Billy Hallowell at the Blaze/AP:
Pope Francis issued his first encyclical Friday, a meditation on faith that is unique because it was written with someone else: Benedict XVI. In the document, though, Francis also drives home the point that marriage is an institution, at least under Catholic doctrine, that is exclusive to a man and woman.
Benedict’s hand is evident throughout much of the first three chapters of “The Light of Faith,” with his theological style, concerns and reference points clear.
Francis’ priorities come through strongest in the final chapter, where the Argentine Jesuit insists on the role of faith in serving the common good and giving hope to those who suffer. It includes his first clear statement as pope on marriage being a union between man and woman with the aim of creating children.
“This union is born of their love, as a sign and presence of God’s own love, and of the acknowledge and acceptance of the goodness of sexual differentiation, whereby spouses can become one flesh and are enabled to give birth to a new life,” the encyclical reads.