By Saramma Emmanuel
Bhopal: The new generation couples believe in sharing their life equally unlike in the past and parental interference in their life lead to 80 per cent cases of marriage separation, says P A Edwin, a church councilor from Chennai addressing the Catholic bishops participating in the 29th biennial plenary assembly of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) in Bhopal on Wednesday.
More than 130 Bishops from 132 Latin rite dioceses in the country are participating in the eight-day gathering focused on revitalizing the family life of Catholics in the country against the backdrop of dilution of family values, morality, domestic violence, divorce among other issues confronting family life.
Edwin along with his wife Nimmy Marteena sharing their family experience said their mutual respect bonded them together to face the challenges of life happily. According to them, “when a couple begin to care for each other the journey of life becomes joyful and worth”.
Edwin from his experience as counselor, said, “the time has changed and the young couples want to lead an independent life, that too, with equal participation. If a man earns Rs 1 lakh, he believes that his wife too is capable of earning the same”.
“They believe in sharing their responsibilities. They are also more focused. Only when parents indulge in unwarranted interfere with their life things get worse and even lead to divorce”, he explains.
When it comes to divorce “I find only 20 per cent gets separated on account of their individual differences and the rest of the 80 per cent the root cause are parents”, he emphasized much to the surprise of bishops.
A single mother Ms Biju Cheriyath from Bangalore sharing her experience stressed the need for being focused and believing in oneself to lead a happy life in a society that looked down on single parent like her. She also said, “I always believe keeping myself away from negativity”.
The gathering of the bishops is focused on the theme of Amoris Laetitia (Promoting the Joy of Love in Our Families) according to Pope Francis call for revitalizing Catholic families.
The prelates listened testimonies from couples and single parent to identify the problems they face in their family life to help reshape the family apostolate to address them effectively on Wednesday, the second day.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Chairman of the CCBI Commission for families Bishop Lawrence Pius Dorairaj presented a report on the “Experience and challenges of family life” and highlighted the problems the families in India especially Catholics faces.
The prelates also welcomed suggestions from the couples to prepare the couples properly before entering into wed lock to lead a happy life.
“In many cases, newly-wed couples face innumerable problems to adjust with their new status and the Church leaders will ponder over how best it can help them in the days to come”, added the office bearers.
Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, the Secretary General, Synod of Bishops who came from Italy celebrated the Eucharist and prayed for the success of the gathering.
The prelate also briefly touched on the subject of parental responsibilities especially fathers in his homily.
According to him, parents should not always accept the demands of their children instead correct them if they are wrong and it was very essential for their proper upbringing.
“A father does not educate his children by always saying yes. It is sometimes necessary to say no to help the child grow and improve,” says the prelate.
The prelate also urged his fellow bishops, priests and other pastoral workers to create a renewed enthusiasm in family ministry to revitalize family life in India where more than 30 per cent live below poverty line.