Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge says there is an urgent need “to strengthen and renew our catechesis of marriage in every way and at every point”, The Catholic Leader reports.
“This is the call of Pope Francis in Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), and it’s time for us in Australia to respond in practical and positive ways,” Archbishop Coleridge wrote in a letter distributed to Brisbane parishes at the weekend.
“This is especially true at a time when evidence of the trivialisation of marriage is all around us, no more clearly than in mass entertainment, particularly some television shows.”
Archbishop Coleridge said it was time to consider a new language to express what the Church believed and taught about marriage, “given that the language we have used speaks to too few”.
“Pope Francis again: ‘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’,” he said.
“We need a new nuptial catechesis which begins long before engagement and marriage. This would be the beginning of a journey on which the Church accompanies the couple at every point.
“Marriage preparation can’t be consigned to a few sessions just before marriage. It needs to begin long before. Given how counter-cultural our understanding of marriage has become, preparation for it needs to be a kind of catechumenate.”
Archbishop Coleridge said the Church needed to accompany couples as part of a life journey, including when a marriage failed.
Marriage as “a lifelong nuptial journey and the Church’s accompaniment of it” would be on the agenda heading towards the Plenary Council in 2020, he said.