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Pope Francis makes a strong call for better marriage prep


Newly married couples meet Pope Francis in St Peters Square during the general audience on Sept 9 2015. Photo credit: LOsservatore Romano CNA 9 9 15

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Vatican City, Jan 21, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- In his annual speech to the Holy See's main court on Saturday, Pope Francis stressed the pressing need for effective education and preparation for the sacrament of marriage – not only to guard against invalid marriages, but also to strengthen the faith of the couple as they prepare for the unique blessings and challenges of married life.

“The goal of this preparation consists, namely, in helping engaged couples to know and to live the reality of marriage as it is intended to be celebrated, so that it is possible to do so not only validly and lawfully, but also fruitfully, so that they are able to make this celebration a stage of their journey of faith,” Pope Francis said.

“In this spirit, I would reiterate the need for a 'new catechumenate' in preparation for marriage,” he said in his Jan. 21 address to the judges of the Roman Rota at the Vatican's Clementine Hall.

“Welcoming the guidance of the Fathers of the last Ordinary Synod, it is urgent to implement effectively what has already been proposed in Familiaris Consortio (no. 66),” he said.

“That is, as for the baptism of adults the catechumenate is part of the sacramental process, so the preparation for marriage must become an integral part of all sacramental marriage procedure, as an antidote that prevents the increase of invalid or tenuous marriage celebrations.”

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