Author Father Ariel

Antonio Socci, the “motu proprio” and the problem of faith



The question of faith is explicitly mentioned in the document of the Supreme Pontiff because in the present situation characterized by secularism and de-Christianization from a galloping more foals Palio di Siena, the religious element of ignorance on the increase is so great and this, together with the surface lightly, that today we are compelled to clarify what for centuries was obvious even among people unlearned. And today more than ever is really quite high the risk of couples who marry in church without true faith in Sacramento, because we do not believe or pretend to believe because, or because they conceive evil or by simulation or inadvertent error.



Author Father Ariel

Ariel S. Levi di Gualdo



dear Antonio.

antonio socci

A Christian father who loves does not forgive just a small mistake, forgive the mistakes also committed “seventy times seven” [One of the books devoted to Antonio Socci's daughter Catherine, see WHO]

Many readers have pointed me your article [see WHO], and in truth I must tell you that if you do not commentassi would risk to appear partial. The human affection and esteem I have unchanged against you together with my sympathy can not in fact take the use of two weights and two measures, because I would be pastorally and intellectually right, if not dishonest worse.

You are a sincere and devoted Catholic, as it is Prof. Roberto de Mattei you mention in your article and of which I have recently written [see WHO]. An undoubted sincerity of purpose - your like that of de Mattei - who does not exempt from error analysis and evaluation, as they are not free from error I, I can commit even more serious and produce as a result of damage to a lot more than I can compierne any secular. Even the saints were not exempt from errors, sometimes even from heresies, from which then you are obviously amended.

About the motu proprio of the Supreme Pontiff Francis [see WHO] you write that: "The dynamite is mainly Article 14 the "rules of procedure" where he evokes the "lack of faith" of those being married as a possible cause of simulation or error in the consensus and then the nullity of marriage '.

I would like to assure you that this is not a "dynamite". Indeed, the point of your article through which it is clear that you can not grasp the scale of the problem in itself and by itself, It is based on the reference you make to the Procedural Rules Motu Proprio [Art. 14 § 1]. My fear is that you have not grasped the complexity of the reasons that are upstream and which led the Pope to indicate how elements for discussion the cause of nullity of marriage, by means of the shorter process, according to the canons 1683-1687, also "the lack of faith that can generate the simulation of consent or the error that determines the will».

Unfortunately mistakes in thinking that in the past the Church "excludes" the lack of faith by invalidity. An idea like this is really your absurd on formal and substantive grounds. And here I would like to point out incidentally that I made use of the term "absurd" in the strict sense according to the correct etymology and not according to the use for which this lemma is used in everyday language. Per absurd It means it, in philosophical language and the philosophy of law, an element or a thought that is contrary to logic or reason.

If the Church did not speak essential element of faith, it was because it was the first condition of the minimum required for the validity of the Sacrament. He did not speak simply because, marriage being a sacrament, It supposed, or it is still assumed that the engaged have the same faith in Sacramento. Or in other words: who never would have crossed my mind, yesterday, of asking a candidate for priestly ordination next if you truly believe in the Eucharistic Sacrifice Mystery? Unfortunately, as a presbyter, I can witnessing to today, before ordering priests certain subjects that should not be made to approach the altar even as altar boys, the bishops should ascertain if they know and especially if you truly believe the fundamental truths contained in the dogmas of the Catholic faith, What this requires that upstream the fact that, to be trained in the correct Catholic doctrine are first of all the bishops [see my article on the Secretary General of the CEI, WHO].

I'll try to clarify everything with another example: in the beautiful Tuscan countryside where last year you you invited me to lunch and my co-worker - and where I hope to come back soon to visit you - today there are old farmhouses that cost much more than a house located in historical city centers. In these houses they lived until less than a century ago the farmers many of whom knew barely read and write. With this example I would like to offer you a concrete idea of ​​radical social transformation and environmental. but yet, those farmers, including especially the illiterate, they knew very well what marriage was. Today, many of those who bought the houses of the old farmers by paying over the nineties up to ten million old lire per square meter, if anything professionals with the parcels to six zeros, or wealthy entrepreneurs, or rich foreigners … What is marriage a high percentage do not know precisely. It would be enough to go that genderista Gianna Nannini, born into a wealthy family of Siena impreditori, popstar famous all over the world, degree in literature and so on, asking her to explain what marriage; if anything, since we, to explain well what the family, or the relationship between parents and children, or whether it is humane and just a creature is deprived of a father and a mother “date” to be raised among circles of homosexuals and lesbians sour.

