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Archbishop urges couples to take pre-marriage education option

Adelaide's Archbishop Leonard Faulkner has strongly encouraged engaged couples to take up pre-marriage education, although the program is not mandatory.

A new policy approved at last week's meeting of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference reinforces both the Catholic understanding of marriage and the practical experience of marriage, covering areas such as conflict resolution, sexual intimacy and household budgeting.

Archbishop Faulkner, who is chairman of the Bishops' Committee for Family and for Life, said that while the church already had a strong emphasis on pre-marriage education, the Bishops had wanted to reinforce their support for marriage preparation and the important role it played in the Sacrament of Marriage.

"We like engaged couples to know the crucially central and important role God should be playing in their marriage," he said. "We also like to help them with practicalities such as conflict resolution, sexual intimacy and budgeting for the household."

"The other beauty of these programs is that they spark a dialogue between the Church and the newly married couple and we hope they will always feel comfortable in coming to us once they are married to share their joys, hopes and frustrations."

The text of the policy is available on the website of Catholic Communications (SA)