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Pope to marry couples 'living in sin'

The ceremony is meant to portray the Catholic Church as welcoming and compassionate.

By
Ed Adamczyk
Pope Francis, seen here in South Korea in August, will marry 20 couples at the Vatican Sunday. UPI/Keizo Mori
Pope Francis, seen here in South Korea in August, will marry 20 couples at the Vatican Sunday. UPI/Keizo Mori | License Photo

VATICAN CITY, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- Pope Francis will marry 20 cohabiting couples, including brides with children born out of wedlock, in a ceremony Sunday.

The event in the Vatican's St. Peter's Church is symbolic of the pope's interest in demonstrating inclusiveness and compassion in the Catholic Church, the diocese said in a statement.

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In the case of one couple, a woman with an adult daughter from a previous relationship will marry a man whose prior marriage was annulled.

The woman, identified as Gabriella by the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, said, ""We didn't feel worthy or able to meet the requirements of a good Catholic couple, but the Church under the leadership of Pope Francis has welcomed and embraced us. This Pope is marvelous. He is renewing the Church. Not even non-believers can remain indifferent to his drive and his disarming simplicity."

A mass wedding at St. Peter's Church is a rare occurrence. Most recently, Pope John Paul II married eight couples in a ceremony in 2000.

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