Among the men and women Pope Francis is set to unite in marriage this weekend are Catholics who have been living together as well as couples who already have children, the Catholic News website reports today (September 12, 2014).
The Pope will preside over his first wedding ceremony as Pontiff during a Nuptial Mass in St. Peter's Basilica on Sunday, September 14. The event -- which will see 20 couples from the Diocese of Rome celebrate the Sacrament of Marriage -- was organized by the vicariate of Rome.
The ages of the brides and grooms range from the youngest being 25 to the oldest being 56, the vicariate said. It added that some couples "have been engaged for a long period of time or for not as long; there are those who are already cohabitating; who already have children; who got to know each other in Church."
While cohabitation is not in itself a canonical impediment to marriage, it is contrary to the Catholic Church's teaching on marriage and sexual love. The Church urges that pastoral ministers help couples prepare for marriage by showing them the witness of Christian family life in such a way as they might regularize their situation before their wedding ceremony.