Discernment, the pope added, is key in the Vatican congregation’s work regarding marriage annulment or dissolution cases.
He spoke in particular about the dissolution of marriage “in favorem fidei” (in favor of the faith), which can only be approved on a case-by-case basis and solely by the pope.
“When, by virtue of Petrine power, the Church grants the dissolution of a non-sacramental marriage bond, it is not only a matter of canonically putting an end to a marriage, which has already failed in fact, but, in reality, through this eminently pastoral act I always intend to foster the Catholic faith — in favorem fidei — in the new union and in the family, of which this new marriage will be the nucleus,” the pope said.
Pope Francis told the CDF that there are currently many social and political tensions that threaten human fraternity.
“The temptation is growing to consider the other as a stranger or an enemy, denying him real dignity,” he said.
“Therefore, especially at this time, we are called to repeat, ‘at every convenient or inconvenient occasion’ (2 Timothy 4:2), faithfully following the 2,000-year-old Church teaching, that every human being has an intrinsic dignity that is valid from the moment of conception until natural death,” Pope Francis said.
“Precisely the affirmation of such dignity is the essential precondition for the protection of a personal and social existence, and also the necessary condition for fraternity and social friendship to be realized among all the peoples of the earth.”
“Let us not be satisfied with a lukewarm, habitual, textbook faith. Let us collaborate with the Holy Spirit and collaborate among ourselves so that the fire that Jesus came to bring into the world can continue to burn and inflame the hearts of all,” Pope Francis said.
Courtney Mares is a Rome Correspondent for Catholic News Agency. A graduate of Harvard University, she has reported from news bureaus on three continents and was awarded the Gardner Fellowship for her work with North Korean refugees.