Vatican City, Oct 24, 2018 / 02:57 am America/Denver (CNA).
In his general audience Wednesday, Pope Francis said that engaged couples require “careful preparation” for the lifelong fidelity that marriage requires.
“One cannot say marriage preparation is three or four conferences given in the parish. This is not preparation,” Pope Francis said in St. Peter’s Square Oct. 24, in a departure from his prepared remarks.
“The preparation must be mature and it takes time. It is not a formal act; it is a sacrament,” Francis said. This responsibility falls on the priest and the bishop, he added.
“To enter the Sacrament of Marriage, the engaged couple must mature the certainty that within their bond is the hand of God, who precedes them and accompanies them, and will allow them to say: ‘With the grace of Christ I promise to always be faithful to you,’” the pope continued.
Pope Francis spoke about marriage prep as a part of a catechesis on the sixth commandment, “Thou shall not commit adultery.” In recent weeks, the pope has dedicated his weekly general audiences to a series of lesson and reflections on the Ten Commandments recorded in the scriptural books of Exodus and Deuteronomy.