Bishops to put Together Pastoral Plan for Marriage, Family Life Ministry

Prelates, including Bishop Thomas Daly of Spokane Washington, watch a video during the Nov. 12 centenary presentation in Baltimore for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The celebration was held on the eve of the bishops’ fall general assembly. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

BALTIMORE (CNS) – U.S. Catholic bishops acknowledged that Catholic families and married couples need more support from the church at large and hope to offer it by giving parishes plenty of resources through a pastoral plan for marriage and family life. A proposal for such a plan was introduced to the bishops on the second day of their annual fall assembly in Baltimore Nov. 14 and was approved by paper ballot with 232 votes in favor. The pastoral plan was described by Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, New York, a member of the bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, as a response to Pope Francis’ 2016 apostolic exhortation “Amoris Laetitia” (“The Joy of Love”). Bishop Malone, who introduced the idea to the bishops, was filling in for Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, the committee’s chairman, who was in Rome for preparatory meeting for the Synod of Bishops in 2018.