Date
26 September 2017
A couple exchange vows during a mass wedding officiated by Pope Francis in Rome. Many of the newlyweds have lived together and have children. Photo: Reuters
A couple exchange vows during a mass wedding officiated by Pope Francis in Rome. Many of the newlyweds have lived together and have children. Photo: Reuters

Pope marries cohabiting couples, stresses forgiveness

Pope Francis married 20 couples on Sunday, the first wedding of his 18-month-old papacy, taking them through their vows after some of them had lived together and had children.

It was the latest sign the pope want the 1.3 billion-strong Catholic church to be inclusive, according to The Telegraph.  

The pope said marriage was “real life, not some TV show” and told the couples the love of Jesus can help whenever their love “becomes lost, wounded or worn out”.

The ceremony was the first of its kind in the Vatican since Pope John Paul II presided over a wedding in 2000.

The Vatican views sex outside marriage as sin but Pope Francis stresses the church should be a forgiving one.

Bishops from all over the world are due to come to the Vatican in October for a major meeting on the family, which the Jesuit pope referred to in the homily to Sunday’s Mass as the “bricks” on which society is built.

The pope has said the Church must end its obsession with teachings on abortion, contraception and homosexuality and become more merciful, or risk collapsing “like a house of cards”, the report said.

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CG/RA

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