Phoenix, Ariz., Jan 27, 2010 / 05:53 am
On Jan. 1 new marriage preparation guidelines went into effect in the Diocese of Phoenix. The guidelines are intended to address the problems facing marriage and to reverse “the tide of marital breakdown” by teaching the “Good News” of the Catholic understanding of matrimony.
The guidelines were released in a July 2009 document titled “Covenant of Love.” They aim to respond to the increase in cohabitation and divorce, the decline in marriage role models, and “increasing confusion” over the meaning of Christian marriage.
Couples seeking a church wedding are now required to have nine months of preparation instead of six. Couples are also required to undergo a full course in Natural Family Planning and more comprehensive courses on both the theology of marriage and practical skills.
The preparation will also examine Church teachings about the sanctity of life, divorce and same-sex “marriage.”