Catholic Family News

Martini Pope: Cohabitating Couples Have Grace of “Real Marriage”

Francis Claims Those Who Cohabitate Can Have the “Grace of a Real Marriage” – The Martini Legacy Continues

Our Lord commanded Peter to confirm his brethren in the Faith (Luke 22:32). Pope Francis delights in doing the opposite.

On June 16, at a question and answer session during a conference in Rome, Pope Francis implied that those living in “faithful” cohabitation can have “the grace of real marriage because of their fidelity.”

Contrary to Francis’ claim, however, cohabitation can never carry within it the grace of real marriage, because it is the grave of real marriage.

Continuing his three-year run of reckless public comments that evoke scandal worldwide, Francis spoke of the situation in Argentina where many in marriage-prep classes are typically cohabiting. Catholic News Agency reports:

“They prefer to cohabitate [says Francis] and this is a challenge, a task: not to ask ‘why don’t you marry?’ No, to accompany, to wait, and to help them to mature, help fidelity to mature.”

He said that in Argentine’s northeast countryside, couples have a child and live together. They have a civil wedding when the child goes to school, and when they become grandparents they ‘get married religiously.’

“It’s a superstition, because marriage frightens the husband. It’s a superstition we have to overcome” the Pope said. “I’ve seen a lot of fidelity in these cohabitations, and I am sure that this is a real marriage, they have the grace of a real marriage because of their fidelity, but there are local superstitions, etc.”[1]

Though some may be shocked at the following observation, I really see the element of the demonic in Francis’ latest claim. An aspect of the demonic consists in a manifestation of the opposite of Christ and Christian teaching. In the Black Mass (as Bishop Sheen once explained) prayers are said backwards, the Our Father is recitedbackwards

Francis’ explanation is backwards. It is nothing short of a demonic inversion of the entire nature of marriage itself. He somehow proposes that living in a prolonged state of fornication, which is mortal sin that causes death to the soul, somehow generates the grace of a “real marriage” that contributes to the life of the soul.

Cohabitation is a permanent state of fornication, which is a grave sin against the Sixth Commandment. St. Paul, enunciating serious sins that Christians must avoid, warns that the fornicater “will not see God.” (I Cor. 6: 9-10).

Francis never speaks the language of Christianity on this matter, but presents a bizarre purée of what he considers the nice aspects of Christian morality along with a sentimental humanism.

By all appearance, it seems Francis does not believe that sins of the flesh are mortal sins. Or if he does, he is expert at keeping this belief to himself. When addressing issues of divorced and “remarried” Catholics, cohabitation or homosexuality, never does he reiterate that these sins and lifestyles are mortal sins from which one must immediately free oneself. Never does he ever express the slightest worry, the smallest hint, that unconfessed mortal sins of the flesh result in the eternal damnation of those who commit them. There is no sense of urgency for those entrapped in these sins. Never do we hear him reiterate Our Lady of Fatima’s warning that “More souls go to hell for sins of the flesh than for any other reason.”

Francis has gone beyond speaking of the alleged “positive aspects” of cohabitation (the twaddle we heard from the two latest Synods), to now implying that “faithful” cohabitation can somehow transform living in sin to the life of grace. In this, as in many other areas, he seems to follow the lead of the modernist Cardinal Martini whom Francis praised as a “Father for the whole Church.”

Francis Follows Martini

Pope Francis has been regarded as the “Martini Pope” from day one. The powerful Martini faction at both the 2005 and 2013 Conclaves pressed their support behind Bergoglio, the “Martini Candidate.” [2] National Catholic Reporter Editor Thomas C. Fox published the celebratory headline, “Cardinal Martini’s Dream: the Church of Francis.”[3]

To summarize some of Martini’s modernism:

In his last interview, which Martini asked to be published after his death, Martini said the Catholic Church is “200 years behind the times.”

Martini further complained, ”Our culture has grown old, our churches and our religious houses are big and empty, the bureaucratic apparatus of the Church grows, our rites and our dress are pompous.”

Martini encouraged opening up reception of the Eucharist for the divorced and remarried Catholics, counseling against what he called “discrimination.”

In the book Night Conversation with Cardinal Martini published in 2010, Martini, speaking of dialogue with non-Catholics, said that once you talk frankly with members of various other religions, “You will even be glad that the other person is a Protestant or Muslim.” 

Martini acknowledged the German and Austrian Bishops’ dissent from Humanae Vitae, as “pointing to a direction that we could promote today.”

Martini also called for a more collegial and synodal approach to Church governance.[4]

As we will see, Martini also undermined Catholic morality, stating that young people are already having intimate relations prior to marriage and should be left alone to make their own judgements. 

Yet Pope Francis on the first anniversary of the Cardinal’s death publicly praised Martini as “a Father for the whole Church.”

