Pope Benedict XVI: There Have Been Deficiencies In Catechesis In Regard To Married Life.

Defending Traditional Marriage Is A Question Of Justice!

By: Kathleen Naab (edited for length)

(Zenit.org)-Benedict XVI says that chastity might be counter-cultural and challenging, but the entire Christian community should recover an appreciation for it.

The Pope said this today in an address to a group of bishops from the mid-west of the United States, who are in Rome for their five-yearly ad limina visit.

In today’s address, the Holy Father turned specifically to the issue of “the contemporary crisis of marriage and the family, and, more generally, of the Christian vision of human sexuality.”

Benedict called attention to the “powerful political and cultural currents seeking to alter the legal definition of marriage,” and he said that the Church needs to give a “reasoned defense of marriage as a natural institution consisting of a specific communion of persons, essentially rooted in the complementarity of the sexes and oriented to procreation.”

“Sexual differences cannot be dismissed as irrelevant to the definition of marriage,” he affirmed. “Defending the institution of marriage as a social reality is ultimately a question of justice, since it entails safeguarding the good of the entire human community and the rights of parents and children alike.”

Catechesis problems

Benedict XVI acknowledged the “deficiencies in the catechesis of recent decades” in regard to the Church’s teaching on marriage and family life. He called for strengthening marriage preparation programs — echoing recommendations he has made in the past, when he has even suggested that parishes need to have support systems for married couples through the first decade of marriage.

He also pointed out the problem of cohabitation, saying couples often seem “unaware that it is gravely sinful, not to mention damaging to the stability of society.”

The Pope lauded the bishops’ efforts to promote marriage. And he observed: “In this great pastoral effort there is an urgent need for the entire Christian community to recover an appreciation of the virtue of chastity. The integrating and liberating function of this virtue (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2338-2343) should be emphasized by a formation of the heart, which presents the Christian understanding of sexuality as a source of genuine freedom, happiness and the fulfilment of our fundamental and innate human vocation to love. It is not merely a question of presenting arguments, but of appealing to an integrated, consistent and uplifting vision of human sexuality. The richness of this vision is more sound and appealing than the permissive ideologies exalted in some quarters; these in fact constitute a powerful and destructive form of counter-catechesis for the young.

“Young people need to encounter the Church’s teaching in its integrity, challenging and counter-cultural as that teaching may be; more importantly, they need to see it embodied by faithful married couples who bear convincing witness to its truth.”

He called for support of young people “as they struggle to make wise choices at a difficult and confusing time in their lives” and recognized that society “increasingly tends to misunderstand and even ridicule [chastity,] this essential dimension of Christian teaching.”

The Pope concluded by recalling that efforts to present the Church’s teaching on sexuality “are ultimately concerned with the good of children, who have a fundamental right to grow up with a healthy understanding of sexuality and its proper place in human relationships. Children are the greatest treasure and the future of every society: truly caring for them means recognizing our responsibility to teach, defend and live the moral virtues which are the key to human fulfillment.”

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10 comments to Pope Benedict XVI: There Have Been Deficiencies In Catechesis In Regard To Married Life.

  • Nadene Eastland

    married life is quite happier than single life because you got to share what you have to someone. `

  • manya

    My husband and I volunteered for the “pre-cana” workshops for several years. The church can start here before children are born into a marriage that started with ill informed couples. Most couples we encountered, if not ALL, were already co-habitating, and not celibate. These topics are barely discussed, even laughed at on a few occasions we witnessed. So, couples are coming to the church for the pictures and then the party. Even celebrating their holiest day in grave sin, and may not even know it.There is no amount of hours spent on going to confession before matrimony, living celibate and once married why contracepting is a rejection of each other, and of God’s plan within the marriage.

  • Christina

    Marion, good suggestion. put away the TV. the secular cultures brainwashing from movies . they only promote the divorce mentality- the if your spouse isnt making you ‘happy” you arent “Compatible” ,or they arnet your “soul mate”.. go on match.com ,or e-harmony and find a better one. who cares about breaking up your childrens family?? you live for yourself- is what we are told by Hollywood. the contraceptive mentality- its all About ME. .. not about what God wants for our lives..
    better to spend some of that free time with your children and spouse growing a relationship, in prayer, in reading solid Catholic books/learning the Faith. Love the comment- live counter cultural.
    Actually Be Catholic

  • Marion Travis

    Thanks be to God for Pope Benedict XVI’s direction to the Church to take a stand for families, marriage, chastity and children. The Church’s role in these arenas has been replaced, and changed, by print, film, and electronic media. I plead with anyone who reads this to notice how “everyone” knows something is wrong with our culture, but too many are blind to the enemy in their homes and daily lives.

    Many watch TV as if it is as necessary as the air they breathe. Too many blindly go to movies, again as if film is as important as the water we drink.

    Dare I say one can survive–better yet thrive–without watching TV and movies, or reading salatious printed material.

    Live counter to the culture. Make your life work. Be Catholic. – Marion Travis

  • Mary

    It would be helpful to have a recommendation on a Catechesis to work with Teens. Also a recommendation for a program to work with married couples within the church.

    I agree with Christina on Marriage is a Sacrament, a sacred union. This needs to be more clearly taught. Couples seem to be entering into marriage with the idea, if this doesn’t work out there is always divorce. The permanence and the seriousness of the Sacrament needs to be emphasized.

  • Christina

    By the way I do not mean that the inclination to Homosexuality is a sin. some people do have that inclination towards same sex attraction- it may be their cross in this life to struggle with to overcome and still lead a chaste life. But the choosing to act actively in a sexual homosexual way is what is sin . as is any sexual activity outside of sacramental marriage.

  • Christina

    Marriage is a sacred union. We need the Holy Father to remind the Bishops, all the clergy to preach the truth about it.
    To preach that it is a life long unbreakable union of one man and one woman open to bring forth children, one woman, one man who work through their struggles, differences, selfish inclinations to grow in love for one another ,for their children and most of all for God himself. Too many in our generation have never once heard a sermon that Divorce , co-habitation, adultery, homosexuality are all sins. They all involve selfishness at the root of it all. Too many in our popular culture think it is acceptable even for so called faithful Catholics to abandon ones spouse when one spouse becomes dissatisfied. forgetting the vows to love both in good times and in bad. For life. Open to life.

  • Thank you, Holy Father, for affirming what many of us know, but not enough of us are doing something about it.
    Let us pray for more faithful workers in the vineyard to spread the good news of the Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality.

  • Jeremy Garton

    The Holy Father hits it right on the head! Thanks be to God for this blessed reminder to all, despite what TV sitcoms would have us believe, chastity is Gods way and the only way for the unmarried.

  • Judy

    The Holy Father is right. In fact, catechesis at all levels has been dismal for 40 years, and certainly so from our bishops and priests. I pray that this changes NOW and we go forward, teaching our children, young adults and adults the beauty and boundlessness of our Catholic Faith.

    My desire would be ONE catechism for the world, so that there is none of this hit and miss, still going on today.

    Christ’s peace.

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