I hope I've made clear why the question of faith is explicitly mentioned in the document of the Supreme Pontiff: because in the present situation characterized by secularism and de-Christianization from a galloping more of the foals of the Siena Palio, the religious element of ignorance on the increase is so great and this, together with the surface lightly, that today we are compelled to clarify what for centuries was obvious even among people unlearned. And today more than ever is really quite high the risk of couples who marry in church without true faith in Sacramento, because we do not believe or pretend to believe because, or because they conceive evil or by simulation or inadvertent error.

This is the reason why in my homilies often I insist on some fundamental elements of the faith, speaking of the mystery of God's Word made flesh, clarifying the nature hypostatic Christ true God and true man. Speaking of the Eucharist and clarifying that it is the mystery of the real presence of Christ under the appearances of bread and wine; then explain that the Eucharist is not an allegory, a metaphor, a symbol of the spiritual presence of Christ. Similarly I explain that the Holy Mass is the living and holy sacrifice of the cross that is renewed in a bloodless way, and invite you to pay first of all listen to the words of the celebrant when the ruling canon the word "sacrifice", or when the faithful themselves respond to the priest also making reference: "May the Lord accept this sacrifice from your hands, to the praise and glory of His name and of all His Holy Church ". I explain that the Holy Mass, namely the Eucharistic Sacrifice, is not a dance or drumming, It is not a canteen where joyful friends make dinner together; that the altar is the table of the deejay around which anyone who knows three chords can torture the whole assembly with inappropriate and annoying schitarrate. I recently used the pastoral life experience during a sermon telling of when replacing a pastor in a parish church, just arrived, I was approached by two catechists in the mood to give me directions on how to celebrate, unaware that tells me how to celebrate the Church through the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, not those pie gives I renamed inappropriate pretesse born of the worst confusion of roles produced by the worst of the post-conciliar, which has nothing to do with the Second Vatican Council. The two tell me: "You do not know our parish, so we wanted to inform you that we at the center of the liturgy we put young people '. The fulmino with a fiery look and answer: "I'm sorry for you, and above all I regret your young, because I put Christ at the center of the liturgy, and young people need to be adoring and kneeling before Him, because the center is His, and it is a total and totalizing center, because Christ is the beginning, the center and the ultimate goal of our entire humanism " [CF. Declaration Lord Jesus, see WHO, Instruction Sacramentum, WHO].

Between you and me, there are only a few years apart: you were born in 1959 and I in 1963. So I ask you: when between 1967 and the 1968 you made the catechism to prepare for First Communion, at the end of the receipt preparation, you had the conscious awareness of what you were going to receive? Of course you had, I'd like that in May 1972 I received my First Communion kneeling at the railing on the surface covered with white linen and with the altar boy who was holding me the plate under the chin.

I mentioned three accidental elements or so-called “damn external” - The genuflessione, the balustrade covered with linen, the plate - that in their accidental contingent recall elements of sacredness and reverence for the sacred mystery today unfortunately lost with all that is sad and painful it follows, starting from the way in which many faithful receive no sacred respect and deep reverence the Body of Christ; from sloppy way in which many priests distribute the Eucharist, often demandandone distribution - without any objective necessity - to lay more sloppy even some priests.

