Pope says weddings, sacraments should be free

Francis tells Rota that couples misunderstand marriage duties

(ANSA) - Vatican City, January 23 - Pope Francis said Friday that Catholic Church sacraments - including weddings - must be free of charge.
    "The sacraments are free. The sacraments give us grace," Francis said to the Roman Rota, the Church's highest appeal tribunal.
    "How I wish that all sacraments were free". Speaking to the Rota in November, Francis recalled sacking a priest for selling marriage annulments and said at that time that the process for annulling marriages should be streamlined.
    Francis told the Rota on Friday that parishes should provide free lawyers to help couples dealing with annulments, particularly those in financial straits who need advice but cannot afford to hire legal help.
    Too often, he said, martial problems often stem from misunderstandings of what marriage is about, as well as personal crises of faith.
    "A crisis in marriage is often rooted in a crisis of knowledge enlightened by faith; that is, by an attachment to God," Francis said to the Roman Rota tribunal as it begins its judicial year.


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