Pope: preparing young people for marriage and 'accompanying them' after the wedding
Francis speaks of a "permanent catechumenate" for marriage. "The ultimate root of the problems that come to light after the celebration of the sacrament of marriage is to be found not only in a hidden and remote immaturity suddenly exploded, but above all in the weakness of the Christian faith and in the non-ecclesial accompaniment".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The need for a "permanent catechumenate for the Sacrament of Marriage concerning its preparation, celebration and the initial period afterwards" was affirmed by Pope Francis who yesterday received the participants in the formation course from the Diocese of Rome and from the Tribunal of the Roman Rota, on "Marriage and Family".
During the meeting, held in the Basilica of Saint John Lateran, the Pope focused his speech on the urgency of a serious journey of preparation for Christian marriage, "which is not reduced to a few meetings" and a project that accompany the young spouses at least in the first years of life together.
"Marriage - he recalled - is not only a" social "event, but a true sacrament that involves an adequate preparation and a conscious celebration. The marriage bond, in fact, requires an engaged choice on the part of the engaged couple, which focuses on the will to build something together that will never be betrayed or abandoned".
"Many times - he added - the ultimate roots of the problems that come to light after the celebration of the nuptial sacrament, are to be found not only in a hidden and remote immaturity that suddenly explodes, but above all in the weakness of the Christian faith and in the lack of ecclesial accompaniment, in the solitude in which the newlyweds are often left after the celebration of the wedding. Only when faced with everyday life together, which calls spouses to grow in a journey of self-giving and sacrifice, do some realize that they have not fully understood what they were getting into”.
"The more the journey of preparation is deepened and extended in time,” the Pope explained, “the more young couples will learn to correspond to the grace and strength of God, and will also develop the ‘antibodies’ needed to face the inevitable moments of difficulty and fatigue in married and family life.” But this, he said, is not enough: Greater effectiveness of pastoral care is achieved where the accompaniment does not end with the celebration of the wedding, but “escorts” at least the first years of married life. Through talks with the individual couples as well as community moments, it is a matter of helping the young spouses to acquire the tools and support to live their vocation. And this can only happen through a process of growth in the faith of the couples themselves".
If then there are "serious problems" in the relationship between the spouses, "it is necessary to help them to revive the faith and rediscover the grace of the Sacrament; and, in certain cases—to be evaluated with righteousness and inner freedom—to offer appropriate indications to undertake a process of nullity.” Those who have realized that their union is not a true sacramental marriage and want to get out of this situation, can find in the bishops, priests, and pastoral workers the necessary support, which is expressed not only in the communication of legal norms but above all in an attitude of listening and understanding ".