You and I, how we received the first confession? Kneeling before the confessional grille, inside which there was the priest wearing a cassock, the white surplice and purple stole,. Or maybe it would have been unthinkable that one of the many priests today ye ye, with trousers jeans and scollacciata shirt with short sleeves administer confessions to young women sitting in a chair inside the parish office with the door closed, if anything, even answering the phone during the sacramental action? And with that I hardly explain that I am not a misogynist, but a priest of Christ which never enter our minds of sitting on an office chair to face a penitent intention to confess their sins to have the grace, the mercy and forgiveness of God; I would never do with anyone, especially with a woman, which it is due by the priest a delicacy and respect very special.

Now you understand why for which we must unfortunately also explain the obvious, Once discharged, and took tragic act that what for centuries has been obvious, Today, unfortunately, no longer is? And you not only have to explain the obvious to the lay, but also to many priests malformed placed by wickedness of our bishops in places often more delicate. You understand, Dear friend, that today, under the indifferent eyes of our bishops, to priests placed in the larger parishes or to strut in the offices of the curia, we see doing things that until a few decades ago would have never crossed your mind to even more ignorant of the country cared, of those who, more than theology, They had studied the need catechism with a stick, and to whom we owe eternal gratitude today if we still have a Faithful People, from John Vianney patron saint of us priests, that with many difficulties read well or not the Latin of the Missal of St. Pius V?

I entrust your daughter Catherine again the Blessed Virgin Mary at the end of the day when the universal Church celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, honored more than ever for your friendship.

18 replies
  1. Manuel says:

    “The contemporary mentality arises rather at odds with the Christian understanding of marriage, especially with respect to its indissolubility and openness to life. Since many Christians are influenced by that cultural context, marriages are probably more often invalids in our day than they were in the past, because it is missing the will to get married according to the direction of the Catholic doctrine of double and even membership in a vital context of faith is very small. Therefore, a verification of the validity of marriage is important and can lead to problem solving” (S.E Card Muller, Prefect of the CDF, Indissolubility of marriage and divorced REMARRIED AND DISCUSSION ON THE SACRAMENTS, OR 23.10.2013)

  2. Manuel says:

    Dear P. Ariel,
    rereading a bit’ these days the speeches of Benedict XVI to the Roman Rota, I find myself often wonder if those who cry to the alleged “subversion of the doctrine on marriage”, It occurred to them to say with the last Motu Proprio of his Successor, really know the writings of the Pope Emeritus. Cito, hoping to make something pleasant and especially helpful, an enlightening passage of his speech to the Rota 22.1.2011: "The right to marry, O the right to marriage, It is not a subjective claim that must be satisfied by pastors through a mere formal recognition, regardless of the actual content of the union. The right to contract marriage presupposes that we can and intend to really celebrate it, So in the truth of its essence as it taught by the Church. No one can claim the right to a wedding. Lo right to marriage, indeed, It refers to the right to celebrate an authentic marriage. It will not be negated, so, it the right to marriage where it was clear that there are no conditions for its exercise, if that is the wish he would put a goal that is contrary to the natural reality of marriage ".

  3. Manuel says:

    Doing congratulate P. Ariel for this article clear, I would just like a passage from the speech given by Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI to the Roman Rota 26 January 2013, which shows how the so-called “problem of faith” as a possible cause of nullity of marriage consent – that, according Socci, It was invented “of healthy plant” the reigning Pope Francis in his recent Motu Proprio, in fact it was already well represented in papal teaching and practice in Rota:

    “Of course, But, The rejection of God or denial of the sacred dimension of conjugal union and its value in the order of grace makes difficult the concrete embodiment of the model high wedding conceived by the Church according to God's plan, being able to come to undermine the very validity of the pact if, as it takes the established case law of this Tribunal, not result in a rejection of the principle of the same marital duty of loyalty or the other elements or essential properties of marriage”.

    • Ariel S. Levi di Gualdo
      Ariel S. Levi di Gualdo says:

      Dear Manuel.

      In one of his speeches, Pope Benedict XVI also affirmed, with regard to requests for religious marriages, that 'sometimes we should have the courage to say no».

      I heard these words startled, because for years I kept repeating, sometimes procacciandomi also in response to the “worth of smiles” of several bishops.

      I hope so, together with my co-worker, You can find the text of that speech, because I'd like to propose it again in full.

