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ROME, May 28, 2015 ( — Pope Francis told Dominican bishops in an audience this morning that they must “continue to present the beauty of Christian marriage” since the family is “going through a serious cultural crisis.”

The pope emphasized to the bishops that families are affected by the “great challenges of our time,” urging them to “reinforce the faith and the identity of all the members of the Church.”

“Marriage and the family are going through a serious cultural crisis. But this does not mean that they have lost importance, but that their need is felt all the more. The family is the place where one learns to live together in differences, to forgive and to experience forgiveness, and where parents transmit values to their children and, singularly, the faith,” he said.

Speaking about the upcoming Jubilee of Mercy, the pope urged the bishops to “not fail in the work of matrimonial and family reconciliation, as a good of peaceful coexistence.”

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“Let us continue to present the beauty of Christian marriage: ‘to be married in the Lord’ is an act of faith and love, in which the spouses, through their free consent, become transmitters of the blessing and grace of God for the Church and for society,” he said.

The pope praised the faith of the Caribbean nation, the majority of which is Catholic, for producing “living parishes” and vocations to the priesthood.

“Moreover, the Church in the Dominican Republic has numerous living parishes with a large group of committed lay faithful and a consistent number of vocations to the priesthood and to consecrated life. We thank the Lord for what has already been done and is being done in each of its local Churches,” he said.