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United Kingdom: Catholic Church, “National Marriage Week”. Mgr. Doyle, “rediscover the beauty of family life”

The Catholic Church in England and Wales celebrates the 20th edition of the “National Marriage Week”. The 2017 edition aims to “draw attention to the value of marriage, for individuals, family life and civil society”. The website of the Bishops’ Conference reports that “Guidelines for the Preparation of Couples for Marriage” were published to mark the occasion as an instrument aimed at giving “a life-long pastoral accompaniment by the community, flexible and gradual, meeting each couple where they are”. The publication comes “in response to the Pope’s call in Amoris Laetitia”, and is the “fruit of several years’ work, including a survey of marriage preparation providers and a conference” on the subject in 2011. The Guidelines are “intended to be descriptive rather than prescriptive” and “suggest a range of actions for parishes and dioceses”, including the creation of “teams with clergy and lay people sharing together in accompaniment of marriage and family life”. The teams need to be “well trained and well informed”, allowing for “a flexibility of approaches in delivery and content”. Like the National Week that will end on 14 February, the Guidelines are “a great opportunity to rediscover together the beauty of marriage and family life according to God’s plan”, commented Mgr. Peter Doyle, Chair of the Bishops’ Conference Committee for Marriage and Family Life.

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