Pope to the Roman Rota: It takes great courage to get married today. The Church must lend its support
An audience for the beginning of the judicial year in the Vatican, Pope Francis calls for greater effort in preparing couples for marriage to mature in "love and truth". The importance of not abandoning young couples, but "welcoming, accompanying and helping them". Going beyond legal formalism for a catechesis which would show the faith and the value of agreement. "The ruinous pitfalls of the dominant culture of the ephemeral and the provisional".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "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 celebrations."
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 matrimonial consent".
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 and temporary".