The parish of marriage in the Diocese of Cologne has a wide range of offers

DOMRADIO.DE: What does an offer of pastoral work for marriage look like in the Diocese of Cologne? Are these courses or how do you imagine it?

Dr. Burkhard Knipping (Pastoral Counselor for Relations and Marriage in the Diocese of Cologne): This offer is very diverse, it can be courses, individual days, weeks or several study evenings. This can be face to face, but it can also happen online. Depending on how the person and the responsible person set it up.

DOMRADIO.DE: What was discussed? For example, if you have communication problems in a relationship, what can a pastoral marriage offer?

flickering: For communication difficulties, we have developed special courses offered by specialists. This is done through Marriage, Family and Life Counseling Centers, which offer an impressive range of offers there.

If you participate, you usually have to set aside two weekends to go with your partner. They both then learn how to start a good conversation in difficult situations, so that they understand each other well.

DOMRADIO.DE: Apart from communication problems and stress in daily life, what other topics and situations are discussed there?

flickering: The offers are very wide. There are all kinds of topics. In particular, the issue of faith is, of course, a very important topic for spouses.

You can participate in hiking retreats or displays of spirituality and questions of faith. There are one-on-one conversations in parishes and communities or spiritual days or Bible evenings that I go to with my partner, where I meet other couples and exchange ideas.

Or I meet couples in an open group and we exchange ideas about the status of spouses, love, difficulties or even about the strength that faith gives us.

DOMRADIO.DE: How can the church provide specific answers?

flickering: Our big topic is definitely love in its various forms. Encouragement “Love as a couple!” We can give, so to speak, in a special form of charity, to look to our partner so that we can live well with him or her and be able to meet and cope well with the common obligations and tasks of everyday life.

DOMRADIO.DE: There is no such thing as divorce in the Catholic Church. When someone marries in the church, the marriage remains united before God for life. How do the pastoral couple deal with this?

burlap: There are services, for example, in which the pain of separation is brought before God through prayer, meditation, and suggestions, so that one can also feel comfortable before God in his position with others who have had to separate or separate. This is an option.

We also have another breakup when we suddenly lose a partner through death. We also have offers for this in the Diocese of Cologne.

DOMRADIO.DE: There are also people who continue their education in the conjugal parish so that they can maintain this offer, and others who are already doing so and gain new knowledge and motivation through the qualification offers of the diocese. Who makes these offers?

burlap: Our primary concern is recruiting spouses who volunteer, whether it’s as a married couple or as a spouse without a wife because he or she doesn’t like or doesn’t. You can get qualification from us with the background from which you can get involved with other couples.

This is wonderful, if I come from the life of spouses, marriage, from love and partnership, so to speak, and knowledge of everyday life, all the problems, worries and beautiful things, then I am very close to spouses. m with something to do. I am there for them and I can support and accompany them and may also be a role model for them.

DOMRADIO.DE: What do you need to bring with you if you want to take advantage of this qualification offer and participate?

flickering: As human beings, we want people, couples, who are open to other spouses, who bring great humanity, empathy for others, goodwill too, and who can look at their own relationship, marriage, and partnership in a very reflective way and do so.

Otherwise, we don’t want any prior technical knowledge, just the desire to think and learn. This is very important, otherwise I wouldn’t broaden my horizons and wouldn’t be able to mentor other couples or say anything motivating.

We want them to commit themselves by faith and then engage in community, parish or educational work in cooperation with the concerned parish and make offerings to the husbands.

We welcome anyone who has experience in catechesis or evangelism.

DOMRADIO.DE: What exactly do you learn and how do you do it?

flickering: Courses are offered in completely different ways, either in online evenings or as days where we meet those who are already offering something to other couples and then discuss things professionally and give them opportunities to think. The qualifications we still offer this semester revolve around communication, conversation, sacrament, love, faith as a couple, reconciliation or crisis conversations as well as spirituality. All this can be obtained as additional training and qualification, so to speak.

DOMRADIO.DE: There is also a sustainable wedding in between the shows. what is all of this?

flickering: We have many volunteers who hold preparatory courses or seminars for the newlyweds. When it comes to the question of how to design a wedding, the motto of “fair marriage” is all about the environmental aspects when planning a wedding.

This is a proposal we want to pass on. The bride and groom don’t have to do this. But it can be talked about and then our speakers must be appropriate for it.

DOMRADIO.DE: Why is it important for the diocese to be available to couples and make offerings to them when things are not going well?

flickering: We talk a lot about love. We live on love. We only know it and testify to it. We talk about marriage and we have desires and demands for marriage and the sacrament of marriage. We want good parenting and couples participating in society.

These allegations and these words must be translated into action. It’s great to have volunteer husbands who are married to other couples.

DOMRADIO.DE: Where can I register if I want to take advantage of these offers?

flickering: The best way is via the website of the Archdiocese of Cologne.

Interviewed by Michelle Ollon.

The spouses understand their marriage as a sacramental pact – as a holistic life community, which in its indissolubility reflects the indissoluble fidelity of divine love.

They understand the bond of their marriage and their marital fidelity in connection with the promise – finally revealed in Jesus – that God is present in the concrete reality of life and fully desires to remain faithful to people.

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