Results of the Consultation in Kenya on the 46 Questions in the Lineamenta (guidelines) on The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and Contemporary World



Dear People of God in Kenya,

Peace to you all!

We invite you to participate in a very important “discernment process” in identifying the challenges and finding the pastoral solutions to family and marriage in Kenya today.

For two years, the Catholic Church in Kenya has been involved in what Pope Francis calls an ongoing synodal process and journey. He states: “May we all then pray together so that through these events the Catholic Church will undertake a true journey of discernment and adopt the necessary pastoral means to help families face their present challenges with the light and strength that comes from the Gospel.”

Most recently the Kenyan Bishops sent to Rome on 15 April, 2015 a 37-page document called Results of the Consultation in Kenya on the 46 Questions in the Lineamenta on The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and Contemporary World. The opening words state: “The Local Church in Kenya, and in particular the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB), is happy to share its pastoral experiences of family and marriage in Kenya with the Catholic Church worldwide.”

We coordinated a long and in-depth consultation and the answers to all the 46 questions were compiled from many sources: Catholic dioceses and parishes, Commissions and National Offices at KCCB, academic institutions, lay movements, other ecclesial associations especially of married couples and Small Christian Communities

(SCCs). For example, Nakuru Diocese produced a report of 25 pages.

Kenyan lay people were eager to discuss the challenges and pastoral solutions for cohabitation (called “come we stay”), high dowry payment (one of the main reasons why 60% of the Catholic couples in Nairobi Archdiocese have not sacramentalized their marriages and so cannot receive the Holy Eucharist), how to communicate with the young generation (especially the Generation Youth of 18-22 year olds) and better parenting. A key insight is that lay people are saying, “We are the church, family and marriage are our responsibilities.”

The compilation of the responses was done by an eight member team and another team of ten edited the final draft coordinated by the KCCB National Family Life Programme.

Both teams tried to respond to Pope Francis’ call, “be bold and creative” in finding new pastoral solutions (“think outside the box”).

By 15 July, 2015 the Synod of Bishops Office in Rome will produce the Instrumentum Laboris (Latin for “Working Document”) for the next synodal assembly to take place in Rome from 4-25 October, 2015. The two delegates from Kenya to this Fourteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops are Cardinal
John Njue, the Archbishop of Nairobi and Chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) and Bishop James Maria Wainaina the Bishop of Muranga Diocese. Hopefully a Kenyan married couple will also be chosen to participate in the synod.

Due to the positive response to our answers from Kenya, we decided to edit this document and print it in the user- friendly booklet form that you are now reading: Family

and Marriage in Kenya Today: Pastoral Guidelines for a Process of Discussion and Action. We hope that you will pray over these answers, reflect on them and discuss them in various meetings coordinated by our Family Life Offices, in small groups involved in family and marriage ministry and in 45,000 SCCs in Kenya. Pope Francis urges us to find concrete, practical, pastoral solutions for our local African reality.

As part of our ongoing pastoral process, the Family Life National Office will collate your comments, reflections and pastoral solutions and give them to the Kenyan delegates before they go to Rome in October, 2015.

Please visit the Family Life National Office Page on the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) Website ( The goal of the Family Life National Office is to promote responsible parenthood and is mandated by the bishops to handle all family related groups and associations. The page has a special section called “Family and Marriage in Kenya” that includes:

Relatio Synodi (Report of the Synod) of the Third Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops: “The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization” (5-19 October 2014). This document is being used as the Lineamenta (“Guidelines”) for the Fourteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in Rome from 4-25 October, 2015 and contains 46 questions.

Results of the Consultation in Kenya on the 46 Questions in the Lineamenta on The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and Contemporary World. Kenya and the Survey for the Synod on the Family

Catholic Justice and Peace Commission, Build Our Family and Nation with Dignity: Today’s Seeds, Tomorrow’s Harvest, Kenya Lenten Campaign, 2015. See especially Week Three on “Family and Social Morality” with the question: “What can we do as family or Small Christian Community to promote Christian values in our families?”

Family and Marriage in Kenya Today: Pastoral Guidelines for a Process of Discussion and Action.


May the Holy Spirit guide our whole discernment process.

Sincerely in Christ,

Rt. Rev. Bishop Salesius Mugambi

Chairman of the National Family Life Programme

Results of the Consultation in Kenya on the 46 Questions in the Lineamenta (guidelines) on The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and Contemporary World


The Catholic Church in Kenya, through the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB), is happy to share its pastoral experiences on the vocation and mission of
the family and marriage in the Church and Contemporary World.

In response to Pope Francis’ call: “be bold and creative, think outside the box” in finding new pastoral solution, the local Church in Kenya carried out an in-depth consultation from Parishes, Small Christian Communities (SCCs), lay movements and other ecclesial associations across the country. Feedback was also sought from commissions and National offices at KCCB including academic institutions. The following responses to the 46 questions were compiled.

Preliminary Question:


Does the description of the various familial situations in the Relatio Synodi correspond to what exists in the Church and society today? What missing aspects should be included?

After an in-depth review of the Relatio Synodi, the respondents identified the following as some of the missing aspects:

  1. Children are seen as the objects and receivers of pastoral and missionary care, yet they can also be the subjects of promoting family relationships and family life, active participants in Church life (for example, the liturgy) and agents of evangelization (PMC).
  2. The context on traditional marriage and practices (traditional family, community values, rites of passage and communal spirit).
  3. HIV/AIDS in relation to family and marriage.
  4. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
  5. Child-headed households.
  6. The influence of witchcraft and superstition on the African families.
  7. Euthanasia.
  8. The importance of Small Christian Communities (SCCs) in promoting family and marriage ministry.
  9. Good and responsible parenting.