  4. It is necessary to sail says:

    Once again an excellent talk. The change of climate there was, This is no doubt. This is enough to motivate a change in the provisions governing the recognition of a marriage nullity, It can be opined. Not by a non-Catholic, But, since the pontiff about expressed so unambiguously binding. An argument similar to the one that uses Don Ariel here (the changing climate, precisely, with the loss of consciousness), I seem to have crossed on the addition of “And the son” in the Creed.

    P.S. I appreciated (I would say specimens) even the tones of the open letter of Father Ariel: is so, in my subdued opinion, that a Christian should consult a brother from which disagrees.

  5. Ermanno says:

    Good evening Father, I'm reading your articles for a while’ time and I must say I agree on something else on some’ less. We have witnessed a painful waiver by a great dad that stinks more than sensational ouster from those who always hated him. She calls it a thing for me was the spearhead of the Holy Father John Paul II and now impresses me the strength with which he carries his cross. Genuinely saddens me to compare his gentleness and determination arrogance of his successor that I think is debunked a champion of that part so-called progressive but a member of the East India Company as you called your order steeped in powerful. I know that the Holy Spirit is at work but does not force then it is not that we have closed the door on making us owners of what is not ours? I'm not a traditionalist are only a pained and shocked a little Catholic Christian. Thank you for your attention and for your possible reply.

  6. nonsonobigotto says:

    Beautiful example of Tom and Caia, to me it occurs to me another maybe more’ concrete because with THE EXCUSE to consider “almost limit” then you end up generalizing. There are Tom Caia and Sempronia. The first two have been happily married for twenty years, but Tom is starting to be a little tired of that relationship begins to dissipate the sexual relationship, and the two start fighting often, At this point enters Sempronia action beautiful woman Europe( who left their families to get the chicken Search), fifteen years younger than Caia and a gorgeous body, Guy understands that leveraging its good economic situation could easily “put your hands” of Sempronia but a strong sense of guilt is gripping: Does nothing but repeat that it can not’ throw away twenty years a wife and children the fear of falling is always made more’ Strong continues to wonder if what you are going to do and’ sin in the eyes of the Lord: He decides to go to a priest after hearing him feeing sorry for asking the question:”But twenty years ago you believed in what you were doing?” It was so’ that Tom and Sempronia lived forever…

    • Ariel S. Levi di Gualdo
      Ariel S. Levi di Gualdo says:

      Dear Reader.

      The example of her husband that spring his wife in advanced menopause to run after the stangona Ukrainian that age could also be his daughter is not a joke but a reality known, and known to those who like myself has been repeatedly called upon to face such situations because they often involved from broken wives and sons in principle angry with fugitives fathers.

      Usually, the “chicken” which she rightly mentions, is an average higher age group to 55 year old, It is not an Adonis, It does not have the physical features and charm that Sean Connery had sixty or even seventy, between him and the stangona there are average of at least 10/15 centimeters in height difference, in the sense that she is taller than him, etc …

      Moreover, the “chicken“, He is also convinced that she loves him, because if he did not believe that would not be precisely the “chicken” which is.

      The example that she brings corresponds to true and I might add cases truly grotesque and paradoxical result of all of reality and certainly not fantasioni stories.

      In short, a couple may assert and bring elements of type:

      1. When we got married we had no faith and therefore we were deprived of perception also and only the vague nature of the sacrament;
      2. we got married because one, or both, we were forced to do so by psychological coercion;
      3. we got married on the condition of not having absolutely never children;

      etc …

      And how can we forget the point “funny”?

      4. the marriage was never consummated the sexual incompatibility of the spouses.

      The latter motivation tried to take her along with her husband, one of my former classmate that among the 16 ed i 18 years had gained a sexual experience that rivals one of those fifties all lived dividing his sober life among family outbreak and the church. Many years have passed since then, and this my age, today fifty, He has racked up after her first marriage ended two civil marriages in divorce and now lives with a boy 32 year old.
      Before that instance and the reasons brought the judges of the ecclesiastical court, a distance of many years, always laughing on “comicality” of that case, before which immediately rejected the request without even the need to ask – as is the practice happens in these cases – more appraisals by gynecologists, urology, andrology e Specialisti vari. Because that's the point: things are demonstrated.

