In a couple of instances over the past week, Pope Francis made strong comments about marriage, imploring married couples to be open to having children, and also warning that the devil is out to destroy marriage and the family. Human Life International President Father Shenan Boquet spoke to LifeSiteNews about the Holy Father’s comments.
Speaking to a large gathering of charismatic Catholics in the Rome Olympic Stadium on Sunday, Pope Francis spoke of how the devil ‘attacks the family so much. The demon does not love it and seeks to destroy it.’ … The pope explained that the devil seeks to destroy the family because ‘families are the domestic Church, where Christ grows up – grows up in the love of the spouses, grows up in the life of the children.’
Responding to the pope’s comments, Fr. Boquet told LifeSiteNews, “Amen! The battle for marriage and the family is not fundamentally about the next court decision the next vote or who has the most money. It is fundamentally a spiritual battle for lives and souls.
“The illusion that marriage and family life can be defined outside of God is the Evil One’s greatest ploy. We hope the Holy Father’s message will inspire pastors charged with the care of souls to preach the fullness of the Gospel and lead their people to genuine truth about the person, married life and the family.”
In the homily at his daily Mass, the Pope said that the ‘culture of comfort’ seeks to convince us: ‘It’s better not to have children! It’s better! You can go explore the world, go on holiday, you can have a villa in the countryside, you can be carefree…It might be better – more comfortable – to have a dog, two cats, and the love goes to the two cats and the dog.’
Addressing 15 couples celebrating wedding anniversaries ranging from 25 to 60 years, Pope Francis focused his homily on Christ’s example of faithful, fruitful love as a model of married love for couples.
Fr. Boquet told LifeSiteNews that today the “’value’ of a child is often seen in terms of his or her economic cost, and potential burden on the couple’s lifestyle.” As a result, “procreative and unitive aspects of marriage are separated and a couple becomes hostile to life.”
“What the Holy Father is expressing is really what happens to a culture that embraces a contraceptive mentality, even among married persons,” Fr. Boquet said. “Our culture is losing a basic understanding of the purpose of marriage – to bring new life into the world – and redefining marriage to emphasize our own desires.”
“Widespread availability of contraception has swiftly, and dangerously, moved society away from a focus on family and community toward a focus on personal pleasure and fulfillment, leading to the disintegration of family life, the loss of regard for human dignity and even the acceptance of abortion.”