Pope Francis Warns Couples Not to Marry Too Quickly, But to ‘Work on Love’

Pope Francis officiated at the weddings of 20 couples at St. Peter’s Basilica in September 2014. Religion News Service photo by Cathleen Falsani
Pope Francis officiated at the weddings of 20 couples at St. Peter’s Basilica in September 2014. Religion News Service photo by Cathleen Falsani

The wedding season is in full swing, and Pope Francis used the occasion on Wednesday (May 27) to warn couples not to marry too quickly, while also reaffirming the Vatican’s opposition to gay nuptials.

Addressing crowds of followers at his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square, the pontiff urged couples to take their engagement seriously.

“Betrothal is, in other words, the time in which two people are called to work on love, a shared and profound task,” he said.

Francis said the engagement period should be used as a time for couples to get to know each other better.

“Those who wish to attain everything immediately, also give up on everything straight away at the first hurdle,” he said.

The pontiff likened engagement to a kind of marriage “initiation” and criticized people who don’t make an effort to become close to each other.

“Many couples stay together for a long time, also intimately, at times living together, without truly knowing each other,” he said.

Without mentioning Ireland’s approval last week of a same-sex marriage referendum, the pope described marriage as “the alliance of love between a man and a woman.”

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state, was more direct. He described the referendum result as “a defeat for humanity.”

SOURCE: Religion News Service
Rosie Scammell

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