Pope Francis said the majority of Catholic marriages are "invalid" at a question-and-answer session in the Diocese of Rome on Thursday night after a pastoral conference at the Lateran Basilica.
"We're living in a culture of the provisional," he said, from which religious life is no exception. "Because of this, a majority of our sacramental marriages are invalid," the 79-year-old church head said.
Two people may say that they want their marriage to last their entire lives, "but they don't know what they are saying, because they are part of another culture." While their hearts might be in the right place, they just don't know what they are getting into, he added.
The pope called on pastors not to pressure young people into marriage but instead to provide support and prepare them for such a big step.