The Catholic Bishops' Conference of India is calling on dioceses to offer courses to help families. In-Laws intrusiveness is among the first causes of divorce. Feeling alone, elderly parents try to build extended families in search of company.
Mumbai (AsiaNews) – The Commission for the family of the Diocese of Sindhudurg, Maharashtra, has a programme to organise meetings to provide advice on how parents can be present in a non-invasive way in the life of their married children, provide them with support in their faith and in their life as a couple as well as in the education of the latter’s children.
Such seminars are held every four months under family ministry director Fr Alex D’Mello. The latest was held last Thursday at the Navsarni Kendra, a spiritual centre in Sawantwadi, with about 35 people in attendance from across the diocese, one of the first in India to realise the value of catechesis for the parents of married couples.
The initiative, the clergyman noted, is the brainchild of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (Latin Rite), following discussions over the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia of Pope Francis.
The goal is to work on one of the first causes of divorce: family interference in the lives of married couples.
Fr D’Mello told AsiaNews that “the Diocese of Sindhudurg is the first to have made the course compulsory. We are a missionary diocese and our people face many challenges.”
Kosu Bardeskar, one of the people present at the recent meeting, said that it was "provocative but at the same time important for building the family.”
For Arkangle and Julie D’Souza, “catechesis is fundamental because new challenges are emerging in the life of couples”.
“In our diocese,” noted Fr Alex, “many husbands work abroad, so the responsibility to run the family falls on wives. There are many single mothers, men with a drinking problem, children who need to be heard. There is no work, just poverty; communication between parents and children is non-existent. Media have a great influence but there is little interest in spiritual growth.”
At the same time, “elderly parents feel abandoned and sometimes put pressure on their children to keep them company. They try to create extended families. These are the challenges that must be faced.”