Archbishop calls for ‘accompaniment’ after marriage

Archbishop calls for ‘accompaniment’ after marriage

Archbishop Gilbert Garcera of Lipa, chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, leads a prayer during the CFC Clergy-Lay Congress at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City June 20. CFC GLOBAL COMMUNICATIONS

By Roy Lagarde

June 20, 2019

Manila, Philippines

A church official has stressed the need for ongoing “accompaniment” of couples, before and after marriage.

Archbishop Gilbert Garcera of Lipa, who heads the church’s family and life ministry, said that continued support for marriages might help prevent breakups.

“To be a gift to the family is [pastoral accompaniment] after marriage or post-cana,” Garcera said.

The archbishop was addressing the Couples for Christ (CFC) Clergy-Lay Congress at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City on Thursday.

However, he admitted that accompaniment of the couple after marriage is pretty much lacking in the Philippines.

He cited a church survey showing the lack of support especially for young couples who have just gotten onto the real battlefield of married life.

“Sad to say, there are many parishes that don’t have any program except pre-cana,” Garcera said.

More than 2,000 priests and laypeople attended the gathering which also marked the 38th anniversary of CFC, one of the Philippines’ largest lay organizations.

Reflecting on the theme “Family is a Gift,” Garcera said that CFC is being challenged not to be an “exclusive group” but instead extend reach out to others.

With the many issues affecting the country, he encouraged the CFC members to take their mission to the peripheries.

“Today, pastoral attention to strengthening marriages starts with you as a gift,” he added. “Go out and help the dioceses and parishes because you are a gift.”