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Pope Francis: to Roman Rota, unity and fidelity between spouses are “fundamental cornerstones” and “the epiphany of faith”

(Foto Vatican Media/SIR)

“In the daily ministry in the service of Christian marriage, you have the experience of two fundamental cornerstones, not only of theology and canon law of marriage, but also and first of all of the very essence of Christ’s Church: unity and fidelity. These two matrimonial assets, indeed, before being, or rather in order to be legal obligations of any conjugal union in Christ, must be the epiphany of baptismal faith”. Pope Francis said this today as he received in audience the members of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota on the occasion of the inauguration of the Judicial Year. His address focused on unity and fidelity. In an increasingly secularised society, he said, “the Catholic faithful struggle to bear witness to a style of life in accordance with the Gospel, also with regard to the Sacrament of marriage”. In such a context, “it is necessary for the Church, in all her articulations, to act in harmony to offer adequate spiritual and pastoral support”. So as to be validly contracted, the Pope continued, marriage requires of each of the betrothed a “full unity and harmony with the other”, so that the two spouses “become a single entity”. At the same time, marriage also requires the commitment of fidelity, which absorbs all of life, becoming a stable consortium totius vitae. Unity and fidelity are “two important and necessary values not only among spouses – Pope Francis stressed -, but in general in interpersonal and social relations. We are all aware of the inconveniences that are caused, in civil coexistence, by unfulfilled promises, the lack of fidelity to the word given and to commitments undertaken”.

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