Volume 16, Issue 1, Spring 2016
Gerald D. Coleman
Pope Francis, Mercy, and the Meaning of Marriage
Pope Francis has called for the Church to be a sign of mercy and hope to the world. Mercy stands at the center of the Gospel, and the family is a fundamental seat of mercy within the culture, responsible for bestowing the most valuable of God’s gifts, human life. Because of its mission to bestow life, marriage is necessarily a “lifelong covenant of love and fidelity between a man and a woman” (Francis). As the Church upholds the view of marriage exclusively as the union of a man and a woman who are capable of reaching the deepest kind of unity, she also affirms that persons of the same sex can achieve unity in meaningful ways. Upholding the traditional, comprehensive view of marriage does not belittle the dignity of homosexual persons, because all are our brothers and sisters.