June 11: Marriage and Family Life

In anticipation of the upcoming Synod on Family Life (to be held in Rome in October), our Wednesday Night discussion focused on case studies (all hypothetical, but could be real) concerning family and marriage issues that are presented in the parish.  While not all of these cases were discussed, we thought you might enjoy reading some of the cases that are possible.

  1. A couple approaches the Pastor wishing to be married. The bride-to-be is a Catholic woman; her fiancé is a Buddhist man. They have decided to have the ceremony on a beach. Religion is important to the couple, and they would like to have a priest represented at their wedding, but it is also important to the them to have a destination wedding.  What should the Pastor do?
  2. A woman wants to participate in RCIA. She has been recently divorced and eventually wants to marry her female partner in a civil union.  What is the most appropriate course of action?
  3. A woman gets married to a non-Catholic man at City Hall. The woman receives communion weekly. She wants the marriage validated by the Church but her spouse does not.  Is there any way this marriage can be validated by the Church?
  4. Two Catholics wish to be married. They tell the Pastor that they want a pre-nuptial agreement.  What should he say?
  5. An arranged marriage is formed between a man and a woman by their families. The couple wishes to remain true to their Indian heritage, but have grown up in Canada with North American customs.  How should the Pastor proceed?
  6. A couple is expecting their first child in 8 months. They want to be married within the year so that they may welcome the baby into a secure family.  What is the most appropriate response?
  7. A couple does not consummate their marriage after their wedding. One spouse seeks counseling from the Pastor after one month of marriage.  What is the best way for the Pastor to handle this situation?
  8. A couple is recently divorced. Both are practicing Catholics who attend Mass weekly, and expressed that they both want to receive Eucharist.  What is in the Pastor’s power to aid in this situation?
  9. A newly married couple has decided that they do not want to have children. They insist that they would not be good parents.  What should the Pastor’s response be?
  10. A couple has been trying to conceive for 3 years. They have gone to many doctors for opinions, and tried everything they suggested. In vitro fertilization seems to be their only hope for bearing biological children.  What can the Pastor do?