Francis went on to call Martini a “prophetic” figure, and “a man of discernment and peace.”[5]

Francis follows Martini and the trend of modernist Jesuits in a deliberate undermining of true Catholic morality. In the past we reported three elements in which Francis dutifully follows Martini: 

(1) Martini’s soft-pedaling of homosexuality: “It would not occur to me to judge them,” which prefigured Francis’ “who am I to judge?” comment; 

(2) Martini’s claim that “You can’t make God a ‘Catholic God’ – a phrase repeated by Francis in his 2013 La Repubblica interview wherein he said, “I believe in God, not a Catholic God.” 

(3) Martini’s insistence that divorced and “remarried” Catholics should be allowed to receive the Eucharist, a goal effectively accomplished by Francis’ scandalous Amoris Laetitia.[6]

We will now look at Cardinal Martini words regarding traditional Catholic morality, especially his perverse guidance for young people. Martini’s approach implies an implicit denial of sins of the flesh.

Martini: “The Church talks about sin too much”

Martini’s boldest challenges to Catholic sexual morality are found in Night Conversation with Cardinal Martini: The Relevance for the Church of Tomorrow, the extended 2010 interview conduced by Father Georg Sporschill, S.J. originally released in Italian.

Early in the interview, Martini says, “The times are long gone when the Church could talk you into having a guilty conscience.”[7]

In case we don’t get the point, he later says, “The Church talks about sin too much.”[8] 

He goes on to say, “The wish that the Magisterium might say something positive on sexuality is justified. In the past the Church probably said too much about the Sixth Commandment. Sometimes silence would have been better.”[9]

Martini was also dedicated to make change happen. He writes, “In the preparation for the most recent papal election [2005], we Cardinals discussed openly among ourselves the questions the new Pope would face and to which he would have to give new answers. Among them, I said, were questions dealing with sexuality and Communion for those who are separated and remarried.”[10] 

What are some of the “new answers” Martini proposes regarding sexuality?

Martini says, “Today no bishop or priest is unaware of the fact that physical intimacy before marriage is a fact. We have to rethink this if we want to promote marital fidelity. Nothing will be gained by unrealistic positions or prohibitions.”

In other words, an increasing number of youngsters are engaging in sins against the 6th and 9th Commandments, and Martini advocates a policy of surrender – effectively leaving young people to their passions.

“I have learned from friends and acquaintances,” continues Martini, “how young people go on holidays together and sleep in the same room. It has never occurred to anyone to hide this or consider it a problem. Should I be commenting on this? That is difficult.”

Yet what is difficult about recognizing immoral behavior that ruins souls and then offering firm, loving correction?

In any case, Martini goes on to comment in such a way as to leave open the door for young people (and anyone) to continue in sinful activity condemned by the Church and Sacred Scripture. Today’s massive upsurge in fornication is somehow a ‘development’ in his eyes. 

Nowhere do we see Cardinal Martini (or Pope Francis) repeat the clear teaching of St. Paul, “Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor the effeminate, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor the drunkard, nor the evil-tongues, nor the greedy will possess the Kingdom of God.” (I Cor. 6: 9-10

“The Paths Cannot Come from Above”

Martini eschews the Church’s role as the moral teacher of mankind, and suggests young people should be left to themselves to figure out what they want to do. “We cannot require perfect lives from our children and youth. They will gradually find their way. The paths cannot be prescribed from above, from desks and pulpits. The Church’s leadership will be relieved of a burden if it listens and trusts and dialogs with youth. The critical thing is to encourage in individual Christians the ability to make judgments.”[11]

Make judgments based on what? On bad habits acquired by succumbing to passion? From habits of passion that quickly become a kind of addiction? From habits of those who have never learned the basic Catholic principle reiterated by the saints to “avoid the occasion of sin?” Is Martini ignorant of St. Thomas Aquinas’ warning that “the first-born daughter of lust is blindness of the mind?”[12] Is blindness of mind a good foundation for making judgments?

Martini already claimed that young people should not be directed in these matters “from pulpits,” that is, from traditional Catholic doctrine. And Martini said earlier that the Church and the Pope must be ready to give new answers to questions of human sexuality. St. Paul’s teaching in 1st Corinthians 6 never enters Martini’s equation.

Again, Pope Francis on the first anniversary of the Cardinal’s death publicly praised Martini as “a Father for the whole Church,” and went on to call Martini a “prophetic” figure, and “a man of discernment and peace.”

Not Fit to be Altar Boys

To bring this to a quick conclusion:

(1) Francis follows Martini in his disregard for the mortal sin of fornication, and is willing to leave the door open for those engaged in these addictive sins to continue their unacceptable lifestyle– Martini in the case of promiscuous youngsters, Francis in the case of cohabiting couples. Worse, Francis invents a debauched theology by which humanist “fidelity” in cohabiting couple can magically turn cohabitation into some sort of real marriage. In this, Francis follows Martini’s call to talk “positively” and give “new answers” to questions of human sexuality.

(2) These statements of Francis and Martini display a perverse thinking that makes them both unfit to serve as altar boys, let along exercise the exalted positions they undeservedly hold.

