VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis offered new parents a bit of advice Sunday, telling them it's perfectly normal to fight, but just not in front of the children.
Francis warned of the "anguish" of children who see their parents fight during a ceremony to baptize 27 newborns, an annual tradition that fills the frescoed Sistine Chapel with babies, their parents and godparents.
Amid coos and wails, Francis told parents that they had taken on an important new job of transmitting the faith to their children — a job he said begins at home, in the family.
Francis then offered some off-the-cuff advice to help them do just that.
"It's normal for spouses to fight," he said. "It'd be strange if they didn't. Do it, but don't let the children hear it or see it. You have no idea of children's anguish when they see their parents fight."
Francis frequently offers such real-world advice to couples, stemming from his years ministering to ordinary families when he was a priest, bishop and cardinal in Buenos Aires.
One of his favorite axioms is that couples should make a habit of saying "Please, thank you and sorry," and should never go to bed mad.