      All this to say that priests are unfortunately great sinners, often able to create scandal and bewilderment among the People of God with their sins, others cover more or less delicate offices while being the perfect incompetent, but please: do not do stupid to the point of drinking the water smooth in full conviction that this is actually the old brandy, because I even know I never drank hard liquor in my life, I never get confused for the brandy water and vice versa.

      Once the standards established by the new canonical law will come into force, see well that no court, under two “clever” who packed a more or less plausible story, declare the nullity of marriage, because in certain procedures is not only the responsibility and salvation of souls of applicants, but also one of the judges called upon to assume the precise and grave responsibilities.

  7. Lewis says:

    Dear Don Ariel,
    I take his calm and affectionate letter to Antonio Socci like it was directed at myself, I admire very much since this journalist whose sincere faith and whose love for Christ and His Church (like the prof. de Mattei) is out of the question. Whereby, sharing many of his (Socci) perplexity, I draw relief, hoping (and praying) that the next Synod, those who betray (I hope, Don Ariel, you do not want to deny the evidence) not even instrumentalise this motu proprio “for your dome”.
    Regarding the case of a conversion say “during construction”, that validates the sacrament at the same time period in which the knowledge and full consent of the spouses, any cancellation request “pre-conversion” would in all likelihood received (given the lack of basic requirements). Well, seeing that God's ways are endless (and those of the Holy Spirit as well), is not that this act would “interrupted” a process (conversion, precisely) still “in progress”, “strikethrough” so the way to Providence ? (Not true to say that we would have thought Providence…ironic)…

  8. Blas says:

    Excuse Don Ariel, a question a little bit off topic. Reading comments to the Motu Propio on the nullity of marriage process I found out that the Catholic marriage is more or less an opinion. Let me explain, the Church in reality tells me that I am married until proven guilty. I should be sure of what I did, although a psychologist who tell me I find no safe. But maybe it could be that my wife really did not know, He did not understand what was the marriage and, therefore perhaps our marriage is null, It 's never been.
    I think about is I can not comprehend, You can reason with me a little bit.

    Thank you.

    • Ariel S. Levi di Gualdo
      Ariel S. Levi di Gualdo says:

      Dear Reader.

      Marriage is not “an opinion“, but a sacrament of grace.
      The expression “valid until proven otherwise” follows a formula that once was “respondent” before the exchange of consent, before the sacred ordination of deacons and priests, before the consecration of bishops: «Who has anything against it speak now or forever hold your peace».
      This phrase that I ripristinerei, but not so much for weddings, but to the sacred orders, before several of which, rather than limit myself to not participate in judging objectively scandalous several of them, I would go to explain why I do not intend to remain silent forever …

      I explained in my previous article, and I repeated in various comments, that the sacraments require, for the validity of the minimum requirements, and I explained that this is required not only for the Sacrament of Marriage.

      If a person receives a sacramental confession in accordance with the arrangements provided the rite, but it has not repented of sin, indeed he believes to be right and that that behavior sinful is legitimate, the priest can pray not once but ten times the acquittal formula, but the Sacrament is invalid, because it lacks the basic requirement: repentance that is based upstream on the awareness of sin, namely the sense of good and evil.

      Example of potentially invalid but still valid in retrospect marriage: Caia guy married not because he loves her or because she wants to marry, but because forced by family. Caia is indeed pregnant, and dude who knew only a few weeks and that after “crime” to marry her just did not think, instead he forced against his will to marry her. What it would not do if the person who forced him had not exercised on him “power” coercive, of the type: “Otherwise I'll throw you out of the house, I do not give a penny, I'll cut every kind of help …”. If he had not been he would never have joined in marriage. Thus begins his life together with Caia and part of married life turns out that the woman with whom he intended to have only occasional adventure is a wonderful woman, indeed it is the woman of his life.
      Guy had, subsequently, an opening to grace that brought him to express in his heart all the more free and happy consensus in retrospect and as such the sound of consent which was located upstream.
      In this case, the marriage is valid.

      contrarily, if Tom continues to live marriage as a constraint, He regretted that he was forced to marry, in that case the marriage is not valid blatant defect of consent.

