ZIMBABWE: Bishops Release Pastoral Letter on Family

HARARE, NOVEMBER 1, 2016 (CISA) – The Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ZCBC) released a Pastoral letter on October 30, aimed at “promoting, protecting, supporting and strengthening marriage and family values.”

The 18 page pastoral letter titled, ‘The Family in Zimbabwe in the light of Amoris Laetitia’ is a reflection of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, ‘Amoris Laetitia’ – On the Joy of Love in the family, released on April 2016 and is addressed to all Zimbabwean families.

“The message which we as Bishops of Zimbabwe wish to convey is meant to cheer and encourage, fill with hope, to give praise, understanding and support to all married couples and families,” read the pastoral letter.

The Bishops’ letter addresses on faith and marriage where marriage instructors are advised to try and revive the faith of young bridegrooms or brides by inviting them to meet and encounter Jesus personally.

The letter also addresses issues of child protection, individualism, and human dignity, family at a time of social and political tensions and economic failure as well as poverty.

The Bishops add, “There is no free option. Men and women should be happy about their complementarity, helping each other with their various gifts.”

The letter also urged families to educate young people about how to relate to their own bodies and how to behave towards persons of the other sex.

The letter further emphasized that Christian marriage is based on the completely unselfish, self-giving love of Christ and a preparation for Holy matrimony.

The other section covered on the document is on sexuality integrated into humanity.
“God created a man for a woman and woman for man,” hence “same-sex unions are not part of the creator’s design,” concluded the Bishops.

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