Pope Francis has been a lifelong bachelor — but that isn’t stopping him from dishing out marital advice.
On Sunday, the 85-year-old pontiff told a crowd of worshippers at the Vatican that the three key words for every successful marriage are “please,” “sorry” and “thank you.”
Francis has spent decades counseling Catholic husbands and wives and claimed the words were crucial to ending arguments and maintaining mutual love and respect.
“How many times, unfortunately, conflicts originate within the domestic walls due to prolonged periods of silence and from unchecked selfishness,” he stated during his address, according to the Associated Press.
“Sometimes it even ends up in physical and moral violence. This lacerates harmony and kills the family.”
Francis urged couples who are on the verge of calling it quits to reconsider, saying: “Forgiveness heals every wound.”
“The breakdown of a marriage causes immense suffering, since many hopes are dashed, and misunderstandings can lead to arguments and hurts not easily healed,” he stated. “Children end up having to suffer the pain of seeing their parents no longer together.”
The pontiff told crowds that he understood the ongoing pandemic and lockdowns had put added pressure on relationships, saying:
“Pre-existing problems were aggravated, creating conflicts that in some cases became almost unbearable.”
However, he stated that families were essential to a person’s spiritual and cultural identity.
“Maybe we aren’t born into an exceptional, problem-free family, but our family is our story — everyone has to think: ‘It’s my story.’ They are our roots: If we cut them, life dries up!”