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Title: The Pastoral value of the prenuptial inquiry
Authors: Gatt, Alfred (2012)
Keywords: Pastoral care -- Catholic Church -- Malta
Marriage (Canon law)
Impediments to marriage
Marriage counseling
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: The focus of this research is in the investigation of the pastoral value inherent in the prenuptial inquiry, which is the inquiry required by Canon Law for admitting couples to a Catholic marriage. The prenuptial inquiry was called 'a unique pastoral event' by Pope Benedict XVI when he addressed the members of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota in January 2011. Such a study is important in order to understand why this inquiry has such a pastoral value, how it is being conducted by the parish priests, and whether it is serving its pastoral purpose for future married couples. The research approach adopted to obtain an objective picture of the real situation includes two parts, theoretical and practical, both complementing each other. The first part deals with literature on the present state of marriage in Malta and abroad, and on marriage preparation programmes, all vital resources for the study. Despite the lack of material on the prenuptial inquiry itself, relevant information was obtained through the second part of the research approach from persons directly involved by means of questionnaires, interviews and discussions. The findings from this research show that the parish priests are conscious of the pastoral value of the prenuptial inquiry, whereas a sized percentage of couples could see no purpose in it. The main conclusion drawn from this study is that although one should not underestimate the importance of the prenuptial inquiry, one has to keep in mind that this is only a tool in that, ultimately, the responsibility to validly commit themselves in the sacrament of matrimony is on the couples' shoulders. This dissertation, however, recommends that the pastoral value inherent in the prenuptial inquiry is utilised to the full.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacThe - 2012

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