In an address Saturday to parish priests being trained on the new annulment procedure, Pope Francis emphasized the importance of marriage preparation and support during the first years.
The Pontiff encouraged priests to behave,
“In such a way that your faithful recognize you not so much as experts in bureaucratic actions or judicial norms, but as brothers who place themselves in an attitude of listening and understanding.”
Encouraging them to bear witness to the beauty of marriage, His Holiness also told the priests that while they should stress the sanctity of marriage, it was also their ministry to care for and support, “those who realize the fact that their marriage is not a true sacramental marriage and want to leave this situation.”
In 2015 while in the Philippines, Pope Francis said:
“Every threat to the family is a threat to society itself. The future of humanity, as Saint John Paul II often said, passes through the family. The future passes through the family. So protect your families! Protect your families! See in them your country’s greatest treasure and nourish them always by prayer and the grace of the sacraments.”
Address to families, Manilla, Philippines, January 16th, 2015