Pope: Marriage Is Not a Right

Benedict wants better pre-marital counseling to reduce annulments
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2011 8:07 AM CST
Pope Benedict XVI, center, meeting yesterday with members the Roman Rota, the Vatican tribunal that decides marriage annulments.   (AP Photo/Osservatore Romano, HO)
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(Newser) – Marriage isn't a God-given right and it's not just for any schmuck, Pope Benedict said yesterday in an annual speech to the Vatican's tribunal that rules on annulments. "No one can make a claim to the right to a nuptial ceremony," he said. The pontiff also urged priests to provide better pre-marital counseling for couples to cut down on annulments—a comment largely directed at the United States, which the AP reports had more annulments last year than the rest of the world combined.

"The church and society at large place too much importance on the good of marriage and the family founded on it to not make a profound commitment to it pastorally," Benedict said.

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