Q. 1. Challenges of the family in our context:

What initiatives are taking place and what are those planned in relation to the challenges these cultural changes pose to the family (cf. ns. 6 – 7):  which initiatives are geared to reawaken an awareness of God’s presence in family life; to teaching and establishing sound interpersonal relationships; to fostering social and economic policies useful to the family; to alleviating difficulties associated with attention given to children, the elderly and family members who are ill; and to addressing more specific cultural factors present in the local Church?

a) Challenges of the family in our context include:
1. Arranged marriages.
2. Negative effects of polygamy (Polygamy hinders monogamy in relation to Matrimony as a Sacrament).
3. Loneliness brought about by absentee spouses.
4. Early marriage.
5. Street families.
6. Migration due to many factors like war.
7. Unemployment (many young people completing studies with no employment opportunities available for them).
8. Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are giving offers on artificial family planning methods which have negative effects.
9. The rapid growth of Evangelical churches and sects has drawn a number of Catholics from our Church.
10. Cohabitation (popularly called “come we stay”) with no intention of legally binding relations.
11. Mpango Wa Kando (Swahili meaning for a side relationship, concurrent partnership, a “jump-off”, a casual sexual partner or an extramarital partner.
12. Practicing Catholics are fewer compared to numerical Catholics.
13. In interreligious marriages, some children are not allowed to practice the Catholic faith. This has led to disintegration of families.
14. Single parent families.
15. Divorce and separation especially among the young couples.
16. Drug abuse and alcoholism.
17. Physical violence.
18. Conflict over family resources.

19. Child Labour.
20. Sexual exploitation and abuse.
21. Some marriage laws in Kenyan contradict the Catholic Church teaching on marriage and the family.

b) The initiatives taking place include:
1. Strengthening the Family Life Programme in the Arc/dioceses.
2. Establishing community development programmes that address the vulnerable groups so as to promote and defend their dignity.
3. Continuous catechesis on the dignity of marriage and family life through print and electronic media, seminars to various groups and associations of the Church.
4. Introduction of family data in the Parishes.
5. Encouraging family members to be living witnesses to each other in the society.
6. Presence of working tribunal in the metropolitans and dioceses to handle marriage issues.
7. Taking care of street children- through children’s welfare programme.
8. Liaison committee developing child protection policies.
9. Counseling programmes for the separated couples at the parish levels.
10. Roll out of Income generating projects at different levels.
11. Taking care of the aged and sick by Small Christian Communities (SCCs) and church-run homes.
12. Help from mission hospitals and institutions.
13. Ongoing formation; (as encouraged by Vatican council II) with preference in counseling, family life and social ministries.
14. Thorough preparation of young adults planning to wed.

Q. 2. Analytical tools


What analytical tools are currently being used in these times of
anthropological and cultural changes; what are the more significant positive
or negative results? (cf. n. 5)

a) Conducting a census in a particular area.

Significant positive results are:

1. The two methods of the Pastoral Cycle have been used effectively, they are:
– The four steps of Insertion, Social Analysis, Theological and Refection
– The three Pastoral Action of See, Judge and Act.
2. Better estimation of the population (demographics, economic status, number of households.
3. Equitable distribution of resources.
4. Youth empowerment.
5. Ongoing catechesis.

Significant negative results are:

1. Unfavorable government policies targeting the family unit, e.g. ontraceptives leading to family disintegration.
2. Use of demographic information for negative political ambitions, e.g. division of political boundaries, negative ethnicity, etc.
b) Enactment of laws

Significant positive results are:

1. Progressive laws that protect the vulnerable, Women, Children and the Youth
e.g. Children’s Act.
2. Laws seeking to address social ills such as drugs and alcohol.

Significant negative results

1. Some laws are negative to the family institution, e.g. proposed bills to
legalize abortion, same sex marriage.
2. Irresponsible use of social media, the internet, podcast, website and

Q. 3. Church’s presence in extreme situations


Beyond proclaiming God’s Word and pointing out extreme situations, how
does the Church choose to be present “as Church” and to draw near
families in extreme situations? (cf. n. 8).

a) The church makes its presence felt in extreme situations by/through:

1. Sensitizing the people on the dangers of negative laws and conflicts to the
family unit, etc.
2. The Church coming out very strongly to defend the family values.

3. Stressing the ministry of reconciliation and encouraging the people to
frequent the Sacrament of reconciliation.
4. Spiritual and corporal works of mercy.
5. Provision of material assistance for special cases.

b) Church’s initiative in seeking to prevent these situations is through:

1. The use of electronic and print media to point out the extreme situations to
the public, e.g. pastoral letters, press releases, etc.
2. Continuous sensitization/training of people to highlight the dangers posed to
the families.
3. Sound formation of young people preparing for marriage.
4. Participation in Bible apostolate.
5. Catholic Charismatic Renewal.
6. Taking care of family members in different groups (CMA, CWA, PMS, PMC,
Youth, etc.)
7. Apostolate of religious.
8. Caring for commercial sex workers and destitute children
9. Table banking and self-help groups.
10. Interdenominational meetings (Ecumenism).
11. Bible translation to local languages support.
c) What to do to support and strengthen families of believers and those
faithful to the bond of marriage:
1. Encourage church movements that promote family life, e.g. Marriage
Encounter, Couples for Christ, The Faithful House, and Education for Life
2. Emphasis on the dignity of marriage as a Sacrament.
3. Formation of Small Christian Communities, fellowships, symposia on marriage,

Q. 4. Church’s pastoral response


How does the Church respond, in her pastoral activity, to the diffusion of
cultural relativism in secularized society and to the consequent rejection, on
the part of many, of the model of family formed by a man and woman
united in the marriage and open to life?

