"We often blame the 'world,' but rarely do we ask ourselves whether we, as a Church, have been able to teach the beauty of the reality of the couple and of sexuality." These are the words of Fr. Renzo Bonetti, president of the Foundation "Famiglia Dono Grande" and consultant to the Pontifical Council for the Family.
According to the statistics, since 1963 we have lost approximately 6,000 religious marriages each year, and if we go on like this in about 15 years there will no longer be any religious marriages at all. Yet, says Fr. Bonetti in an interview with La Bussola quotidiana, "in 1975, the Italian Bishops published a document in which they proposed a major revision of the courses of marriage preparation and pointed to the sacrament as a source of beauty, sanctification and pastoral commitment. While this was an important point in time, we must unfortunately note that today, 40 years later, these courses are more or less the same. Perhaps we did not go through them and penetrate into the depths of those perceptions. Maybe this is because we were too busy with other things. However, the consequence is that we have not been able to put the family in the center; and, now that we are being deprived of it, we realize that we cannot allow this to happen, because without the family we cannot understand the Church," says Fr. Bonetti, one of the signatories of the "Commitment to marriage", the letter addressed by a number of personalities from various countries to the Synod Fathers before last October's Synod.
"Of the nine points listed in that letter—he recalled—I consider vital for the future the one concerning the formation of priests, not only in reference to the homilies, but also to the way they live alongside to married couples. We need priests who serve as spiritual guides for couples, who prepare and accompany the engaged couples to the sacrament. We need priests who know that their own sacrament is not a 'solitary' one for the Church and for the world, but a sacrament that should be lived in communion with another sacrament, that of marriage."