Pope Francis comments which were reported by the Catholic News Agency that “the great majority” of Catholic marriages are religiously null because people don’t understand the concept of a lifetime commitment.
Pope Francis stated his comments during the question-and-answer session of a meeting of the Diocese of Rome.
“It’s provisional, and because of this the great majority of our sacramental marriages are null. Because they say ‘yes, for the rest of my life!’ but they don’t know what they are saying. Because they have a different culture. They say it, they have good will, but they don’t know,” Pope Francis reportedly said.
Francis has spoken regularly and in accessible language pertaining to the challenges of relationships, and of marriage. He was devoted two years to high-level meetings about modern family issues, and in April released a document saying that divorced and remarried couples shouldn’t be judged discriminated against or excluded from church life.
In U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops website stated that marriage, in Catholic teaching is a sacrament, an “original gift from God to humanity,”
“It is permanent, faithful, fruitful partnership between one man and one woman.”
USCCB clearly said that divorce “claims” to break marriage, but only a church tribunal can say that a marriage isn’t valid because a real and true bond never existed. One reason church courts may grant annulment is that if the parties involved were unprepared.
Francis noted that when he was archbishop in Buenos Aires, he had prohibited marriages in the case of “shotgun weddings” where the bride was pregnant, as CNA reported.
“Maybe they love each other, and I’ve seen there are beautiful cases where, after two or three years they got married,” he said. “And I saw them entering the church, father, mother, and child in hand. But they knew well (what) they did.”
Francis attributed the marriage crisis to people who “don’t know what the sacrament is” and don’t know “the beauty of the sacrament.”
“They don’t know that it’s indissoluble, they don’t know that it’s for your entire life. It’s hard,” the pope said.