Page 4, 26th February 1993

26th February 1993
Page 4
Page 4, 26th February 1993 — world

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THE PR Co-ordinator of the Catholic Marriage Advisory Council (CMAC) writes that "in an ideal world the sacrament of marriage is a lifelong commitment", (Catholic Herald, 12 February).

That is neither the teaching of Christ nor that of His Church. The sacraments were instituted in and for a much less than "ideal world".

In an ideal world there would be no need for the words "For richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health".

Nor, indeed, for the ultimate promise "until death do us part".

Ms Harrison tells us that it is not the counsellor's role to advise, but rather to help couples "to understand themselves and their problems and to find ways of coping appropriate to their lifestyle and beliefs".

Often, however, their problems will be the result of a wrongful lifestyle or mistaken beliefs. More of the same becomes a vicious circle: a marital breakup becomes inevitable.

If the couple come to the counsellor seeking help to mend their marriages then, surely, they are seeking advice as how best to "make a firm purpose of amendment" and asking for guide-lines?

Can the Catholic counsellor refuse them?

We have no more right to do that than does the lawyer, the doctor, or the priest in the confessional.

Jeanette Gifford Blackburn

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