Earlier, we discussed Catholicism and the crossroads it faces with divorce. There are millions of Catholics in the U.S. who remarried outside the church without first obtaining an annulment — a declaration by the church that their marriage was never valid. The parishioners are banned from receiving Holy Communion, one of the religion's most important rituals. But now, it seems like at least the head of the church — Pope Francis — may be looking to bring Catholicism into the 21st Century.
Speaking to his weekly audience, Francis said that there are some cases where it is "morally necessary" to break up marriages where the safety of women and children are at stake. This is a huge shift in how the religion acts toward divorce, which it previously said would never support.
"Sometimes, it can even be morally necessary," Pope Francis said, "when it's about shielding the weaker spouse or young children from the more serious wounds caused by intimidation and violence, humiliation and exploitation."
Speaking the the NY Post, Lisa Fullam, associate professor of moral theology at the Graduate Theological Union, said Francis' message might give women trapped in violent relationships the strength to put their safety ahead of doctrine.
For more: Pope Francis: Divorce can be 'morally necessary' (NY Post)
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.