Pope Francis on Friday said the Church’s teaching on marriage is not an “ideal for the few,” but “a reality that, in the grace of Christ, can be experienced by all the baptized.”
The Holy Father was speaking the Tribunal of the Roman Rota, the Vatican court which mainly deals with marriage annulment cases.
In his address inaugurating the judicial year, Pope Francis said the court’s role as Tribunal of the Family, and its role as Tribunal of the Truth of the Sacred Bond are complementary.
“The Church… can show the unfailing merciful love of God to families – especially those wounded by sin and the trials of life – and, at the same time, proclaim the essential truth of marriage according to God’s design,” Pope Francis said.
“When the Church, through your service, sets about to declare the truth about marriage in a concrete case, for the good of the faithful, at the same time you must always remember that those who, by choice or unhappy circumstances of life, are living in an objective state of error, continue to be the object of the merciful love of Christ and thus the Church herself,” he continued.
The Holy Father pointed out the recent two-year Synod process on the family said to the world that “there can be no confusion” between the family as willed by God, and every other type of union.
Reaffirming the doctrine of the Church, the Holy Father said the “quality of faith” is not an essential condition of marital consent, and pointed out the faith infused at baptism continues to have influence on the soul even “when it has not been developed and even seems to be psychologically absent.”
He added it is not uncommon for couples to discover “the fullness of God’s plan” for marriage after their wedding, when they have begun to experience family life.
“Therefore, the Church, with a renewed sense of responsibility, continues to propose marriage in its essentials – offspring, good of the couple, unity, indissolubility, sacramentality – not as ideal only for a few – notwithstanding modern models centered on the ephemeral and the transient – but as a reality that, in the grace of Christ, can be experienced by all the baptized faithful,” said Pope Francis.