Words from Pope Francis:

Pope: Marriage is brave promise to love like Jesus, not showy ceremony

A Christian marriage isn’t just a big ceremony held in a church with nice flowers and everyone wearing fancy clothes and taking lots of pictures, Pope Francis said.

Marriage is an act of faith between a man and woman who are both fragile and limited, but courageous enough to follow Christ and seek to love each other as he loves them, the pope said May 6 during his general audience in St. Peter’s Square.

“Men and women, courageous enough to carry this treasure in the ‘earthen vessels’ of our humanity, are an essential resource for the church and for the whole world,” he said. “May God bless them a thousand times for this!”

The pope continued a series of talks about the family by focusing on the beauty of Christian marriage as a sacrament that builds up the church and the world.

A Christian marriage “is not simply a ceremony that you have in church with flowers, the dress, photos. Christian marriage is a sacrament that takes place in the church and is also something the church does, ushering in a new domestic community,” he said.

In new book, pope upholds traditional marriage, need to help sinners

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — By virtue of its very definition, marriage can only be between a man and a woman, Pope Francis said in a new book-length interview.

“We cannot change it. This is the nature of things,” not just in the church, but in human history, he said in a series of interviews with Dominique Wolton, a 70-year-old French sociologist and expert in media and political communication.

Truth and the Beauty of God's Creative Design

“At the current moment, conjugal and family bonds are challenged in many ways. The affirmation of a culture that exalts narcissistic individualism, a concept of freedom detached from responsibility for the other, the growth of indifference with regard to the common good, the imposition of ideologies that directly attack the family project, and the growth of the poverty that threatens the future of many families, are all reasons for the crisis of the contemporary family."

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