Pope Francis said a global war against marriage is underway and Catholics must respond by helping couples stay strong and by providing pastoral care to those experiencing difficulty.
"Today there is a global war to destroy marriage," the pope said Oct. 1 reported Catholic News Service during a meeting in the Georgian capital Tbilisi with priests, religious, seminarians and laypeople active in parish life.
"Today you do not destroy with weapons, you destroy with ideas," the pope said. "It is ideological colonization that destroys."
The only way to defend marriage against the onslaught, he said, is to help couples "make peace as soon as possible, before the day ends, and don't forget the three words: 'May I?' 'Thank you' and 'Forgive me.'"
"Marriage is the most beautiful thing that God has created," Pope Francis said. In marriage, man and woman become one flesh, "the image of God."
"When you divorce one flesh you sully the God's image," he said.