(Note: I don’t intend to return to regular blogging. This is just a thought that I’d like to share and have no other prudent venue for sharing.)
“Make a mess,” Pope Francis reportedly said. Okay then. What would really make a mess in the modern world? A man marries a woman in a valid sacramental marriage, and has children with her. They later obtain a civil divorce. He enters a second, civil union, and begets children in this adulterous relationship.
Realizing his error, he tells his new “wife” that they aren’t really married. He knows that he can’t remain under the same roof with her without giving in to the temptation of further adulterous acts (maybe some can do that; he knows that they can’t*), so he divorces her. He recommends that she find a true bachelor and marry him in the Church. She is contemptuous, and attempts to deny him contact with his (bastard) children. He states that this is a great cross, but he is willing to allow any future spouse of hers to adopt the children.
Since he has to pay child support for two sets of children now, he moves into a studio apartment, which is all he can (barely) afford. He attempts a reconciliation with his first (=true) wife. She also has “moved on” and will have nothing to do with him. He states that they are still married, and she is free to return to him whenever she wishes.
He now lives each day of the rest of his life, however long it should be, as a penance. He prays that some day everyone involved (his true wife, the adulteress he lived with, and his legitimate and illegitimate children) will understand that he was actually doing the right thing when he broke off the second relationship.
Now that’s certainly a “mess” from the world’s perspective (whereas that first divorce was just a freebie to be expected), but it’s exactly what Our Lord demands:
“And every one that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall possess life everlasting.” (St. Matthew 19:29)
But I suspect Pope Francis and his sycophants would, in this situation, counsel a much “cleaner,” more bourgeois solution that doesn’t involve breaking up an adulterous relationship and privileging legitimate children over illegitimate ones. Haga lío, or c’est la vie?
*I wonder how prudent it was for Pope St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI to countenance the erstwhile adulterers in this scenario “living together as brother and sister for the sake of their children.” Here, I agree with the authors of Amoris Laetitia that that might not be a feasible situation for many people. It’s held out there that some, the ones who can live that sort of bizarre and frankly unnatural relationship, can stay together. And what of those who can’t? Their families are broken up, and there’s the suggestion that, “Oh, you could have stayed together if only you could have been together-and-chaste.” For the sake of fairness, I think a general rule of, “Break up your adulterous non-union,” should be promoted as the norm and the “brother-sister” thing as, at most, an exception.