"It takes great courage to get married in these times. And those who have the strength and the joy of taking this important step should feel the love and concrete closeness of the Church next to them”, said Pope Francis to the members of the Roman Rota during the audience granted them at the beginning of the Judicial Year at the Vatican.
The Pope's concern is that without strengthening the faith on the
part of the spouses before and after marriage, who risk a "love without
truth" which creates a "multiplication of invalid or inconsistent double
Citing Pope Benedict XVI in "Lumen Fidei", Francis said that "if love
has no relationship to the truth, it is subject to the changing
feelings and does not pass the test of time". The presence of a social
context "lacking in religious values and faith, cannot but affect
The Pontiff went on to suggest two "remedies". The first is the
formation of young people who are preparing for marriage, to "help the
bride and groom to grasp and enjoy the grace, the beauty and the joy of
true love, saved and redeemed by Jesus." It is, he said, "a favorable
time to renew their encounter with the person of Jesus Christ, with the
message of the Gospel and the Church's teaching." It is a "particular
time, often characterized by a readiness to review and change the
direction of their lives."
It is an "opportunity for the evangelization of adults and, often,
the so-called distant" and "an extraordinary opportunity for mission"
for the whole Christian community.
The second remedy is "to help the newlyweds to continue the journey
in faith and in the Church even after marriage”. There is a need to
help new couples to feel the faith in daily life, to discover that their
unit has its "ultimate source in the mystery of the Trinity" and that
"God never fails in the commitment he has taken with the bride and groom
on their wedding day ".
"Often - he added - the young couple are left to themselves, perhaps
for the simple fact that you do not see them in the parish. This is
especially true with the birth of children. But it is in these first
moments of family life that they must be guaranteed greater closeness
and a strong spiritual support, even the work of education of children,
for whom they are the first witnesses and bearers of the gift of faith. "
The task of the Christian community is "to welcome, accompany and help
young couples", even with "reference groups in which you can make a
journey of lifelong learning".
This all requires the presence of "people with specific skills who
are adequately prepared to that service, in a timely synergy between
priests and married couples." But you also need to change their
mentality, linking "foedus e fides": "It is to move from a purely legal
and formal vision of the preparation of the future spouses, to a
sacramental foundation" that from the beginning bears couples to mature
their full foedus- consent.
"May the Holy Spirit always guide and surround the holy People of
God, assist and strengthen all those, priests and laity, who are
committed and engaged in this field, so they may never lose the momentum
and the courage to work towards the beauty of Christian families,
despite the ruinous pitfalls of the dominant culture of the ephemeral