1. Cultural relativism refers to the notion that everything is measured
according to one’s cultural inclinations. These inclinations are repugnant to
the universal Christian doctrine.
2. The church responds by emphasizing the universal Christian culture
(doctrine) which should be the mirror of all cultures. The church reaffirms
the truth as revealed in the Sacred Scripture, affirmed by the Sacred
Traditions and taught by the Magisterium.
3. The Church teaches that marriage should be between man and woman and
that marriage is not a mere contract of time but a covenant forever. The
church upholds love as core virtue to marriage that God is Love, and in Love
he lives a mystery of personal loving communion. Children are gift from God
which comes as a results of sharing this Love.
4. She responds by stressing God’s Plan for the family unit and its role in
creation and salvation.
5. By doing this, she illuminates the truth that other “alternatives” fall short of
God’s plan and are contrary to it.
6. Monogamy introduced as novelty to polygamous marriage.
7. Fighting artificial birth control methods and teaching/promoting Natural
Family Planning.
8. Fighting/Taking measures in condemning any other union which is not divinely
9. Bishops speaking out on family issues.

Q. 5. Importance of Affectivity in Life


a). How do Christian families bear witness, for succeeding generations, to
the development and growth of a life of sentiment? (cf. ns. 9 – 10

1. Instilling discipline and knowledge that human freedom is not absolute, but
has limitations. All this is for the common good of the society.
2. Living the Gospel of the family by gathering for the sacred scripture and
Church teaching and doing so joyfully is the best testimony.
3. By living faithful to marriage, the Christian families evangelize the virtue of
4. The Church has allowed several movements e.g. Pro-life, Family Life,
Marriage Encounter, The Faithful House, to reinforce and bear witness to
Christian and oppose vices that oppose the dignity of chaste marriages and
full commitment in marriage.

b) In this regard, how might the formation of ordained ministers be

1. Revisit what is taught in the formation houses by giving more attention to
family life for ordained ministers.
2. Taking them for professional training in counseling, communication skills and
legal matters,
3. Ordained ministers need to demonstrate clearly when helping the laity to
bear witness in their formation. They should be made to realize that they
are not just guides or guardians but are an integral part of the process.
4. Adequate orientation sessions aimed at preparing the ordained ministers to
address the current challenges facing the family/marriage.
5. Employing a dynamic pastoral approach to marriage.

c) What qualified persons are urgently needed in this pastoral activity?

1. Well catechized couples who have experience in marriage and are living
2. Agents of evangelization, e.g. catechists, priests/pastors and Small Christian
Community animators.
3. Professional marriage counselors.
4. Psychologists and other agents of change.
5. Social pastoral workers
6. Trained Personnel in Natural Family Planning.
7. Teachers for family life education programmes.
8. Children welfare officers.

Q. 6. Pastoral Challenges


a). To what extent and by what means is the ordinary pastoral care of
families addressed to those on the periphery? (cf. n. 11).

1. Not to a large extent (Adequate Catechesis, material assistance, counselling
is required).
2. Integrating pastoral and spiritual care into the programming activities
targeting the people on the periphery, e.g. the divorced, separated and the
widowed just as Jesus did out of love and mercy.

b) What are the operational guidelines available to foster and appreciate
the “desire to form a family” planted by the Creator in the heart of every
person, especially among young people, including those in family situations
which do not correspond to the Christian vision?

1. Often the Local Church of Kenya forms supportive groups to cater for the
people’s special needs e.g. in the Small Christian Communities. In the same
breath, retroactive validation of marriage is a supportive means to persons
wishing to enter into a fuller communion with the church.
2. Teaching them quality family life.
3. Use of couple’s power among parishes. Sensitizing youth groups through
inviting successful couples to talk to them.
4. Provide guidance and accompaniment to the couples after marriage.
5. Proper formation of unmarried people planning to marry. Identification and if
possible removal of impediments to receiving the sacrament of Matrimony
e.g. demand of too much dowry and high cost weddings

c) How do they respond to the Church’s efforts in her mission to them?

1. The response is very positive and they become very active and committed to
the mission of the church.
2. They solemnize unions in the Church after proper formation and removal of

d). How prevalent is natural marriage among the non-baptized, also in
relation to the desire to form a family among the young?

1. Natural marriage, is a common phenomenon within our cultural set up among
the non-baptized and the young. In light of the modern life, this has had
challenges due to the influence of the western culture and the cohabitation
2. Proper formation of unmarried people planning to marry. Identification and if
possible removal of impediments to receiving the sacrament of matrimony.
3. Some are converted, others need time to adjust and re-orient themselves to
God’s plan, still others reject God’s plan.
4. Traditional marriage is prevalent among the non-baptized. The desire to
form a family among the young is strong.


Q. 7. Jesus and the Divine Pedagogy in the history of salvation


a) A fixed gaze on Christ opens up new possibilities. “Indeed, every time we
return to the source of the Christian experience, new paths and undreamed
of possibilities open up” (n. 12). How is the teaching from Sacred Scripture
utilized in pastoral activity on behalf of families?

