sacrament of marriage

Sanction of same-sex marriages prompts strong reactions

A city named after the Roman Catholic Church's only canonized king of France has sanctioned same-sex marriages, which are contrary to the Church's teachings as well as to the constitution of its state.

Four couples were issued marriage certificates June 25 after exchanging vows in the office of St. Louis Mayor Francis C. Slay. Municipal Judge Joseph Murphy conducted the civil ceremonies of a female couple and three male couples. Slay took cellphone photos of the couples, according to an account on — the website of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

POPE'S MESSAGE | Married couples called to be icons of God's love

Pope Francis left his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican April 2. He concluded a series of talks about the sacraments with a discussion of the sacrament of marriage.

VATICAN CITY -- Through the sacrament of matrimony, couples are called to be living icons of God's love in the world, Pope Francis said, and when they fight -- and all couples do -- they don't have "to call the United Nations," but find simple words and gestures to say they are sorry.

Concluding a series of talks about the sacraments, Pope Francis used his general audience April 2 to focus on marriage, and he asked the estimated 45,000 people gathered in St. Peter's Square to pray for the world's families, especially for couples experiencing difficulty.

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