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​ There is no love without fidelity

· ​At the General Audience the Pope reaffirms the need for accurate preparation before marriage ·

“One cannot love only as long as it is ‘convenient’” because “no human relationship is authentic without fidelity and loyalty”, Pope Francis told the faithful gathered in Saint Peter’s Square for the General Audience on Wednesday, 24 October.

Continuing his series of catechesis dedicated to the Decalogue, the Pontiff reflected on the Sixth Word that addresses the sentimental and the sexual dimension and states: “Do not commit adultery” It is connected to the concept of “fidelity”, understood as “an attribute of free, mature and responsible human relationships”. Indeed, he continued, Christ himself “reveals authentic love” as the “faithful Friend who welcomes us even when we err and who always wants our good, even when we do not deserve it”.

Because human beings need to be loved unconditionally, when this does not occur, they may search for surrogates, the Pope explained, and accept “compromises and mediocrity”. “The risk is to call certain bitter and immature relationships, ‘love’, with the illusion of finding the light of life in something that, at best, is merely a reflection of it”.

This happens, for example, when one overestimates physical attraction “which is itself a gift from God, but has the aim of paving the way for an authentic and faithful relationship with the person”, he added. It is something to be “conquered” and, as Saint John Paul II used to say, all human beings must “build with conscience and consistency that personal sense of the [nuptial] meaning of the body”.

Married life thus requires “an accurate discernment of the quality of the relationship and a time of engagement to verify it”. And this is why, Pope Francis said, “before receiving the Sacrament of Matrimony, there should be careful preparation, I would say a catechumenate”. This preparation “must be mature and takes time. It is not a formal act: It is a Sacrament”.

Pope Francis invited the faithful to bear witness every day to fidelity, as “a way of being, a style of life” that finds expression “in all dimensions and leads to being faithful and reliable men and women in every circumstance”.

General Audience 

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St. Peter’s Square

Nov. 20, 2018

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