updated 1/22/2011 8:42:55 AM ET 2011-01-22T13:42:55

Pope Benedict XVI has told priests to do a better job counseling would-be spouses to ensure the marriages last and says not everyone has an automatic right to a wedding.

Benedict made the comments Saturday to the Roman Rota, the Vatican tribunal that decides marriage annulments. An annulment is the process by which the church effectively declares that a marriage never took place.

Benedict acknowledged that the problems that would allow for a marriage to be annulled cannot always be identified beforehand. But he said better pre-marriage counseling, which the Catholic Church requires of the faithful, could help avoid a "vicious circle" of invalid marriages.

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