The lack of a proper 'education to love' is the major issue at stake with regard to family – being more compelling than the issues of the divorced and remarried or same-sex attracted persons, Msgr. Livio Melina has stressed.

Msgr. Melina is president of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family.

Speaking with CNA Nov. 6, he explained that the institute feels it “has a vocation to accompany the Church on her synodal path,” and that for this reason it is going to organize three different events to explore in-depth the issues that are at stake.

The first of these events will be an “intensive class with public events on the topic of the cohabitation and the ‘forever of love.’”

“The theme of a proper education to love is always more compelling. This is the real issue, not that of the divorced and remarried, as has been wrongly pointed out.”

“The real issue is the incapability of taking a definitive decision for marriage,” Msgr. Melina said.

Another hot-button issue – which will be discussed in March – is that of “the objective goods of love,” that is the goods ‘of the sacrament and love’.

“Speaking about objective goals helps one to understand that marriage is not a private event, but it rather deals with the whole of society.”

The last synod of bishops presented a wide discussion about the possible access to Communion for divorced and remarried persons, and so the Pontifical Institute will clarify Church teaching with an event scheduled in April: a debate on “Eucharist and Marriage – Two Sacraments, one sole alliance.”

These three events display the kind of contribution the Pontifical Institute will be able to give to the synod path.

Founded 34 years ago at the wish of St. John Paul II, the Pontifical Institute has 11 branches in the world, and its effort has been widely praised in the Extraordinary Synod preparatory document, though none of its members were invited to take part in the assembly as experts.

Msgr. Melina stressed that “the Institute works to fullfil the mission it had been entrusted by St. John Paul II, that is the mission of seeking what is the vocation of the family under the twofold light of revelation and human experience.”

“On one side, we should be attentive to the daily life of families, its painful experiences as well as the experience of beauty and sanctity … and on the other side, we should look at this under the perspective and light of biblical revelation,” Msgr. Melina said.