1. The pastoral activities borrow heavily from the sacred scriptures to
catechize the families and attend to them. In Kenya the Catholic Church has
45,000 Small Christian Communities (SCCs). A Small Christian Community is a
communion of families in the neighborhood. Many are lectionary- based faith
sharing groups. On a weekly basis these SCCs read the Gospel of the
following Sunday and connect Jesus’ teaching to their everyday life.
2. The teachings from Sacred Scripture are an integral part of catechesis,
pastoral activity by clergy, religious life and even the laity must have as
their reference the three sources of Divine Revelation, the first of which is
the sacred scripture (Illumination of Truth).
3. When preparing couples for marriage they are given references from the
sacred scriptures to study and reflect on.
4. Scripture is used in parishes when Marriage Encounter Programme, CWA,
CMA, Charismatic renewal, PMS, PMC, youth and other church groups meet.

b) To what extent does “fixing our gaze on Christ” nourish a pastoral care
of the family which is courageous and faithful?

1. Fixing our gaze on Christ compels us to provide pastoral care to families,
with love, compassion, and tenderness. Following the guidelines of Pope
Francis on The Joy of the Gospel, the Catholic Church in Kenya reaches out
to the needy such as People Living with HIV/AIDS, the elderly, Orphans,
IDPs (Internally Displaced People), refugees, abandoned babies and child-
headed families.
2. Fixing our gaze on Christ we desire to do God’s will always, just like Jesus
without compromise whatever the cost.
3. In all these activities Christ is the focal point.
4. Families are constantly reminded to imitate the model family of Jesus, Mary
and Joseph, and the life of the Saints
5. The SCCs are domestic churches and through them the Christians and the
families are strengthened to be courageous and faithful.

Q. 8. Marriage and family values


a) What marriage and family values can be seen to be realized in the life
of young people and married couples?
1. Faith in God and the institution of marriage, mutual union/communion, and
commitment fostering the civilization of Love and Life.
2. Respect and understanding one another, self-control, hospitality, self-giving,
perseverance faithful to themselves and building the culture of Love.

b) What form do they take?

When one marries, it’s no longer me but us, evangelizing the families through
forgiveness, reconciliation, lasting union, true witness, and love. Mutual
Dialogue in the families, Openness to life, ongoing formation, Enculturating
Christian existence theology, liturgy customs and structures, self-
propagating, self-reliant and self-sufficient families.

c) Are there values which can be highlighted?
1. Faith and commitment
2. Love, joy, unity and companionship
3. Compassion, forgiveness, sharing (duties in the home, love, joy and
sorrows) and coming together to solve problems
d) What sinful aspects are to be avoided and overcome?

Population exploitation, alarming movement, contraceptive mentality,
irresponsible parenting, sexual exploitation, negative influence of mass
media, marital rape, use of love potion, cohabitation, failure of praying
together, abandoning sacramental life, unemployment, child abuse, domestic
violence, violent conflict, dis-integration of African family values, negative
effects of globalization, ecological degradation, lack of effective
communication, infidelity and promiscuity among young people.

Q. 9. Human pedagogy


What human pedagogy needs to be taken into account; in keeping with divine
pedagogy — so as better to understand what is required in the Church’s
pastoral activity in light of the maturation of a couple’s life together which
would lead to marriage in the future?

1. The application of the golden rule as a human pedagogy, becomes a paradigm
of understanding the word of God by building confidence, familiarity and
dignity of human person, created in the image of God, committed to
intellectual and spiritual formation and destined to eternal union with God.
2. The sacred scripture reviews Christ in human understanding. Tradition
expounds who Jesus is in its traditional symbols and as present today.
3. Marriage as a union put together by God. It is indissoluble. It is also a
covenant. Marriage is a sacrament given by the couple. It is easily said but
not easily lived. What God has put together no man should put asunder …
4. The Love and consent which is put together by the marrying couple should be
continued, nurtured and renewed. With active participation in the
sacramental life and keeping the commandments.
5. Forgiveness and reconciliation should be emphasized to the newly married
6. Mental, Physical, Professional and Psychological developments, (maturation
into a responsible adulthood).

Q. 10. Indissolubility of marriage


What is being done to demonstrate the greatness and beauty of the gift of
indissolubility so as to prompt a desire to live it and strengthen it more and

1. From an African cultural set up, the institutions of marriage and family are
jealously safeguarded by the community. Christianity teaches and encourages
unconditional love, respect, forgiveness, peace and reconciliation, drawing
strength from the Eucharist, individual and family prayer.
2. Celebrating marriage in a Christian way reaffirms the indissolubility of a
marriage union between a man and a woman.
3. Catechesis on the sacrament of marriage and seminars/workshops to those
preparing to marry
4. Ongoing formation to the married. Through family life groups such as
Marriage Encounter, Couples for Christ, The Faithful House, continuous
Family Life Education, Retrouvaille movement (that tries to bring hurting
couples together}.
5. Participation of couples in parish marriage programs.
6. Christ is the Centre and therefore Christians are taught and advised to
follow His teachings.

Q. 11. Inherent weaknesses in marital relations


a) How can people be helped to understand that a relationship with God can
assist couples in overcoming the inherent weaknesses in marital relations?

