Jesuit Leader's Confusing Words on the Bible and Marriage

Can someone help decode this article, assuming it’s legit, on what Jesuit Superior Fr. Arturo Sosa Abascal, claims regarding marriage? If he’s saying what I think he’s saying (marriage is not necessarily between one man and one woman) it’s disturbing!

Twitter and FB are blowing up over this giving them just another reason to attack Catholics.

I found this thread from a few months back that thoroughly and adequately explains.

Still don’t fully understand…

Just because he’s a priest doesn’t mean he has the last word as a Catholic on anything. He knows how his words would be taken. It’s the kind of thing that gives Jesuitical a bad name. Unfortunately there is a lot of that going around.:mad:

This is sadly not what the Church has taught since the Church began and is why there is such a spiritual battle going on between “modernists” as he is and those of us that hold to what the Magesterial teachings of the Church have always taught. He is so wrong and needs our prayers as this is clearly error :pensive: We much pray, pray, pray for Holy Mother Church as the evil one is attacking the Church even from within​:pensive::pray:t2::pray:t2::pray:t2:

You have a source that doesn’t get the man’s name right – he is Fr. Sosa not Fr. Abascal. I find it hard to get past such a fundamental error to put much credence in anything else they report.

I agree to a point. While they may have gotten his salutation wrong, I don’t think we can entirely dismiss what the Jesuit Superior said or thinks. There has been no retraction or clarification from the Jesuit Superior as far as I can tell. The other article linked above, considers it trustworthy enough as a source to author a rebuttal.

(Edited: here’s the article referenced in the above sentence.)
So yes I agree with you to some extent, I still find it troubling to hear this from the Jesuit community. I’m with mlz to pray pray pray.

Simply set it aside and turn to the fine work of Pope Benedict XVI.

Why not?

If he says something that is not correct or is confusing -one can yes set that aside.

Simply set whatever is confusing aside and turn to the fine work of Pope Benedict XVI.

The statement was from April 3, 2017, so your link predates an so that really doesn’t address the statement.

Why not?

(one is not a Jesuit right?)

If he says something that is confusing etc -one can yes set that aside.

Simply set whatever is confusing aside and turn to the fine work of Pope Benedict XVI.

Arturo Sosa Abascal, S.J. Superior General of the Society of Jesus. This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Sosa and the second or maternal family name is Abascal.

I would disagree with the Jesuit Superior, at least as he’s portrayed here, but for a different set of reasons. Not because modern (not modernist) historical criticism that contextualizes Jesus’ words automatically makes them relative to the culture in which they’re spoken, but because the Biblical context itself defines how the early Church operated.

Virtually all modern critical scholars of the Bible agree that Jesus had an absolute ban on divorce. However, there there is some evidence that the evangelists and St. Paul made modifications to this absolute ban.

In Matthew 5:32, compared with the parallel passages in Mark 10:11-12 and Luke 16:18, the term “except in porneia”, qualifies the notion that divorce and remarriage is adultery (moikeio). While Protestants and Catholics disagree over this term (particularly whether adultery qualifies as porneia – doubtful given that adultery is in the same sentence), the qualification is unique to the Gospel of Matthew. Also, in Matthew 19:29, Jesus commends leaving a wife for his sake. The parallel verse in Mark 10:29 does not include “wife” as a person to leave for the sake of Jesus.

Likewise, in 1 Corinthians 7:10-11, St. Paul reiterates the blanket ban on divorce and remarriage, but on his own authority (1 Cor 7:12), he says in 1 Cor 7:15 that if an unbelieving spouse leaves a believing one, the believing spouse “is not bound” in such cases. The Church has reinterpreted this principle – calling it the Pauline Privilege.

There are others, such as in the Gospel of Luke, which only seems to have the ban on divorce and remarriage, and not the “what God has put together, let no man sunder” found in Mark 10 and Matthew 19. Luke 14:26 also inserts “and wife” into the list of people to “hate” to be a disciple of Jesus, compared with the verse in Matthew 10:37 (which also is a “love me more” rather than a “hate” verse).

Overall, in both the gospels of Matthew and Luke and 1 Cor 7, there is evidence that the evangelists modified the interdiction of divorce by Jesus. Matthew alone suggests leaving a wife, and remarriage following divorce on account of porneia is OK. Luke suggests hating a wife is necessary to be a disciple. Mark doesn’t seem to have any allowance for divorce, and he extends the ban to women as well as men (see Mark 10:12). Since Paul includes married women when he cites Jesus’ ban on divorce (1 Corinthians 7:11), there are multiple witnesses to that being original to Jesus.

The point here is that the Church – in the persons of the evangelists and St. Paul – modified or extended the teaching of Jesus in some way. That suggests, unlike what Fr. Sosa seems to conclude, that there is an absolute ban on divorce in the words of Jesus, but that the Church has authority from its very earliest days to interpret that ban in applying it in its adjudication of marriage and divorce.

With the “Petrine privilege” and the “Pauline privilege,” the Church has done so. Historically, it also exercised its authorities in novel situations outside traditional marriage. It accepted a form of legal permanent concubinage, under Pope Calistus I. The Council of Toledo in 400 accepted that a male concubine of a single wife should not be refused communion. With the decline of Roman civil law, concubinage fell into disuse. In the middle ages, clandestine marriage was accepted as a form of permitted concubinage, though banned by the Council of Trent.

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