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Rome: assembly focusses on lay support for married couples

 The 16th Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Family began yesterday in the Vatican on the theme "The Mission of Mature, Experienced Couples with Engaged and Young Married Couples." Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, council president, gave the opening address, followed by talks by the secretary and under-secretary. A communique released by the council notes that the theme was chosen "in order to promote a deeper study of the current situation of families, with special reference to the contribution that so many domestic hearths, who fully live the reality of marriage according to the Word of God and the teachings of the Church, can offer engaged and young married couples, to accompany them on the path of preparation for marriage and then in the first years of married and family life." Those working in the pastoral ministry for families, and members of families themselves who "have at heart a successful marriage," says the communique, can be close to newlyweds, "offering discreet, wise and valid help not only to their married children but also to their grandchildren Grandparents, with their wisdom and affection, can be resources in the inevitable difficulties in the lives of young families. These mature couples, who are rich in human and Christian experience, are precious because they can witness with their own lives and apostolate to the beauty and happiness of family life, when lived according to God's plan." According to the program, the topics to be discussed include: Tenderness in Marriage (young couples); The Couple's Stability, Problems Due to Lack of Understanding; Family and Procreation; Sex Education and Challenges for Young Families, Presentation of the Fifth World Meeting of Families, in Valencia, Spain 2006; Juridical Problems Regarding Life and the Family, and Panorama of Problems Regarding the Family and Life in the UN and International Policies. Source: VIS