(3) The soul-destroying teaching of these men did not pop up from nowhere. It has been rampant in the Church amongst modernist moral theologians since the time of Vatican II. Influential writers such as Fathers Joseph Fuchs, Richard McBrien, Richard McCormack and countless others propounded their perversity in Catholic colleges and seminaries with no effective discipline from the lax pontificates of Popes Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI. It is common knowledge the entire Jesuit Order is notoriously pro-homosexual and has been so for decades.[13] After 50 years of this scandalous laxity – the direct result of the Vatican II revolution – a pontificate such as that of Francis was inevitable.

(4) Tragically, as Bishop de Galarreta noted in his fine sermon at Winona on June 3, there appears to be no groups of bishops standing up to Francis’ path of destruction.[14]

It is up to concerned Catholics of whatever rank, laity, priest or bishop, to publicly resist Francis’ shredding of Catholic morality, to pray that his pontificate may be corrected or drastically shortened, to arm ourselves by studying the Catholic Faith of all time from the great pre-Vatican II theology manuals, and to promote the true Faith to all those within our sphere of influence.

Finally, we must remember that the solution does not lie in returning the supposed good old days of Benedict XVI and John Paul II, two Vatican II revolutionaries whose modernist, ecumenical policies produced the current upheaval (e.g., it was John Paul II who raised both Kasper and Bergoglio to the rank of Cardinal). 

Rather, the answer is a return to full integrity of Catholic doctrine in the same meaning and the same explanationof what the Church always held, and to the counter-revolutionary, anti-Modernist framework of the greatest Pontiff of the 20th Century, Pope St. Pius X. No other solution will do.

[1] “Most marriages today are invalid, Pope Francis suggests,” Catholic News Services, June 16, 2016.
[2] It is well know that at the 2005 Conclave that elected Cardinal Ratzinger, Cardinal Bergoglio (now Pope Francis) was not only the leading contender, but “the votes for Martini’s supporters, along with the others, converged at the time precisely on Bergoglio. Eight years later, in March of 2013, it was again the ‘mariniani’ who backed the election of Bergoglio as Pope. This time with success.” “Martini Pope: The Dream Come True,” Chiesa, Oct. 15, 2013.
[3] “Cardinal Martini’s Dream, the church of Francis,” Thomas C. Fox, National Catholic Reporter, Oct. 23, 2013.
[4] These quotes are all document in All documented in, “The Martini Pope,” J. Vennari, Catholic Family News, January 2014.
[5] “Pope Francis Hails Cardinal Martini as ‘a Father for the whole Church’”, Catholic Herald, September 2, 2013
[6] All documented in, “The Martini Pope” 
[7] Night Conversations, p. 25.
[8] Ibid., p. 26.
[9] Ibid., p. 94.
[10] Ibid., p. 38.
[11] Ibid. 96.
[12] Thomas Aquinas, Secunda Secundae Partis of the Summa Theologiae, Quaestio 153 a. 5 ad 1.
[13] Jesuit Father Paul Shaughnessy, writing in the Weekly Standard in June 2002, bluntly states the problem of homosexual-friendly campuses can be traced to Jesuit leadership itself. He notes that some of the most prestigious posts at universities – such as university administrators and presidents – are generally filled by Jesuit priests unofficially known as the “Gallery Owners”. These Jesuits, skilled at fund-raising, are described by Father Shaughnessy as “discreet, well-spoken, well-dressed gay priests in their fifties and early sixties.” In his article “Are the Jesuits Catholic?”, Father Shaughnessy goes on to explain: “Where the older Jesuits are notable for the heat of their anti-papal passions, the Gallery Owners display a nearly complete apathy toward religion in all its forms. Conventionally liberal, they support condoms and women priests less as a matter of fact than a fashion statement – rather like wearing a baseball hat backwards … The teachings of the Church, being largely an irrelevance, has minimal importance in shaping the opinion of the Gallery Owners, who tend to regard orthodox Catholicism – like boxing or heterosexuality – as one of the coarse amusements of the working class.” For more quotes and all citations, see CFN: “Dangerous Synod Proposal: “New Language” for Natural Law.”
[14] We have not even touched upon Francis’ other scandalous statement from last Thursday, where he claimed that most Catholic marriages are invalid. See a brief write-up here.

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John Vennari

John Vennari was the editor of Catholic Family News from 1994 until his death by cancer on April 4, 2017. His single mission was to teach people how to recognize and resist the pernicious errors of Modernism, especially since Vatican II. In connection with this mission, he was a zealous apostle of Our Lady of Fatima, collaborating closely with Fr. Nicholas Gruner (1942-2015).

John Vennari

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John Vennari was the editor of Catholic Family News from 1994 until his death by cancer on April 4, 2017. His single mission was to teach people how to recognize and resist the pernicious errors of Modernism, especially since Vatican II. In connection with this mission, he was a zealous apostle of Our Lady of Fatima, collaborating closely with Fr. Nicholas Gruner (1942-2015).