Pope Francis has made it clear that his new encyclical, on the subject of marriage, is likely to include a proposal to redefine marriage.
Francis, the first pope to address a Vatican audience since Francis became pope, said in a message to the faithful on Sunday that the Holy See’s approach to the family is “one of the most important decisions I have to make as a Catholic”.
The Pope, who has previously stated that same-sex unions should not be celebrated, also said the Church must also “examine its attitudes towards gender equality”.
“The marriage of one man and one woman, of course, is not something for which there is no room for doubt.
It is also something which we should celebrate in the name of love, for which God has given us the gift of the sacrament of marriage.
But this sacrament must also be a real and authentic relationship between a man and a woman,” the Pope said.”
That means that the sacraments must be a true expression of the reality of the conjugal act, a real relationship, which takes place in the heart and soul of the married couple, and which does not seek to exclude or devalue others.”‘
Theologians should work on this’Pope Francis said that while “theologians must work on” the proposal, it “is not easy to interpret the Church’s teaching in this area”.
“I do not think that this proposal would change the Church in a negative way, because I believe that the Church is not a political institution,” he said.
“I think that its teaching on marriage is an essential one for a healthy society and society that is free of discrimination.
It also provides a foundation for good moral life, for love, solidarity and solidarity between people.”
The Pope has been known to take the lead on such issues.
He made headlines earlier this year by telling his flock to vote “no” in a referendum on same-day same-dissolution of marriage legislation.
“I think it’s time to take a pause and to be honest and open,” he told the faithful.
“We should not forget that marriage is a lifelong union.
We should not deny each other the right to choose who to be our partner.”