1. Reading the Gospel periscopes, stories and parables, helps couples to
understand their weaknesses and how they can work on them in relation to
Gospel stories.
2. Our relationship with God is pegged on our good relationship with fellow
human beings and especially between spouses.
3. Deepening the understanding of pastoral activities which build these
4. Encouraging couples to study the Holy Scripture to understand God better
and encounter Him.
5. Helping people to understand that marriage is a covenant between three
people God, woman and man when one is removed then the contract ceases to
6. Emphasizing on the presence of Christ in the family.
7. Encouraging families to put God first. (Come to me all you who labour and are
burdened and I will give you rest) Matthew 11:28-30.

b) How do people bear witness to the fact that divine blessings accompany
every true marriage?
1. Christians give testimonies about the blessings of God including divine
2. Drawing inspiration from saints (Monica and Augustine, Hannah and Elkanah,
Zachariah and Elizabeth, Abraham and Sarah).
3. It is reflected in their way of living.
4. By actively participating in God’s work, practicing in sharing and living
according to the word of God.
5. By being open to life.
6. Accepting to solemnize marriages in church

c) How do people manifest that the grace of the Sacrament sustains
married couples throughout their life together?
1. Marriage union is beyond physicality and it incorporates God’s spirit of LOVE.
2. Married couples manifest sustenance of the sacramental grace by; mutual
love, forgiveness, reconciliation, joy, endurance, commitment, dialogue,

justice & peace, companionship, living the call of Christ, witnessing to
marriage values, ongoing formation and carrying out marriage responsibilities
together, the good works in their lives, teaching their children Christian
morals, Fidelity in the family is also strengthened.
3. The grace helps them to be reconciled and also to be humble.
4. The Eucharist unites the couple together cf. the sign of peace.
5. Through the use of the sacraments in their lives, they help to facilitate the
growth of faith and sacramental life which gives them more graces.

Q. 12. Family in God’s Plan


How can people be made to understand that Christian marriage corresponds
to the original plan of God and, thus, one of fulfillment and not

1. Through teaching the importance of Christian marriage and equality between
husband and wife.
2. Ongoing formation of couples with emphasis on sacred scriptures.
3. Catechesis through the word of God, especially before and after marriage.
4. Emphasizing on the sanctity of the institution of marriage as ordained by
God with references to sacred scriptures

Q. 13. Domestic Church


How can the Church be conceived as a “domestic Church” (Lumen Gentium,
11), agent and object of the work of evangelization in service to the
Kingdom of God?-

1. The church can be identified as a domestic church in a nuclear family
mirrored as an ideal family in the model of the family of Nazareth of Jesus,
Mary and Joseph.
2. In the context of a family that understands itself as a church and easy to
evangelize to each other. The church can be conceived because God’s plan
for life was to start in the context of the family
3. Practical way of evangelization is Hodi Hodi (door to door) home visitations
by agents of evangelization.
4. The church is consecrated and has the four marks, that is, One, Holy,
Catholic and Apostolic. Evangelization begins at home cf. Familiaris Consortio
where the family is considered as a domestic church.

The couple is consecrated through the sacrament of matrimony there by
becoming pillars of the body of Christ who is the primordial principle.

5. The primary aim of the church is salvation of souls through proclamation and
evangelization. The matrimonial couple have the duty to evangelize to their
children and other couples and the children also have the role of evangelizing
to other children.

Q. 14. Missionary work of the Family


How can an awareness of this missionary task of the family be fostered?

1. Hodi Hodi (door to door) visitations through Small Christian Communities as
a way of empowering families so that they are also evangelizers for each
2. Devotion and commitment from leaders of evangelization, that is, priests,
religious men and women, catechists and the laity.
3. Catechesis for all ages and especially during the formation of young couples
preparing to get married.
4. Seminars, workshops, catechesis, SCCs, devotional groups, animation centres
and other church groups.
5. Reading sacred scriptures in the family e.g. encyclicals and magisterial
teachings on the family.

Q. 15. Family spirituality


The Lord looks with love at the Christian family and through him the family
grows as a true community of life and love. How can a familial spirituality
be developed and how can families become places of new life in Christ?

1. By placing love as the primary core of marriage and upbringing of children as
the secondary end, hence nurturing Christian virtues.
2. Encourage families to pray and share the word of God together
3. Practicing faithfulness and commitment in marriage by trusting and
practicing true Christian worship that enables marriages to become places of
new life in Christ,
4. Promote Bible study and establish prayer sanctuaries in homes
5. Encourage Christians to renew sacraments
6. Teaching them the sacramental life and how important it is to live it.
7. Encourage family pilgrimages

8. Embrace Catholic liturgical symbols and gestures to boost Christian
9. Teaching family members the value of prayers by encouraging them to pray
together for a family that prays together stays together.
10. Teaching them to understand the dignity and sacredness of life so as to live
a virtuous life.
11. Encouraging families to be role models in order to give life.
12. Adhering to the family teachings given by Vatican Council II: Humanae Vitae,
Familiaris Consortio, Evangelium Vitae, letter to the families and the
theology of the body by St John Paul II.
13. Illustrating how the positive aspects of natural marriage(s) in non-Christian
religions are oriented towards Christian marriage which is the manifestation
of God’s Divine Plan for the family.

Q. 16. Initiative of Catechesis


What initiatives in catechesis can be developed and fostered to make known
and offer assistance to persons in living the Church’s teaching on the
family, above all in surmounting any possible discrepancy between what is
lived and what is professed and in leading to a process of conversion?

1. Encouraging families to embrace the message of love and mercy,
reconciliation and forgiveness.
2. Creating forums for people to share their challenges even when solutions are
not realized immediately.
3. Emphasizing adoration of Blessed Sacrament.
4. Praying the holy rosary together.
5. Forming ideal family support groups to offer ongoing catechesis of family
6. The Clergy working closely with the Laity in seeking solutions to challenges
facing the family.
7. Continuous training of couples on Natural Family Planning (NFP) and Holistic
family life
8. Incorporating different approaches and methods in teaching Catechism of
the Catholic Church.
9. Training more trainers of trainers (TOTs) for family life program using the
Holistic approach.

