In 2013, more than 154,000 Catholics married in the church. For many, the decision is simple, the process smooth. But not all couples share that experience.
Couples who are seeking to marry, even those who have lived together, should value their engagement period as a time to grow in mature love and in profound knowledge of each other, said Pope Francis.
The pope urged couples not to rush into marriage. Maturation in love before marriage is a slow process, in which none of the steps should be skipped, Pope Francis told people at his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square.
"The covenant of love between a man and a woman, a covenant for life, cannot be improvised; it cannot be done from one day to the next," he said.
Grace on the Margins: As we head toward the next synod, it would be wise to note how strongly the pope privileges heterosexual marriage.
"Why is it expected that women must earn less than men? No! They have the same rights. The disparity is a pure scandal."
The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops called same-sex marriage "the greatest social experiment of our time" and said that "children do not need experiments," but rather the love of a mother and father at the third annual March for Marriage rally Saturday supporting traditional marriage on Capitol Hill.
Lawmakers said a proposed law to legalize divorce in the Philippines would face stiff opposition in Congress despite growing public support for the measure.
"The proposal to legalize divorce will not pass under my watch," said House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., reported the Asian Catholic news portal ucanews.com.
Marriage "should be saved and should guarantee the proper guidance of children," he said.
Rep. Giorgidi Aggabao, deputy speaker, said there was little support for the measure among legislators.
The number of Catholic marriages in the United States is at its lowest point since 1965.
Marriage is not only a social good, but an economic one as well, said speakers on a recent panel on "The Future of Marriage in America."
"Good marriages truly lead to a flourishing society," said moderator Kate Bryan, communications director for the American Principles Project.
It is "statistically proven that children do best" in a traditional, two-parent household, said Wade Horn, who served as assistant secretary for children and families in the Department of Health and Human Services under President George W. Bush.
Just Catholic: The New York Times paints a cold, hard picture of the church. But the church can fairly easily end a marriage for substantial or administrative reasons.