Marriage and Family Life

Marriage and family life are extremely important to Catholics. The Church has a long tradition of recognising the importance of healthy marriage and family life to the wellbeing of individuals, neighbourhoods and to the Church itself. As Pope John Paul II wrote in 1981 and said in York in 1982, "the future of humanity passes by way of the family".

In England and Wales the Catholic Church has increasingly invested in recent years in the pastoral care of marriage and family life. This has included listening to families, supporting the growth of family-friendly parishes, raising awareness of family spirituality, clarifying the role and needs of families in passing on faith in God and building capacity for family ministry within dioceses.

“No one is without a family in this world: the Church is a home and family for everyone, especially those who ‘labour and are heavy laden’.” Apostolic Exhortation on the Christian Family in the Modern World # 85

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This subject belongs to the Department of Christian Responsibility and Citizenship. Click for our full 'Marriage and Family Life' section.


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