10. Giving the couples who are preparing for marriage enough time for
catechetical sessions.
11. Harmonizing catechesis for those preparing for marriage.

Q. 17. Indissoluble and fruitful Marriage


What initiatives can lead people to understand the value of an indissoluble
and fruitful marriage as the path to complete personal fulfilment?

1. Encourage couples to practice mutual self-giving and commitment to each
2. Identify successful married couples to mentor young couples and those
struggling in their marriages.
3. Promote celebration of marriage anniversaries to inspire other couples.
4. Promote the Family life programme in parishes to help couples appreciate the
value of their union.
5. Recommend that those preparing for marriage to do so with the support of
Family Life Programme at parish or diocesan levels.
6. Sensitize the young people on the values of marriage and its indissolubility.
7. Challenge parents to remain committed to their duty to create awareness on
the value of marriage and its indissolubility through good parent-child
8. Create understanding among married couples that authentic marriage love is
governed and natured by Christ’s redeeming power.
9. Use the sacred scripture to highlight examples of people who received
complete personal fulfilment as a result of knowing God’s plans for marriage.
10. Encourage frequent meetings, seminars, workshops, retreats and
recollections for married couples.
11. Provide pastoral Counseling for couples with problems.

Q. 18. Joys of human existence in a family


What can be done to show that the family has many unique aspects for
experiencing the joys of human existence?

1. Give living testimonies that success is genuinely appreciated in the family and
that those who fail are easily accepted back with love.
2. Exalt family values and do the will of God.
3. Promote human dignity and respect for human person.

4. Show love in good and difficult times.
5. Encourage movement such as marriage encounter.
6. Enlighten family members about the unique things which can be experienced/
found in the family such as love, care, sharing and growth.

Q. 19. Appreciation of Natural Marriage


The Second Vatican Council, returning to an ancient ecclesial tradition,
expressed an appreciation for natural marriage. To what extent does
diocesan pastoral activity acknowledge the value of this popular wisdom as
fundamental in culture and society?

1. Teachings and seminars on natural marriage, natural family planning and
2. Use of print and electronic media to address family issues
3. Permeate human culture and society with the word of God.
4. Stress on enculturation by the Church.
5. The Church appreciates that marriage begins in the families even before it
goes to the church.

Q. 20. God’s mercy to families


a) How can people be helped to understand that no one is beyond the mercy
of God?

1. Embracing all including those who have been rejected by the society.
2. Restore confidence and hope through Church’s pastoral activities and
3. Catechizing.
4. Helping people to understand that they are created in the image and likeness
of God.
5. Proclaiming the truth about Gods mercy.
b) How can this truth be expressed in the Church’s pastoral activity
towards families, especially those which are wounded and fragile?
1. Empower families to be evangelizers to their family members and their
2. Assist people to understand their weakness and wounds.
3. Pastoral counseling.

4. Reconciliation and forgiveness.
5. Visit the wounded and fragile.
6. Retreats and recollections.
7. Advise and direct them where to go for further help.
8. Clergy, religious, and laity involved in pastoral activities need to be bearers
of this message and should discard judgmental attitudes and stereotypes
which obscure this message.

Q. 21. Friendly attitude to the wounded and the fragile families


In the case of those who have not yet arrived at a full understanding of
the gift of Christ’s love, how can the faithful express a friendly attitude
and offer trustworthy guidance without failing to proclaim the demands of
the Gospel?

1. Reach out to them by inviting them to seminars, retreats and celebrations.
2. Avoid judging them, make them understand God and expose them to the
methods of change.
3. Explain the church’s teachings by referring to the sacred scriptures.
4. Live what you profess.
5. Accept, visit and journey with them in the SCC.

Q. 22. Forms of encouragement


What can be done so that persons in the various forms of union between a
man and a woman — in which human values can be present — might
experience a sense of respect, trust and encouragement to grow in the
Church’s good will and be helped to arrive at the fullness of Christian

1. Provide compassionate pastoral care by following the example of Jesus
Christ who did not condemn the Samaritan woman and the one caught in
adultery, but told them the truth in a compassionate and merciful way.
2. Encourage young couples to understand that the challenges they face can be
3. Encourage young couples to internalize the inner values of simple and mass

4. Encourage Jubilee celebrations of marriages which give testimony and
accompany young couples and those facing difficulties in their marriage.
5. Counter the negativity propagated by sections of media against the
institution of marriage.
6. Give homilies that address values and simplicity of marriage.
7. Encourage mutual respect and care among the married.


Q. 23. Family involvement in the formation of priests and other pastoral


a) How is the family emphasized in the formation of priests and other
pastoral workers?

1. The vocation comes from the family which is the domestic church.
2. Nurture an interest to appreciate and respond to the different vocations by
exhorting, setting and upholding values that become key to responding to the
3. Increased awareness on different vocations depending on the discussions
carried out in the families.
4. The family is the seed of the word of God and where Love is expressed.
Receiving the word of God in the family especially the young ones be formed
to understanding what God wants of them.
5. Vocations to priestly life and other missionary lives are seen as fruits of a
good Christian upbringing that guides a child to discern and embrace the
6. The formation of priests involves training on important aspects of family life
e.g. reproductive health, sexuality and NFP. This should be the case also for
other pastoral workers.

b) How are families themselves involved?
1. Pray for the vocations and offer spiritual accompaniment to priests, religious
and other pastoral workers.
2. Monetary contribution made to facilitate the execution of the missionary
mandate comes largely from families
3. Parents in the family are the first teachers of the children’s vocation and
get the young in this discernment of attending the SCC meetings for prayers
and being involved in church activities through PMC, Youth, CWA and CMA.
4. Families are involved by virtue of their being the ‘school’ in which family life
is taught and lived.
5. Tangaza University College, a constituent college of the Catholic University
of Eastern Africa, in Nairobi has two courses for future priests and other
pastoral workers in which married people teach about the family, family

values and marriage. The two courses are “Family Ministry” and “Small
Christian Community as a New Model of Church in Africa Today.”
6. Most dioceses in Kenya organize seminars and workshops on vocations for
class 8 and form 4 leavers.
7. When seminarians are on holiday, the bishop and parents advise them.
8. Families present the candidates, recommend and approve their ordination

Q. 24. Language in pastoral communication


a) Are people aware that the rapid evolution in society requires a constant
attention to language in pastoral communication?

