June 2003


June 2003

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this Issue
‘The mirror of your everlasting love’

Caring for our marriages
Terry Prendergast

The situation of marriage has undergone enormous changes in recent decades. Terry Prendergast, who is the chief executive of Catholic Marriage Care, examines these changes and describes the work which this organisation does in helping people to deal with many of the difficulties which arise in marriage. ‘However, the pastoral perspective of the organisation does create tension.’

Christopher West

There is a great deal of ignorance about the Church’s teaching on marriage. Christopher West, married with three children, teaches theology of the body at St John Vianney Seminary in Denver. He has written two books on marriage.* Here he presents a basic theology of marriage. ‘To diminish in any way the nature and meaning of married love is to diminish the nature and meaning of God's love.’

The work of preparation
Angela and Martin Harpham

The Church insists that couples should receive some instruction about what Christian marriage involves before they undertake it. Angela and Martin Harpham have been involved in giving marriage preparation for the Diocese of Hallam for several years. Here they describe what they offer the candidates and what they have learnt themselves.

Sex and family planning
Angela Bennett

Our society is biased against the Catholic understanding of marriage especially in its attitude to sex and family planning. Angela Bennett is a medical doctor and mother of three working in Cambridge. Here she suggests how some of the pressures on Christian marriage may be withstood and how natural family planning can be be presented. ‘I have had a hard time getting medical professionals off my back on this issue.’

Not just a question of law
Timothy J. Buckley CSsR

What does the Church do to help the divorced and remarried? Timothy Buckley, director of Redemptorist Publications, researched this question for the bishops of England and Wales and published his results in What Binds Marriage? Here he notes that very little has changed since and doubts whether, within the present canon law, it can. ‘How can a slavish fidelity to statutes, designed to deal with specific pastoral problems in particular times and contexts, lead to imaginative and loving solutions for today’s complex questions?’

Married and religious?
Leo Edgar OP

Married people and religious both take permanent vows. Can each side learn from the experience of the other? Leo Edgar, who was married for 40 years and is now a grandfather, entered the Dominican Order three years ago. Here he reflects on marriage in the light of his new life.

Teams of Our Lady - PASTORALIA
Michael and Nora Courtney

Michael and Nora Courtney are regional contacts for the organisation ‘Teams of Our Lady’ which is run by and for married couples. They explain here how the Teams work.

Preaching and teaching the Word
Dawn Williams

Dawn Williams, a freelance writer and parish catechist, offers some reflections on the lectionary readings for the Sundays of July.

Postscript: Home thoughts from abroad


Managing as if Faith Mattered: Christian social principles in the modern organization
Helen J. Alford and Michael J. Naughton
University of Notre Dame Press, £18.50
Tablet Bookshop Price: £ Tel: 01420 592 974

The Broken Image: reflections on spirituality and culture
Pat Collins
Columba Press, £9.99
Tablet Bookshop Price: £ Tel: 01420 592 974

Wayfaring: a gospel journey into life
Margaret Silf
Darton, Longman and Todd, £9.95
Tablet Bookshop Price: £ Tel: 01420 592 974

Married Saints and Blesseds through the Centuries
Ferdinand Holbock
Ignatius Press, £11.50
Tablet Bookshop Price: £ Tel: 01420 592 974