"Preventive" Pastoral Care Urged for Couples

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 8, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The increase in marriage annulments shows the need for «preventive» pastoral care, says the secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

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Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino made that observation today during a press conference on the new Vatican instruction «Dignitas Connubii» (The Dignity of Marriage).

The proposal of this expert in liturgy is to encourage «preventive action through the effective preparation of the Christian spouses to marriage and the support of families in daily life.»

«The marriage rite itself, with the adaptations peculiar to the various ecclesial realities, helps the spouses to be conscious of their decision,» he told journalists.

For the archbishop, a document such as «Dignitas Connubii,» of a technical-juridical character, «constitutes a strong incentive to Christian coherence and calls for more effective pastoral commitment.»

In agreement with this line was Cardinal Julián Herranz, president of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts, who attended the press conference.

«Through personal effort and means dedicated to this sector of her pastoral program,» he said, «the Church wishes to contribute to a great objective, which is central to John Paul II’s pontificate: the well-being of marriage and the family.»

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