It has been reported that when commenting on the Pope’s reform of the Church process dealing with marriage annulments, Archbishop Charles Scicluna declared that the Malta Church spends €360,000 a year funding the ecclesiastical marriage tribunal.
The archbishop is quoted also as saying: “This is about giving a service to people going through the very difficult experience of marriage breakdown. Justice needs to be done and they have the right to a timely response.”
The Church (and also the government, for that matter) should spend much more on expanding the services of family therapy, marriage counselling, marriage reconciliation and other related services to assist couples and families in distress and prevent marriage breakdowns as the first priority. It pays.
Newly-ordained priests should also come out of the seminary ready trained and professionally-qualified in family therapy, marriage counselling and marriage reconciliation services.
It is known that the Cana Movement, a Church organisation, has been providing these services by lay professionals for many years but on a limited scale because of lack of funds.
The Catholic Action’s Social Assistance Secretariat, another Church organisation, has also been clamouring for the expansion of these Church services.
The Church should act fast because the rate of marriage breakdown is increasing.
Here also justice needs to be done. Couples and families in distress have the right to a timely response to consolidate, mend and save their marriages.
The State should do the same. All this in the interest of thecommon good and the benefit of Maltese society.