Pope: Not everyone has automatic right to marry

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
January 22, 2011 15:55

VATICAN CITY  — Pope Benedict XVI told priests to do a better job counseling would-be spouses to ensure the marriages last and said not everyone has an automatic right to a wedding.

Benedict made the comments Saturday to the Roman Rota, the Vatican tribunal that decides marriage annulments. An annulment is the process by which the church effectively declares that a marriage never took place.

Benedict acknowledged that the problems that would allow for a marriage to be annulled cannot always be identified beforehand. But he said better pre-marriage counseling, which the Catholic Church requires of the faithful, could help avoid a "vicious circle" of invalid marriages.


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