Pope Francis married 20 couples who were “living in sin” Sunday during a mass wedding, the Telegraph reported. The leader of the Vatican asked to wed 40 modern people who represent different backgrounds, the BBC reported. It was the first time a papal ceremony of that kind has been held in 14 years. 

Since being elected, Pope Francis has expressed more acceptance and tolerance than previous popes. The wedding ceremony at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome comes three weeks before Catholic bishops from around the world will meet to discuss church teachings on family matters.

The couples had already lived together and one of the women was already a mother, the Associated Press reported. "The people getting married on Sunday are couples like many others," the diocese of Rome said in a statement. "Some already live together, some already have children."

Pope The pope married twenty couples who were "living in sin" Sunday. Photo: Reuters

The Vatican says sex outside marriage is a sin, but Pope Francis wants the church to become more inclusive. He reportedly said marriage was “real life, not some TV show” and told the couples during the ceremony the love of Jesus can help whenever their love “becomes lost, wounded or worn out.” In his homily, he said the couples represented the “bricks that build society.”

Each pair was called up to Pope Francis one at a time and asked if they'd be faithful for the rest of their lives. The Vatican teaches marriage, since it is a sacrament, should be endured.

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