Sunday, February 27, 2011

Promote sanctity of marriage, Pope tells Filipino bishops

MANILA, Philippines - Pope Benedict XVI has called on Filipino bishops "to strengthen the sacrament of matrimony, especially among young couples."

The Pontiff said care must be given to show young people the importance of the sacraments "as instruments of God's grace and assistance. This is particularly true of the sacrament of matrimony, which sanctifies married life from its beginning so that God's presence may sustain young couples in their struggles."

The Church leader made the statement during the recent ad" limina"(consultation) visit to Rome, Italy, of Filipino bishops from Southern Luzon, and the Visayas.

A Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) official earlier said that the number of church marriages went down from 177,940 in 2008 to 2009 to 166,000 last year.

Fr. Melvin Castro, executive secretary of CBCP's Commission on Family and Life, said couples are now marrying at a later age and were opting for civil marriages first before having a church wedding. 
The high cost of a church wedding is also deterring couples from getting married in church, he said.

source: manila Bulletin

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