Pope tells US bishops church needs to do more about marriage
May 24, 2004
VATICAN — Pope John Paul II said Saturday said the Catholic Church needs
to do more to help encourage lasting marriages.
Pope John Paul II|
Photo - AFP
"Many today have a clear understanding of the secular nature of
marriage, which includes the rights and responsibilities modern
societies hold as determining factors for a marital contract," John
Paul said during an audience with U.S. bishops from Texas and
Oklahoma. But, he said, there are "some who appear to lack a proper
understanding of the intrinsically religious dimension of this
"Modern society rarely pays heed to the permanent nature of
marriage," the pope said, in an apparent reference to divorce,
which the Catholic Church forbids. "In fact, the attitude towards
marriage found in contemporary culture demands that the Church seek
to offer better pre-marital instruction aimed at forming couples in
this vocation," as well as ensure that young people, "many of whom
are from broken homes," are educated about marriage, the pope said.
In recent months, John Paul has denounced what he has called
"attempts to reduce marriage to a mere individual contract," and
has urged authorities to stop approving gay marriages. His speech
on Saturday about family life contained no reference to the debate
raging in the United States over decisions by some authorities to
allow marriage between homosexuals.
John Paul told the U.S. churchmen, who were making a periodic
visit to the pope required of all bishops, that the Church needs to
be more supportive of families.
The Church must "share the hurts and struggles of families, as
well as their joys," he said. – Sapa-AP
Vatican to call on Catholic politicians to oppose gay marriages [31/07/2004]