Cardinal Vincent Nichols gave a keynote speech at the World Meeting of Families in Dublin, 23 August, sharing his personal experiences of family life and reflecting, particularly, on Catholic marriage preparation and Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia.
The Cardinal explained that ‘welcome and solidarity’ are key components when preparing couples for marriage.
“We strive to offer a warm welcome, and a clear vision, to those who seek to be married. That vision includes our teaching about marriage, how it is rooted in the love of God and is to be an expression of the faithfulness and fruitfulness of God’s love.
“We have a vision of marriage being intertwined with the love Christ has for His Church, a love which includes sacrifice, forgiveness and healing. Our teaching is a rich vision that informs all that we want to share with those who are starting out on married life.
Cardinal Nichols also lamented that in some cultures, including here in England and Wales, marriage has become a very ‘private’ thing.
“Couples are often caught up in the ‘industry’ of weddings, centred on the couple’s big day, easily losing sight of the family or community context for marriage.
“As Catholic families, and as the Church, we want to embrace this moment, helping couples to see the wider richness of the step they are taking and making clear our hopes and dreams for couples in their grace-filled calling to marriage and family life.
In a wide-ranging address, the Cardinal also examined the characteristics of good marriage preparation and shared some practical pointers from Amoris Laetitia and the Church’s own listening project in England and Wales to help couples – from preparation and beyond – to nurture a healthy marriage.
You can download the full text of Cardinal Nichols’ address here: