Careful preparation and "a continuous experience of faith, hope and charity is needed now more than ever so that young people may decide, with a secure and serene conscience, that conjugal union open to the gift of children is a great joy for God, for the Church and for humanity," he said.
While this task is primarily the concern of pastors, Francis stressed that the care of consciences "cannot be the exclusive commitment of pastors." Rather, "with responsibility and in different ways, it is the mission of all, ministers and baptized faithful."
Marriage and family, he said, "are the future of the Church and of society." Because of this, he said it's necessary to have a "permanent catechumenate" so that the consciences of those who have been baptized are constantly open to the Holy Spirit.
"The sacramental intention is never the fruit of an automatism, but always of a conscience illuminated by faith, as the result of a combination between human and divine," he said, explaining that in this sense, "the spousal union can be said to be true only if the human intention of the spouses is oriented to what Christ and the Church want."
In order to help future spouses, the Church needs the contribution of bishops and priests, and also of other people involved in pastoral care, such as religious and lay faithful "who are jointly responsible in the mission of the Church."
Pope Francis closed his speech cautioning members of the Rota not to allow their work in the exercise of justice to be reduced "to a mere bureaucratic task."
"If the ecclesial tribunals were to fall into this temptation, it would betray Christian conscience," he said.
"We must prevent the conscience of the faithful in difficulty as regards their marriage from closing to the path of grace," he said, adding that this can be accomplished through pastoral accompaniment, the discernment of conscience and the work of the Church's tribunals.
"This work must be carried out in wisdom and in the search for the truth," he said. "Only in this way can the declaration of nullity produce a liberation of consciences."