We were delighted to hear recently that Pope Francis had called for a ‘permanent catechumenate’ for married couples. It’s so encouraging to see Pope Francis giving this idea air time! We have been working for so long (nearly thirty years) to establish this as a standard, we lose sight of how radical it is to most of the church.

Here are a few excerpts from the Catholic News Agency.

Rome, Italy, Sep 27, 2018 / 10:42 am (CNA/EWTN News).

Pope Francis has stressed the need for ongoing formation for couples, before and after marriage, saying that even the basic teachings of the Church “could not be taken for granted.” The pope spoke in an address to participants in a recent course on marriage and family life held in Rome.

Speaking Sept. 27 in the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran to an audience of priests, deacons, and lay people, Francis renewed his call for a “permanent catechumenate for the sacrament of marriage,” saying it was essential for couples to receive ongoing formation both before and after their wedding.

Francis has previously insisted on the need for better, longer, more comprehensive instruction for couples in his annual addresses to the Rota.

Francis told the attendees that marriage was “a vast, complex and delicate apostolic field” which required the full energy and enthusiasm of the Church.

Praising the “courageous” witness of St. John Paul II on the family in the modern world, Francis said he sought to build upon the legacy of his “farsighted” predecessors through his reform of canon law in marriage nullity cases and in the pastoral application of his post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. The Pope said the aim of both of these efforts was to address the “urgent” need for comprehensive marriage formation.

“Marriage is not just a ‘social’ event, but a true sacrament that involves an adequate preparation and a conscious celebration,” the pope said. “The marriage bond, in fact, requires an engaged choice on the part of the engaged couple, which focuses on the will to build together something that must never be betrayed or abandoned.”

This article was first published in the Catholic News Agency, read full article here: “Pope Francis calls for ‘permanent catechumenate’ for married couples”