Purpose of exclusivity dating

They are faced with the dilemma of addressing a situation that is contrary to our moral principles while attempting to validate and sanctify the relationship of the couple through the Sacrament of Marriage (Archdiocese of Miami, We offer the following pastoral suggestions to priests, deacons, and pastoral ministers who prepare couples for marriage.They are intended to provide general guidance only, since each couple's pastoral needs and circumstances are unique.It is also an extremely perplexing issue for priests, deacons, and lay pastoral ministers who help couples prepare for marriage in the Church.

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, #81), Pope John Paul II strongly urges that young people be educated about chastity, fidelity, and the meaning of marriage as a sacrament.

Religious education, parish based catechetical programs, and chastity curricula in elementary schools are all part of this effort.

Now, nearly twelve years after the original work of , the cumulative pastoral experience of ministering to cohabiting couples has broadened and deepened.

This is reflected, at least partially, in the increased number of dioceses that now include a treatment of the issue within their marriage preparation policies.

The pastoral approaches outlined in this section emerge from an analysis of these policies, from knowledge of current pastoral practice, and from consultations with pastoral ministers. James Healy, Ph D, Director of the Center for Family Ministry in the Diocese of Joliet, for his assistance with this part of the paper.

Finally, in the course of preparing this report, the Committee on Pastoral Practices and Bishop David E.

Living together in this way involves varying degrees of physical and emotional interaction. It contradicts the meaning of a sexual relationship in marriage as the total gift of oneself in fidelity, exclusivity, and permanency.

Over the past twenty-five years cohabitation has become a major social phenomenon affecting the institution of marriage and family life.

These include difficult economic, cultural or religious situations, extreme ignorance or poverty, and a certain psychological immaturity that makes couples afraid to enter into a permanent union.

The Pope continues: "Each of these elements presents the Church with arduous pastoral problems, by reason of the serious consequences deriving from them, both religious and moral..also social consequences...

Nonetheless, we know that many couples do live together before they marry.

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