On Saturday, Pope Benedict XVI addressed the Tribunal of the Roman Rota during an audience on the occasion of the opening of the judicial year. The Pope emphasized the relationship between faith and marriage, while emphasizing that a lack of faith may hurt the intrinsic goods of marriage.
The Pope stated that the current crisis of faith “brings with it a crisis of the conjugal relationship.”
“For sacramentality, the indissoluble pact between man and woman does not require their personal faith; what it requires, as the minimal necessary condition, is the intention to do what the Church does. But if it is important not to confuse the problem of intention with that of the faith of those entering into the covenant, nevertheless, it is not possible to totally separate them,” the Holy Father said.
The Holy Father noted that contemporary culture, “marked by an accentuated ethical and religious subjectivism” places a pressing challenge to today’s families. The Pope continued saying that only by opening ourselves to God, can it be “possible to understand the truth of man as His son, reborn in Baptism and to realize this in the concreteness of conjugal and family life.”
“A rejection of the divine perspective leads to a profound imbalance in all human relationships, including marriage, and facilitates an erroneous understanding of freedom and self-realization that, combined with the flight from the patient endurance of suffering, condemns man to being shut up in his egoism and egocentrism,” the Pope said.
“On the other hand, the welcoming of faith makes man capable of the gift of self. Only in opening himself to the other, to others, to children, to the family, only by letting himself be changed through suffering, does he discover the breadth of his humanity.”
Reflecting on the words of Church Fathers and Saints on marriage, Pope Benedict noted the importnace of firm trust in God.
“Precisely these experiences, marked by faith, help us to understand, even today, how precious is the sacrifice made by the spouse who has been abandoned or who has suffered divorce if – recognizing the indissolubility of the valid marital bond – he or she succeeds in not getting involved in a new relationship.
Concluding his address, Pope Benedict XVI called on the Tribunal of the Roman Rota to “safeguard the truth and justice that regard the sacred bond of matrimony, and, thereby, the Christian family.”
“I entrust you to the protection of Mary Most Holy, Mother of Christ, and St. Joseph, Guardian of the Family of Nazareth, silent and obedient executor of the divine plan of salvation, as I glady impart to you and your loved ones the apostolic benediction,” the Pope concluded.