Today, “a great enemy” of marriage is “the theory of gender. Today, there is a world war aimed to destroy the institution of marriage, but not with guns: it is destroyed through ideas.” And again, we need to “defend ourselves against ideological settlements that destroy.” These are the words Pope Francis pronounced during his meeting with priests, and religious men and women in the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption in Tbilisi. During his impromptu speech, the bishop of Rome has devoted several minutes to the topic of the sacred bond between man and woman. He explained that “marriage is the most beautiful thing created by God”, but we often want to solve the difficulties coming with a divorce. Those who “pay” the “costs of the divorce”, he added, are “God, because when one flesh gets divorce, it stains the image of God” and “children”, who suffer “when they see their parents fight and separate”.
According to Bergoglio, the recipe to help the couples, is made of “warmth, closeness, accompaniment, discernment, and integration into the body of the Church”, always stressing the importance of the three key words: “may I come in?, excuse me, and thank you.” Peter’s succession has also touched on other topics, such as the relationship with the grandparents used to transmit faith and “keep the memory of the past and national history alive, and have the courage to dream and build a brighter future.” Then, he talked about “a Church that is open, that does not close in on itself, a Church for everyone, a motherly Church”, a woman Church because “Mary is a woman”. With regard to ecumenism, he affirmed that “we never have to proselytize among the Orthodox” because “they are our brothers and sisters, and disciples of Jesus Christ.”
After meeting the religious, the Pope went to the Camillian Assistance Center in Tbilisi, where he attended with great emotion a performance with songs and dances in traditional Georgians costumes, in which partook also children with disabilities and in wheelchairs. Then, he visited the Patriarchal Cathedral Svetyshkoveli, spiritual center of the Georgian Orthodox Church. The “holy robe” of Jesus, he said, “undivided” and “seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom” exhorts us to “experience great pain for the divisions there have been between the Christians throughout history: they are actual wounds inflicted to the Lord’s flesh.” Sources of the Chaldean Patriarchate reported also a quick repartee between Francis and Louis Raphael I Sako that took place yesterday. The Chaldean primate in Baghdad expressed the hope that the Pope would have been able to make a visit to Iraq in the future, “because we need your presence, your support and encouragement.” Then, the Pontiff added: “Inshallah”, “God willing.”