Vatican Studies How Mature Spouses Can Help Young Couples

Assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Family

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 18, 2004 ( Experts from around the world have gathered here to study ways that mature couples can help engaged and young married couples.

The topic is the focus of the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Family, which opened with an address by its president, Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo.

The three-day meeting, which started today, is entitled “The Mission of Mature, Experienced Couples with Engaged and Young Married Couples,” according to a statement from the Vatican press office.

The initiative seeks “to promote a deeper study of the current situation of families, with special reference to the contribution that so many domestic hearths, who fully live the reality of marriage according to the Word of God and the teachings of the Church, can offer engaged and young married couples, to accompany them on the path of preparation for marriage and then in the first years of married and family life.”

Those working in the pastoral ministry for families, and members of families themselves who “have at heart a successful marriage,” says the communiqué, can be close to newlyweds, “offering discreet, wise and valid help not only to their married children but also to their grandchildren.”

“Grandparents, with their wisdom and affection, can be resources in the inevitable difficulties in the lives of young families,” it adds. “These mature couples, who are rich in human and Christian experience, are precious because they can witness with their own lives and apostolate to the beauty and happiness of family life, when lived according to God’s plan.”

The 5th World Meeting of Families, which John Paul II has convoked in Valencia, Spain, for the year 2006, was presented in the plenary assembly.

The Pontifical Council for the Family, instituted by John Paul II in 1981, is responsible for the promotion of the pastoral ministry and apostolate to the family, to help Christian families fulfill their educational and apostolic mission.

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