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Pope defends in-flight wedding by saying couple had marriage prep eight years ago

“Yes, we will do it tomorrow, the day after tomorrow … That’s life. Then a daughter came, then another daughter … But we always had this in our hearts: we are not married,” the pope quoted them as saying. The pope then explained the procedure he followed to verify that the two were prepared for marriage, quoting the two regarding the permanence of marriage and citing their claim that they had received marriage preparation eight years earlier. “I questioned them a bit, and the responses were clear: “For all of our lives … ” – “And how do you know this? You have a good memory of the catechism … ” “No, we did the marriage preparation courses at that time.” In response to the many priests and Catholic commentators who have expressed concern that the pope’s acts will undermine marriage preparation and stimulate demands for weddings outside of churches, Francis said, “Tell the parish priests that they were prepared, and I judged that they were prepared.” Francis said he did the wedding in mid-air because, “They asked me. The sacraments are for human persons. All of the conditions were clear. And why not do today that which could be done today, and not delay it for tomorrow, a tomorrow that perhaps would have been ten, eight years later?” The pope addressed the fact that the couple had expressed their desire to be given an in-flight wedding by the pope in an interview a month earlier, indicating the couple had planned the event. “And when we arrived and all was finished … They told me that they had said to some of you: ‘We should go to the Pope to ask him to marry us,’ I don’t know if it is true or not that they had that intention,” said Francis.

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