WHEN a couple pledge to be faithful to each other on their wedding day, they become ministers of the sacrament of marriage, Pope John Pual told a vast audience of pilgrims and tourists gathered in St Peter's Square last week. The Pope reiterated the Church's traditional teaching on marriage and contraception as laid down in Pope Paul IV's 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae.
In his lecture, which was the first of a series of six to be given on sex and marriage by the Pope this summer, he stressed the Church's opposition to birth control, saying that sexual intercourse between husband and wife must allow the possibility of creating a child.
"Today," he told the crowd of more than 16,000, "our reflections on the sacrament of marriage concern a concrete application of conjugal morality which Pope Paul VI spoke about in the encyclical.
"Here we are reminded of the Church's teaching that each marriage act must remain open in a transmission of life. This teaching is based upon the inseperable connection between the two aspects of the conjugal act; its unitive meaning and its procreative meaning," the Pope said.