Monsignor Charles Pope published an opinion piece on the Archdiocese of Washington’s website lamenting the ‘death’ of the word marriage. Pope said that since 1969 the word marriage no longer has resonance within the Catholic faith. Of course, he probably should be more worried that these days the Catholic faith is resonating with fewer and fewer people.
Pope was lamenting the fact that divorce and contraception became easier to obtain after 1969, and of course, the fact that same-sex marriage is now legal and on equal footing with opposite-sex marriage.
Pope wrote that “It is a simple fact that word ‘marriage’ as we have traditionally known it is being redefined in our times. To many in the secular world the word no longer means what it once did and when the Church uses the word marriage we clearly do not mean what the increasing number of states mean.”
Pope, who is the pastor of Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian, then went on to suggest that the Church drop the word marriage all together saying “I propose that we should exclusively refer to marriage in the Church as ‘Holy Matrimony.’ According to this proposal the word marriage would be set aside and replaced by Holy Matrimony. It should be noticed that the Catechism of the Catholic Church refers to this Sacrament formally as ‘The Sacrament of Matrimony.’”
Pope isn’t the only one reflecting on how their religious organizations refer to or think about marriage. Of course, Pope is likely fighting an uphill battle as it is unlikely that people are going to be overly willing to give up the use of the word marriage for matrimony.
Still no word yet if the Church plans on fighting hard to put an end to divorce, but it seems unlikely.