RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FAITH AND MARRIAGE, THEME OF POPE’S ADDRESS TO TRIBUNAL OF THE ROMAN ROTA

This morning in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father received members of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota on the occasion of the opening of the judicial year. His address, from which ample extracts follow, focused on the relationship between faith and marriage in light of the “current crisis of faith that affects various areas of the world, bearing with it a crisis of conjugal society.”

“The Code of Canon Law defines the natural reality of marriage as the irrevocable covenant between a man and a woman. Mutual trust, in fact, is the indispensable basis of any agreement or covenant. On a theological level, the relationship between faith and marriage has an even deeper meaning. Even though a natural reality, the spousal bond between two baptised persons has been elevated by Christ to the dignity of a sacrament.”

“Contemporary culture, marked by a strong subjectivism and an ethical and religious relativism, poses serious challenges to the person and the family. First, the very capacity of human beings to bond themselves to another and whether a union that lasts an entire life is truly possible. … Thinking that persons might become themselves while remaining ‘autonomous’ and only entering into relationships with others that can be interrupted at any time is part of a widespread mentality. Everyone is aware of how a human being’s choice to bind themself with a bond lasting an entire life influences each person’s basic perspective according to which they are either anchored to a merely human plane or open themselves to the light of faith in the Lord.”