“So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.” …and… Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.
Denouncing “doctors of the law” and the “rigid” application of Catholic moral doctrine is a recurrent theme in the Holy Father's homilies at morning Mass in the Vatican. But in his homily on the Markan passage, the Pope amazingly twisted the Gospel reading, if the Vatican Radio account is to be believed. The account, by Vatican Radio’s Christopher Wells:
Pope Francis: In God there is both justice and mercy
“Is it lawful for a husband to put away his wife?” That is the question the doctors of the law put to Jesus in the day's Gospel.
They asked the question to once more put Jesus to the test, the Pope observed. Looking to Jesus' answer, the Pope explained what matters most in the faith:
But if this is the truth, and adultery is serious, how then, the Pope asks, does one explain that Jesus spoke “many times with an adulteress, a pagan?” That He “drank from the glass of her who was not purified?” And at the end He said to her: “I do not condemn you. Sin no more”? How does one explain that?
The path of the Christian, then, does not give into the logic of casuistry, but responds with the truth, which is accompanied, following the example of Jesus, by mercy – “because He is the Incarnation of the Mercy of the Father, and He cannot deny Himself. He cannot deny Himself because He is the truth of the Father, and He cannot deny Himself because He is the Mercy of the Father.”
“And this street that Jesus teaches us,” the Pope noted, is difficult to apply in the face of the temptations of life: