New forms of witness needed to promote marriage
In last week’s encounter we reported on the steadily falling rates of Catholic Marriages across Australia. In the face of such grim statistics it is good to remember Pope Francis’ advice in Amoris Laetitia: “There is no sense in simply decrying present-day evils, as if this could change things…What we need is a more responsible and generous effort to present the reasons and motivations for choosing marriage and the family” (AL 35-36). The Pope also declared that “we need to find the right language, arguments and forms of witness that can help us reach the hearts of young people, appealing to their capacity for generosity, commitment, love and even heroism, and in this way inviting them to take up the challenge of marriage with enthusiasm and courage” (AL 40).
Following the Pope’s lead the newly elected President of the Australian Bishops Conference, Archbishop Mark Coleridge, recently argued that “Given how counter-cultural our understanding of marriage has become, preparation for it needs to be a kind of catechumenate…This would be the beginning of a journey on which the Church accompanies the couple at every point.”
In an attempt to discover how we can better encourage and accompany married couples at a local level, the Archdiocese of Canberra Goulburn is running a “Marriage as Mission” Afternoon Tea at the Haydon Hall in Manuka on Sat 2nd June from 2-4pm. The hope is to draw together married couples from across the Archdiocese who can share ideas and learn about initiatives already taking place to better support marriages.