“A true catechumenate is necessary for the Sacrament of Marriage,” stressed Pope Francis during a course formation for parish priests on the new marriage procedure on 25 February.
The Pope called on the participants to defend the Sacrament of Marriage. “May your concern be first of all be to witness the grace of the Sacrament of Marriage and the primordial good of the family, vital cell of the Church and of society,” he said.
He likened marriage as a sign of “the spousal union between Christ and the Church” and stressed its importance in society. He urged priests to remind spouses that their God is reflected in their marriage. “Marriage, in fact, is an icon of God, created for us by Him, which is the perfect communion of the three Persons: of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” he said.
His Holiness also encouraged them to pay extra care for those who are separated, divorced or in free unions. He also highlighted the importance of helping young people understand and appreciate what marriage truly means and stressed.
He added that priests must also support couples who have realised their marriage is not a true sacramental one. “In this delicate and necessary work, proceed in such a way that your faithful recognise you not so much as experts of bureaucratic acts or juridical norms, but as brothers who put themselves in an attitude of listening and of understanding,” he concluded.