's not simply sermons to married couples. It is sermons to everyone in the congregation. And so there was within a recent, I want to say within about 18 months ago this was kind of big news at the time that there was sort of a trial balloon that maybe we should have an 18 month or 16 month pre cana program. Do you remember that? [00:42:48] Speaker A: Yeah, I do. [00:42:49] Speaker B: So I thought, well, that's a really bad idea. There's a natural all right to marriage. And the fact of the matter is, these are two people in love. Why are we trying to prevent it? Again, my major beef well, not only do I think it may be an occasion of sin for people to wait 18 months, which is, I think, pretty obvious, but also, too, if the primary purpose of marriage is to have an upbringing, children, why are we preventing that for a year and a half? I mean, there are only a certain amount of years we can have babies. We were very blessed. We've had nine children, right? Would have been happy with more. So priests need to talk about the joy of marriage. They also need I think one of the things they should do is talk about to maybe like the younger people, the teenagers in the audience, what to look for in a spouse. If you want to prevent troubled marriages, why not have that sermon, if that's your goal? What should I be looking for? I think there's that I think there should be annual masses and celebration of marriage. Bring the family. Some parishes are doing it. I think it's great. So there are many things that priests can do. And I always like to say my pre cana. If we're going to talk about precana, forget the 18 month, how about make it lifelong? My first precana teachers were my mom and dad, right? They loved each other, they loved me, and I could see marriage. So question from the priest and the parish. Those are the sort of things he can do. I was going to say, from the couple's perspective, we have to remember that I have a lot of recommendations in the book for things the church can do. But ultimately this is about the couple and to them I would say live sacramental lives. Which is what? Go to confession regularly, try to go to daily mass. If you certainly go to Sunday Mass, it's obvious. Try to go to daily Mass with your spouse. There are things we could do. And I always tell people when I walk out of confession, this is where you sort of see the symbiotic nature of the sacraments. When I walk out of the confessional, I feel closer to Lisa. It's great. When we go to community together, we feel closer. We kneel down together and say prayers of thanksgiving after the year. These are things we can do. We need to live sacramental lives. It's basic things. There's nothing very revolutionary. I'm mentioning my book and quite the contrary. It's anti revolutionary, right? It's to say, look, let's not forget the basics, let's just go back to that. But at the end of the day, the couples need to live Sacramento lives, grow closer, pray together. That's I think what they can do. [00:45:37] Speaker A: And another thing they can do is get your book betrayed without get one for your priest, get one for your pastor, get one for people that you think it would matter for. Yeah. And let other people know about it. It is a great book and it does address, I do think the attack on marriage and the family we always know is one of the great evils of our day. And so we have to address it head on, which is exactly what you do. I will put a link in the description to get the book. It's Tan Publishing. [00:46:13] Speaker B: Yes. [00:46:14] Speaker A: Tan Publishing. Do you have anywhere I know, of course, you write for National Catholic Register and other places. Do you have a place people can go to kind of find your writings and everything you're up to? [00:46:25] Speaker B: Well, you said I'm sort of all over the place. I appreciate that. So National Catholic Register. I think I've got, like, 130 columns there. I've written for Seatonmagazine.com, Magic Center and Crisis magazine, as it turns out. So thank you. [00:46:39] Speaker A: Thank you for the most important one. Of course. [00:46:41] Speaker B: All right. I should have started with that. Of course. Yeah. I'm there. And then I have a few books you can get on Amazon.com as well. But yeah. Book comes out October 31, tenbooks.com. And I really appreciate you saying that, Eric. I would simply say, to your point, buy a copy for your parish priest, because the chances are pretty good they didn't learn about matrimony very well in the seminary. That's just the reality. So I think this book would help them. [00:47:11] Speaker A: And I found that even good priests are uncomfortable at times speaking about marriage because they're not married. They feel like, okay, I can't really speak on that. But I don't think that's true at all. I think that as our spiritual fathers, they were children of marriage. Most cases, they've seen more good and bad marriages than the rest of us have because they've counseled people, they've heard confessions, they've lived with these people. They know these people. So I think priests should not feel like they can't speak on marriage and what it is, even though they're not married. [00:47:46] Speaker B: Amen. Yes. [00:47:49] Speaker A: Okay. Well, thank you, John. I appreciate I'll put links to this in the description. Like I said, I encourage people to get the book betrayed without a kiss. Make sure I get the subtitle correct. Defending marriage after years of failed leadership in the church. Thanks a lot, John, for being on the program. [00:48:02] Speaker B: Thanks, Eric. God bless you. Thanks so much. [00:48:04] Speaker A: Okay, until next time, everybody. God love.

Other Episodes

Episode

March 25, 2022 00:48:44
Episode Cover

The Role of Men (and Women) in a Family (Guest: Kennedy Hall)

What is Catholic masculinity? What does it mean to be a man? What are the proper roles for both men and women in the...

Listen

Episode

September 18, 2020 00:29:36
Episode Cover

Breaking Free of Same-Sex Attraction

Kim Zember, the author of Restless Heart (Crisis Publications, 2020) joins host Michael Warren Davis to discuss the incredible story of how she broke...

Listen

Episode

August 16, 2022 00:31:09
Episode Cover

Catholics Are Called to be Militant

A recent article in The Atlantic attacked those who call the Rosary a weapon, but even many Catholics today are uncomfortable with language they...

Listen