People are aware, to a large extent, of the rapid evolution and the demand to
adopt a new pastoral language that is relevant to the prevailing pastoral
situation. Several parameters allude to these; the Vatican II call to read the
signs of times and interpreting them in the light of the Gospel and the recent
synod discussion on the New Evangelization.

b) How can an effective testimony be given to the priority of grace in a
way that family life is conceived and lived as welcoming the Holy Spirit?

1. Making the teaching on marriage and family life concrete and realistic to
address the day to day life experiences and to enhance appreciation of the
intrinsic value of the family that cannot be superseded by the changing
social trend.
2. Encouraging spouses to draw their strength from Christ Himself who wills
that those that “God has joined, no man should put asunder”. This can only be
realized when the sacrament of Matrimony is lived fully in respect to the
other sacraments especially the Eucharist and Penance.
3. Minimal use of a pastoral language that condemns those who seem not to live
according to the teaching without first understanding their peculiar
4. Reconciliation between theory and praxis in regard to issues that are often
times dealt with. The presumption that the spouses are conversant with the
doctrinal expectation especially in regards to the second end of marriage
namely, procreation. Thus, the couples are to be assisted to assimilate the
teaching on Natural Family Planning and the position of the Church in regard
to the use of contraceptives.

5. The grace received by a couple when they receive the sacrament of
Matrimony in the church can be testified to the couples by those whose lives
were changed for the better after solemnizing their marriages in the
6. Revitalization of family groups such as Marriage Encounter, Couples for
Christ, the Faithful House, Focolare, Emmanuel Community among others.

Q. 25. Family’s dignity and mission

a) In proclaiming the Gospel of the Family, how can the conditions be
created so that each family might actually be as God wills and that society
might acknowledge the family’s dignity and mission?

1. Strong affirmation of family and family life that is truly Christian and truly
2. The roles and responsibilities should be shared so as to enhance mutual
relation among the family members. The family’s dignity is to become a
school of holiness modeled after the example of the Holy family of Jesus,
Mary and Joseph.
3. The Gospel of the Family must always take recourse to this unique
constitution in order to contextualize each member in the family unit
illustrating therefore that outside the family there is no life.
4. The family to become more instrumental in formulating the pastoral language
of compassion and inclusivity to nurture the aspect of belongingness.
5. The family to help in reconciling between the cultural and Church practices.
6. Discouraging the perception of marriage as a social-economic celebration.
7. Expressing the families’ mission through the Pontifical Mission Societies
(PMS) especially the Pontifical Missionary Childhood (PMC).
b) What “pastoral conversion” is required?
1. There is need to emphasize the Family Life program in the Local Church.
2. Proper marriage preparation of couples to nurture an interest in a marriage
catechesis even after the celebration of the matrimony.
3. Couples should be assisted to discover the dignity of each other.
4. Couples should be assisted to form their consciences upon an understanding
of the beauty and complementarity of their different missions as man and
woman and the fruitfulness of their love.

5. The church should make it possible for those who desire to live family life as
God’s will to do so, by always welcoming them with open arms and having
pastoral workers available to assist them in times of need.
6. There is need to understand that God meant well for the family. He meant
that the man and woman are to live in love and harmony until death does
them part.
7. Children are a gift from God thus issues such as infertility should not make
any Christian marriage to break.

c) What further steps towards an in-depth examination are being done to
achieve this?
1. Recognizing the incomparable value of each life and vocation.
2. Entering deeply into the primordial sacrament of marriage. That mystery as
God’s salvific plan in regard to humanity is in a certain sense the central
theme of all revelation – its central reality.
3. Allowing those intending to marry to get spouses of their choice.
4. Heeding Pope Francis’ call to be more compassionate and merciful like Jesus.
5. Pastoral workers are beginning to grasp the importance of following Christ’s
example and teachings when engaging families and married couples.
6. Encouraging families to possess evangelization tools like the Bible and other
relevant books that expound the Bible for better understanding.
7. Prepare the couples intending to marry in advance.

Q. 26. Collaboration of social and civil institutions on behalf of the family


a) Are people aware of the importance of the collaboration of social and
civil institutions on behalf of the family?

Some are aware but majority are not.

b). How is this actually done?

1. Through the media
2. Seminars and workshops
3. Barazas or public gatherings
4. Awareness programs e.g. I Choose Life, NACADA, etc.;
5. Advocacy campaigns against laws that hurt the family

c). What criteria are used to inspire it?

1. A reactive approach is adopted based on necessity and emerging issues.
2. Effectiveness of advocacy, adherence to church teaching for living family
life according to God’s will.

d). In this regard, what role can be played by family associations?

1. Discussion
2. Forming social support groups and encouraging the vulnerable
3. Adopting a proactive approach by highlighting impending issues
4. Outreach by church associations and movements based on experiential
5. Watchdog, advocacy for living family life according to God’s will

e). How can this collaboration be sustained even in a bold repudiation of the
cultural, economic and political processes which threaten the family?

