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Marriage prep should be time of evangelization, catechesis, Pope tells Roman Rota

January 23, 2017

Pope Francis spoke about the relationship between fides (faith) and foedus (covenant) in his annual address to the Roman Rota on the occasion of the beginning of the judicial year.

Speaking in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace on January 21, Pope Francis called for a “new catechumenate” as “an antidote that prevents the proliferation of null or inconsistent marriage celebrations.”

Marriage preparation, he said, can be a favorable time for an “encounter with the figure of Jesus Christ, with the message of the Gospel and the doctrine of the Church … A fundamental aim of these meetings is that of helping engaged couples to achieve a gradual integration into the mystery of Christ, in the Church and with the Church.”

After the marriage takes place, “the Christian community is called to welcome, accompany and help young couples, offering them suitable opportunities and tools—starting with participation in Sunday Mass—to care for their spiritual life,” the Pope continued.

He concluded:

As I have said to you many times, it takes great courage to marry in the times in which we live. And those who have the strength and the joy to take this important step must feel the affection and the concrete closeness of the Church next to them.

 
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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Jan. 23, 2017 12:43 PM ET USA

    Lifetime commitment, exclusivity, fruitfulness, sanctity. These are the pillars of marriage the Church should stand by with affection and concrete closeness. Frequent reception of the sacraments, sermons and homilies as occasions for adult catechesis, community activities sponsored by lay arms of the parish (e.g., CCD program, choir, continuing education, prayer groups, KOC, scouting organizations, etc.), reform of the Catholic school system, parish activities uniquely targeting married couples.