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Pope explains the sixth commandment: it is the basis of marital fidelity

During the General Audience, Pope Francis reflected on the sixth commandment, thou shall not commit adultery. 

He said this commandment is an invitation to fully live out each persons' calling to a pure and faithful spousal love, revealed in Jesus Christ.

The pope said Christ's undying love “is the basis of marital fidelity” also shown in the “spousal love and spiritual parenthood that mark the vocations to priestly ministry and consecrated virginity.”


Dear brothers and sisters: 

In our continuing catechesis on the Ten Commandments, we are discussing the sixth commandment: “You shall not commit adultery”. The commandment deals specifically with marital fidelity, yet it also speaks to every human relationship and vocation. 

In the light of Christ, we see that all love is meant to be pure, faithful, generous and fruitful. True love enables us to find ourselves by giving ourselves away. Hence, authentic love is always spousal, life-giving and self-sacrificing. The undying love of Christ that is the basis of marital fidelity is likewise reflected in the spousal love and spiritual parenthood that mark the vocations to priestly ministry and consecrated virginity. In the mystery of Christ and his love, we come to understand the full meaning of the gift of our human sexuality and the fidelity demanded by the marriage covenant. As men and women, body and spirit, we are called to love in ways that leave no room for lust or promiscuity.

The command – “You shall not commit adultery” – is thus an invitation to live fully our original calling to that pure and faithful spousal love revealed in Jesus Christ.

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially those from England, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Indonesia, Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam and the United States of America. I thank the choirs for their praise of God in song. Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke the Lord’s blessings of joy and peace. God bless you!