Sacrament of matrimony not valid without faith, says Pope

(AGI) Vatican City, Jan 23 - The sacrament of matrimony is notvalid in the absence of faith, Pope Francis told the Roman Rotatribunal on Friday as it begins its judicial year. Hisstatement confirmed the line indicated by his predecessor, PopeBenedict XVI. The current Pontiff has already formed acommission that will investigate how to speed up the processingof annulment requests. The bulk of the work of the Rotainvolves deciding cases of marital nullity and marriageannulments. In his address, Pope Francis said that in theabsence of faith, annulment is conceded due to a

(AGI) Vatican City, Jan 23 - The sacrament of matrimony is notvalid in the absence of faith, Pope Francis told the Roman Rotatribunal on Friday as it begins its judicial year. Hisstatement confirmed the line indicated by his predecessor, PopeBenedict XVI. The current Pontiff has already formed acommission that will investigate how to speed up the processingof annulment requests. The bulk of the work of the Rotainvolves deciding cases of marital nullity and marriageannulments. In his address, Pope Francis said that in theabsence of faith, annulment is conceded due to a "seriousdeficit in the understanding of marriage itself." He continued:"A crisis in marriage is often rooted in a crisis of knowledgeenlightened by faith; that is, by an attachment to God." Thissituation is no longer an exception, as it was in the past, butnowadays many people live in irregular marriage situations as aworldly mentality is spreading, the Pontiff said. "There is infact a kind of spiritual worldliness hiding behind appearancesof religiosity and even love for the Church, which instead ofpursuing the glory of the Lord, pursues personal well-being."This immature faith is "one of the fruits of this attitude." Ifyou have "faith locked into subjectivism", there is a risk ofstaying "locked inside one's own reason or feelings." Accordingto Pope Francis, "it is clear that, for those who bend to thisattitude, faith remains devoid of its value as a source ofguidance, leaving the field open to compromises with their ownselfishness and with the pressures of the current mentality,which has become dominant through the mass media". Therefore ,"judges, in weighing the validity of the expressed consent,must take the context of values and faith, or the absence ofthese, into account." The absence of faith not only "poses athreat to the stability of marriage, its exclusivity andfertility, but also to conjugal love as vital principle, themutual gift of a lifelong bond." That way, "marriage tends tobe seen as a mere form of emotional gratification that can beconstituted in any way and changed at will, creating doubts inthe minds of the married couple about the permanence ofmarriage, or its exclusivity, if the loved one is no longeremotionally gratifying". .