By a special correspondent
SPEAKING to the staff of the Roman Rota at the weekend. Pope Paul VI expressed anxiety at the attitude of many Catholics towards marriage and divorce.
He made special reference to the increasing number of cases handled by the Rota. the Church's senior marriage court. and warned ecclesiastical advocates against the temptation to rig cases.
"We have asked ourselves," said Pope Paul, "whether the increased number of matrimonial cases handled by the Holy Rota in recent years should not perhaps he seen in relation to the lessening, in some cases, of the
sensitivity of the moral conscience."
This rimy, he added, offer a hint that, together with many others, could explain the sometimes superficial, light and even irreverent attitude one meets towards the institution of marriage, an indissoluble union, raised to sacramental dignity by Jesus Christ for the good of the human family,"
Analysing the causes of the "spread of dangerous concepts and erroneous attitudes," the Pope indicted "stimuli of an exciting nature which are frequently allpervasive in their influence, such as certain literature, newspapers and entertainments."
These stimuli, he said, "encounter weaker opposition than they used to within the sanctuary of the family."
Moreover, Pope Paul added, many people enter into marriage "with little serious intent, without the proper psychological, spiritual and religious preparation, thus reducing something which should he solemn and sacred to the status of any experiment. a dangerous adventure even when it does not end up in outright shipwreck."
Pope Paul urged the Rota to carry out its legal duties under the stamp of moral consciences. The advocates must accept the moral and professional duty of seeking the truth, not what appears to be the truth.
They must always refuse, "at whatever cost. to rig a trial. to espouse an improper cause, to fall hack on insincere and dishonest methods."
Finally, said the Pope, those getting married must do so "not as if it were a caprice of the senses or an adventure or a precarious experiment, with deplorable superficially; they should instead he properly aware of the step they are taking and see it as the sacramerman nrag»um."
"This sacrament," he concluded, "consecrates them to the sublime mission of God's collaborators in bringing new creatures into being and bringing them up with delicacy and knowledge of their own responsibilities."