Pope Francis told the couples at the two-hour ceremony that marriage was “not an easy road, it’s sometimes a contentious trip, but that’s life,”.
The last time a pope performed a marriage was under the leadership of John Paul II in 2000, and before that in 1994.
Very slowly, the church under the guidance of Pope Francis is facing the fact that many Catholic couples cohabit before marriage, use contraception freely and divorce and remarry without seeking an annulment. Annulment in the Catholic church allows coupes to remarry as the marriage is considered sacramentally invalid. Marriage is one of the seven sacraments in Roman Catholicism.
He said in his homily that families are “bricks that build society”, but also believes that the church should forgive those who have sex outside marriage or who don’t obey church teaching to the letter. It was the first marriage Pope Francis has conducted in his 18-month papacy. The last wedding to be presided over by a pope took place under John Paul II in 2000.
The world’s clergy will gather in Rome in October to discuss issues such as marriage, divorce and contraception. They are expected to discuss the results of a worldwide survey launched by the Vatican last year.
This may be the moment for huge change!
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