Pope Francis … sent a subtle but powerful signal last month when he presided over the marriage in Rome of 20 couples of various ages, whose lives were somewhat unconventional by the standards of the church, although perfectly ordinary in most worldly terms. They included a bride who was already a mother, people who had been married before, and people who had been living together.

Catholicism and the family: The letter and the spirit | The Economist. I cite this as one of a dozen or more articles and posts I have seen claiming that Pope Francis is doing something radical … by presiding over Catholic marriages. Isn’t encouraging people to marry rather than to continue “living in sin” exactly what every traditionalist Catholic (and more broadly traditionalist Christian) would endorse?

I have a feeling that if Pope Benedict had done exactly the same thing he would have been stridently denounced for forcing today’s flexible tolerant people into the Procrustean bed of a traditional and unitary Catholic model of matrimony.