Religious marriage is sacred act and not a social event, says Mexican archbishop


Guadalajara, Jun 17, 2008 - The Archbishop of Guadalajara, Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iniguez, has called on the faithful to reflect on the meaning of marriage as a sacrament in which the spouses promise before God to love each other and respect each other until death, as opposed to a social event "to show off one's friends" or "making a show of one's wealth."

"For many people weddings are a social celebration, a pretext for showing off one's friends to others or for making a show of one's wealth. It becomes an event that is anything but religious, when for Christians it should be a sacred act" in which God is witness to "the solemn promises to love one other, respect each other and be faithful all the days of their lives," the cardinal said in an article published by the archdiocesan weekly Seminario.

The cardinal also lamented that "the majority of those who get married are not prepared (for the sacrament) and see religious marriage as a purely social event, and they think mostly about what they will wear and what the guests will wear." Couples are also concerned about the music, which many times is not sacred, and about having a wedding in another place besides a church, the cardinal lamented.

"Whoever asks for this or falls into this does not have any sense of the religious and is not taking the Sacrament of Marriage seriously, and the difficulties start right there, as they enter and exit marriages in a frivolous manner since they cannot make a profound and serious commitment before God, and that's why so many families end up in disaster," he explained.

For this reason, Cardinal Iniguez called on the faithful, especially on young people, to take "the marriage commitment seriously, to think hard before marrying, to chose your partner carefully, because if you get that right, you'll get your life right, and whoever fails in marriage will fail in everything, especially in the eyes of the Lord, who I hope will bless you."