Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Tuesday 13 April |
Saint of the Day: Pope St. Martin I
home iconChurch
line break icon

Pope Francis on the Tightrope

Marcin Mazur/UK Catholic

Fr Dwight Longenecker - published on 10/09/14

Do we simply forget the moral teachings of the church and welcome everyone no matter what their lifestyle? That can’t be right. On the other hand, do we fall into the other extreme of rejecting those who are not abiding by all the rules? I doubt whether the synod this week in Rome will find any instant answers. Instead, what is needed is a fresh approach with a fresh generation, and the answer lies in Francis’s exhortation.

He says we must first listen carefully to the situation of our people so that we can find how to propose the good news of the family with credibility. I am convinced that the only way we can do that is not primarily through theological and theoretical discussions but through the radiant reality of ordinary Catholic life.

It is only as Catholic men and women live faithful lives of loving self-sacrifice within marriage that the Catholic proposal for marriage will become attractive to others. As the world descends into increasingly chaotic sexual morality and a totally open-ended understanding of marriage, it will be faithful and joyful Catholic families who show a different way. That way will be one of lovingly supportive, self-sacrificial love. Within Catholic marriages, the love of God himself will be glimpsed, and that love will be so attractive and glorious that the crude alternatives will pale in comparison.

It is by holding to the highest ideals and ambitions of marriage that Catholics will show the world the way forward, and this example will help steady the tightrope stretched between an open pastoral approach and one that upholds the goodness, sanctity and beauty of Christian marriage.

TheRev. Dwight Longenecker is the parish priest of Our Lady of the Rosary in Greenville, South Carolina. His latest book is The Romance of Religion—Fighting for Goodness, Truth and Beauty.Learn more about it at his website,

  • 1
  • 2
MarriagePope FrancisSynod on the Family
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Cerith Gardiner
11 Interesting facts about the late Prince Philip
Fr Robert McTeigue, SJ
A simple test to see if you really believe Christ is risen
Archbishop Georg Gänswein
I.Media for Aleteia
Gänswein: Benedict XVI expected to live only a few months after r...
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
St. Faustina’s coffee cup and lessons for Divine Mercy Sund...
Here’s how to celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday at home
Philip Kosloski
Why you can eat meat on Easter Friday
Sister Bhagya
Saji Thomas-ACN
Catholic nun faces conversion charges in central India
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.