Explains that he found the couple prepared to receive the sacrament
The question was almost obligatory: From now on, what would he say to pastors and bishops when couples ask to be married on the beach, at parks, on boats…?
“One of you told me that I’m crazy for doing these things,” Pope Francis said. “But it was simple.”
He went on: “The husband, the man, was on the first flight. She wasn’t. We spoke… then I realized that he had been checking out what I thought.
“We spoke about life, about what I thought about life and the family. Really, it was a beautiful conversation. The next day, both were there. When we took the photos, they told me that they had been at the point of getting married in the Church — they got legally married — the day before [their wedding] (you can tell it was a small city) the church had been destroyed by an earthquake. The wedding didn’t happen. This happened 8 or 10 years ago.
“Yes, we’ll do it tomorrow, [they said], but then life happened, a daughter arrived, then the other daughter… ‘But we’ve always had this in our hearts, that we’ve never gotten married.’ I asked them some questions, and the answers were clear: [they wanted to be together] for the rest of their lives. ‘And how do you know these things? Do you remember your catechism classes well?’ ‘No, no, no. We took the wedding preparation course.’ They were ready. Pastors, let me tell you, they were ready, and I judged that they were ready.
“They asked me to do it. The sacraments are for people, and I saw that the conditions were clear, and why not do today what you can do today, right? Why put it off for tomorrow, because maybe tomorrow would have been eight more years. This is the answer. Because I felt they were ready and that they knew what they were doing. Also, one of them prepared before the Lord with the sacrament of penance, and I married them. And when they arrived here, it was all over, and they have gotten married.
They told me that they had told someone, ‘Let’s go to the pope so he can marry us.’ I don’t know if that was the intention or not. That’s how it was. But tell pastors that the pope examined them well, and … they told me that they had taken the course… But they were aware that they were in an irregular situation.”