Pope Francis on separation of spouses: Sometimes it’s “morally necessary”

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Showing yet again his more-compassionate and pragmatic stance on life issues, Pope Francis said there were times when it was “morally necessary” for spouses to be separated from each other, the Huffington Post  reported.

In his weekly audience at St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, the pontiff outlined the different cases wherein marital separation would be deemed justifiable: “when it comes to saving the weaker spouse, or young children, from more serious injuries by intimidation and violence, by humiliation and exploitation, by lack of involvement and indifference.”

While emphasizing the importance of a complete family, Pope Francis acknowledged the reality that not all spouses are able to solve their problems and save their marriage, in which case they would be better off separated.

For the Children’s Sake

In particular, the pope lamented how spats between spouses can inevitably lead to permanent scarring among their children.

“When the father and mother harm each other, children’s souls suffer greatly…and they are wounds that leave a lifelong mark,” he said, and warned parents that trying to overcompensate by giving gifts and goodies to their kids to make up for their quarrels would inevitably backfire on them in the long run.

Don’t Condemn, Just Help

In the end, Pope Francis called on the public not to condemn spouses who have separated or are undergoing marital problems but to help them instead.

“We find many families in irregular situations around us,” he said. “How can we help them? How can we accompany them so the children do not become hostages to their father or mother?”

Pope Francis’ remarks come on the heel of a much-anticipated synod or gathering of bishops in October to address various issues affecting the families of today.

“Let us ask the Lord for a strong faith to see with his eyes the reality of family life, and for a deep love to approach all families with his merciful heart,” the pope said.