CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 13 October 2018

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Updated dicastery statutes promote feminine genius and role of women in Church

VATICAN CITY (CNS): “The dicastery works to deepen the reflection on the relationship between men and women in their respective specificity, reciprocity, complementarity and equal dignity,” say the new statutes of the Dicastery for Laity, the Family and Life.
 
They say that in “valuing the feminine ‘genius,’ (the dicastery) offers a contribution to ecclesial reflection on the identity and mission of women in the Church and in society, promoting their participation.”
 
Pope Francis approved the new statutes on an experimental basis and they are to go into force on May 13. They replace those issued in June 2016.
 
The new set eliminates a requirement for three separate sections—for laity, for family and for life—each presided over by an undersecretary. However, the new statutes say the office will have “at least two lay undersecretaries.”
 
The introduction indicates that, “in accordance with the principles of collegiality, synodality and subsidiarity,” the dicastery is to maintain relations with national bishops’ conferences, dioceses and other Church groups, and promote collaboration among them.
 
In response to Pope Francis’ call in Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love) to improve marriage preparation measures, the new statutes call for the dicastery to offer “guidelines for training programmes for engaged couples preparing for marriage and for young married couples.”
 
The statutes also give added responsibility for expressing “the pastoral care of the Church also in relation to so-called ‘irregular’ situations,” which include cohabiting couples and couples who are divorced and civilly remarried.
 
The new statues expand references to the office’s care for young people, promoting their involvement in the Church and advocating for their needs in society.
 
The dicastery, it says, “expresses the particular concern of the Church for the young, promoting their agency in the midst of the challenges of today’s world. It supports the initiatives of the Holy Father in the field of youth ministry and is at the service of the episcopal conferences, of international youth movements and associations, promoting their collaboration and organising meetings on an international level.”

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