      How do you see it is not so difficult to understand the question, simply that common sense to Catholic reasoning that there emerges instead from newspapers debating for days out of turn on this delicate subject in barrel … “The Church approves the brief divorce“, “the Pope gave to the bishops to annul the marriage” … and various nonsense.

      • Blas says:

        Don Ariel thanks for your reply, but I would re-ask why I do not understand me.
        We put in his example that Tom continues to live marriage as a constraint, He regretted that he was forced to marry, but in order not to regret Caia pretends to be happy so that this does not suspect, or if asked by Caia suspect denies being forced sato. Caia will live believing that married sacramentally when it is. Mistake?

        • Ariel S. Levi di Gualdo
          Ariel S. Levi di Gualdo says:

          Very expensive.

          First, the marriage is still valid until proven otherwise and that formally remain until at least one of the two will not do that however there is evidence to the contrary.
          She is well explained, maybe I just have not clarified its question, taking only some aspects.
          The so-called “mental reservations“, because of these at the bottom of it, They are linked to the deeper human consciousness that no other man can investigate, because only God's law and judges the consciences.
          What we can do is to invite the man to freely open their conscience.
          A compulsion accepted the levels that she exemplifies, in the opinion of several canonists could end up being a factor “validating” and not rather an element “disabling“.
          Always confirmation and proof of what this matter is really very delicate, mainly because it played on the close of consciousness.
          That's why sometimes, the ecclesiastical courts – and this always – end up resorting to formulas of solemn oath in which it is understood “on pain of eternal damnation of your soul if proferirai false or lend perjury”.

          There are indeed cases – and I repeat always – in which the judges, established that the two, or one of the two, definitely they tell the truth and are honest, resort to oath, because it is impossible that someone could testify about other people's consciousness, when it comes, for example, “mental reservations”.

          Those who now tear their clothes claiming to be declared invalid marriages only on the word of the couple that will arise slyly asking and stating, show thereby not know which ones have always been, Also in the past, even in so-called more stringent time, the court practices adopted by the Church.

  9. father ariel
    Michela Giardina says:

    Caro Father, I too have respect and sympathy for Antonio Socci.
    she knows how to use the caresses and slaps, but not according “her” sympathy, but according to the people and particularly the cases, some of which require more slaps and caresses. This should be clarified in the Jubilee of mercy: not always a caress is merciful as always is a slap, but the one and the other are both … mercifully necessary to the salvation of souls.

  10. father ariel
    Don Angelo Rossit says:

    Letter of great human and pastoral affection turned to a sincere Catholic who as we all are living in times of great loss with these uncomfortable moments. I am sure I will like Antonio Socci.

  11. Irapuato says:

    Dear Father Ariel,

    I am almost jealous for this beautiful open letter to dear Socci – I have several of his books on which I often fed apologetics as a catechist – e, limit stop, I hope that he and others like me, together with dear Prof.. de Mattei, can understand your boldness are not issues ad personam, but rather they help us lay people to manage in an appropriate way the tragic situation we are living.
    As I tried to explain to Socci otherwise lido “the schism does who wants to do it” and having been part of many pre-marital dating and having known the situations of many marriages in crisis, the question of faith is, I would dare to say, at the top of the aggravation of the crisis that led to divorce and the fault is very clergy, as you masterfully explained in previous writing. Consequently, the drive was Pope “n'a piece“, certainly not beautiful and not suitable in some ways, but is a “patch” which it does not cover but rather fills for now a chasm dug apostasy that has crept into the Church on this and other sacraments. I do not know how we get out, but it is time to join forces not against the Pope but for the Pope, the Church and the good of the faithful all.

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