By editor - 24 April, 2015
Pope Francis has warned that the social devaluation of marriage is “a loss for everyone”.
In his general audience on Wednesday, the Pontiff urged people to “recover the honour of marriage and the family” which he described as a stable and generative covenant of man and woman.
The Pope said that “the safekeeping of this covenant between man and woman, is for believers a challenging and exciting vocation” in today’s world.
However, he warned that if sympathy for the covenant of marriage between men and women cannot be generated, “children will be increasingly uprooted”.
Pope Francis was commenting on the second account of the creation of man in Genesis.
He said the first man, Adam, is created “alone” and God determines to make for him “a helper suited to him.”
When the first woman is presented to the man, he recognises in her “bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh.”
However, the Pope said, “The woman is not a ‘replica’ of the man; she comes directly from the creative act of God.”
He underlined that the image of the ‘rib’ “does not in any way express inferiority or subordination, but on the contrary, that man and woman are of the same substance and are complementary.”
God is generous to the man and the woman, confiding the care of the earth to them.
But, the Pope said, the “evil one” introduced “suspicion, disbelief, and mistrust” in their minds and ultimately led them into the first sin.
“The sin generates distrust and division between the man and the woman,” Pope Francis commented.
“Their relationship will be undermined by a thousand kinds of abuse and subjugation, of deceitful seduction and demeaning humiliations, up to the most dramatic and violent.”
The Pontiff also spoke about “the negative excesses of patriarchal cultures… the multiple forms of ‘machismo’… the instrumentalisation and commodification of the female body in the current media culture.”
But he also warned about “the recent epidemic of distrust, of scepticism, and even of hostility that is spreading throughout our culture – in particular stemming from an understandable diffidence on the part of women – regarding a covenant between man and woman at once of achieving the intimacy of communion and of safeguarding the dignity of difference.”
The Pope concluded his catechesis with the image, from Genesis, of God clothing Adam and Eve after their sin.
“It is an image of tenderness towards the sinful couple that leaves us open-mouthed with wonder. It is an image of paternal safeguarding of the human couple. God Himself cures and protects His masterpiece.”