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Pope to Roman Rota: On God’s Dream for Marriage

Warns Errors Must Be Assessed Carefully, Calls for Better Marriage Preparation

Pope Francis has reaffirmed that having a lifelong Christian marriage is not just an ideal for a select few, but something that can be possible for all

This morning, speaking to the tribunal of the Roman Rota, which deals with annulments, the Pope reminded them of their two important roles: first, as the tribunal of the family, and second, as the tribunal of the truth of the sacred bond.

These two aspects, the Pope said, are complementary.

“The Church, in fact, can show the indefectible merciful love of God to families, in particular those wounded by sin and by the trials of life and, at the same time, proclaim the inalienable truth of marriage according to God’s plan,” the Pope said, noting this service is entrusted primarily to the Pope and the bishops.

During the synodal sessions of bishops on the family, the Pope said, the Church “indicated to the world that there cannot be confusion between the family willed by God and all other types of union.”

“The family, founded on indissoluble, unitive and procreative marriage, belongs to God’s ”dream” and that of His Church for the salvation of humanity.”

“Through the means of marriage and the family, God has wisely united two of the greatest human realities: the mission to transmit life and the mutual and legitimate love of man and woman, by which they are called to complete one another in a mutual donation which is not only physical but above all spiritual.”

Christian Marriage Isn’t an ‘Ideal’

“Errors that regard the sacredness of marriage,” the Pope also stressed, “must be assessed very carefully.”

“Therefore, with a renewed sense of responsibility, the Church continues to propose marriage in its essential elements – offspring, the good of the spouses, unity, indissolubility, sacredness–, not as an ideal for a few, despite modern models centered on the ephemeral and the transitory, but as a reality that, with the grace of Christ, can be lived by all the baptized faithful.”

Better Preparation Needed

Therefore, the Pope stressed, there is greater reason for all the structures of the Church to work toward an “appropriate preparation for marriage, in a sort of new catechumenate — I stress this: in a sort of new catechumenate — so desired by some Synodal Fathers.”

The time we are living, the Pope said, is very demanding, be it for the families, be it for us Pastors who are called to support them.

The Pope went on to assure the judges of his prayers, and to remind them that he depends on theirs.

Pope Francis concluded, praying, “May Our Lady and Saint Joseph obtain for the Church to grow in the spirit of the family and to families to feel increasingly a living and active part of the People of God.”


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About Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is a Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in four languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, at times from the papal flight, and has done television and radio commentary, including for Vatican Radio and BBC. She is a contributor to National Catholic Register, UK Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside the Vatican, and other Catholic news outlets. She has also collaborated with the Vatican in various projects, including an internship at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and is a collaborator with NBC Universal, NBC News, Euronews, and EWTN. For 'The Other Francis': or

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