1. Re-awaken the missionary zeal among the members especially in the Christian
families to reach out to the families in crises.
2. The Church to provide materials that will be helpful in family catechesis
3. The church to introduce a family catechesis manual.
4. The church should support the institutions it collaborates with.

Q. 27. Relations between family, society and civil life


a) How can relations between family, society and civil life be fostered for
the benefit of the family?
1. There should be a spiritual formation that exalts the family virtues across
the social and civil divide. In Kenya we have wahudumu wa dini (lay ministries
of religious education, family life catechesis and marriage counselors) in
SCCs and other apostolic groups.
2. Formulation of policies that protect the family unit
3. Encouraging and supporting the families that are in crisis by providing basic
needs such as water, shelter, clothing and a safe environment.
4. Given that the family unit is the building block of society, the activities of
civil life ought to be oriented towards strengthening family life.
5. There should be education to have proper understanding of the family,
society and civil life hence assisting each other in weaknesses and
reinforcing each other’s potential for the betterment of proper growth.

b). How can the support of the State and the international community be
fostered on behalf of the family?

1. The government can be engaged through dialogue to legislate laws that
protect and safeguard the family especially governments that are consenting
to anti-family trends like same-sex marriages.
2. The state and the international community should take a stand to protect
the family unit and care about humanity.

Q. 28. Marriage preparation

a) How is marriage preparation proposed in order to highlight the vocation
and mission of the family according to faith in Jesus Christ?
1. Emphasize pre-nuptial preparations that are structured and detailed.
2. Carry out education programs aimed at preparing those at the threshold of
3. Harmonize the pre-nuptial expectations in marriage realities.

b) Is it proposed as an authentic ecclesial experience?

Yes, marriage is a matrimonial covenant between man and woman who establish a

C) How can it be renewed and improved?

1. Seminars and workshops
2. Having periodical family festivals and celebrations that exalts, stress and
propagate the family ideal.
3. Family recollections, retreats and pilgrimages to holy places

Q. 29. Catechesis of Christian Initiation


a) How does the catechesis of Christian initiation present an openness to
the vocation and mission of the family?

1. The sacraments of Christian initiation include: Baptism, Confirmation and
Holy Eucharist.

2. In Baptism one acquires a new identity and relationship as a child of God and
a birth into a family. It basically opens one to a vocation of Christian living.
This continues to be enhanced through the sacrament of Confirmation where
one is mandated and commissioned to perform his Christian responsibilities
without faltering. The Holy Eucharist posts a sharing that strengthens the
3. The catechesis of Christian initiation should therefore nurture a sense of
belonging to a new family with a confidence and sharing in an unbreakable

b) What practices are seen as most urgent?

Recourse more deeper catechesis.

c) How is the relation among Baptism, Eucharist and marriage proposed?

Baptism is a birth through which one acquires a new identity and dignity while
Eucharist brings about the concept of sacrifice, communion and thanksgiving.
Marriage should bring about a new identity and sharing between the spouses.

d) What emphasis is given to the character of the catechumenate and
mystagogy which is often a part of marriage preparation?

There should be a post marriage Catechesis to the couple. This will help to
illustrate and emphasize marriage as a vocation

d) How can the community be involved in this preparation?
1. Accompanying the couples before, during and after the celebration of Holy
2. SCCs starting a ministry of accompanying of newly married couples.
3. Establishing structures to bring couples back to the parish through
accompaniment within the first five years of marriage.
4. The accompaniment should be in stages: right from before birth, when the
mother is expectant and throughout with themes and teachings.

Q. 30. Marriage preparation and accompanying couples


a) Does marriage preparation and accompanying couples in the initial years
of married life adequately value the important contribution of the
witness and sustenance which can be given by families, associations and
family movements?

Yes, these contributions are valued but a lot more needs to be done. There are
enormous challenges to many young couples who marry without knowing the
mystery of marriage therefore experienced couples are of great importance in
journeying with younger married couples.

b) What positive experiences can be reported in this regard?
1. Marriage preparations are curried out.
2. Accompaniment is done especially through Family Life Program
3. Formation of support groups especially through the networks of family
associations are a vineyard for good families.
4. Taking challenges as opportunities for the growth of married life.
5. Strengthening and empowering sacramental and prayer life.
6. Positive growth in pastoral activities (greater willingness to serve in the
church and sense of belonging).
7. Responsible and Positive parenting of the children
8. Being role models to the aspiring and young couples

Q. 31. The pastoral accompaniment of couples


a) The pastoral accompaniment of couples in the initial years of family life
— as observed in synodal discussion — needs further development. What
are the most significant initiatives already being undertaken?

Fellowships of young couples, infant baptism for children of these couples,
programs about marriage and family life.

b) What elements need further development in parishes, dioceses or
associations and movements?
1. Establishment and introduction of structures for accompaniment.
2. Formulation of a family based catechesis, syllabus and guidelines.
3. Pastoral Care of Couples Civilly Married or living together (ns. 41 – 43)
4. Urgent formation of strategies on guidance and counseling in every diocese
to rescue breaking marriages.

Q. 32. Pastoral discernment of individual situations


What criteria in a proper pastoral discernment of individual situations are
being considered in light of the Church’s teaching in which the primary
elements of marriage are unity, indissolubility and openness to life?

1. Marriage originated from God and he created man and woman in his own
image and likeness, to multiply and fill the earth. Therefore, the church
considers valid marriage between a man and a woman.
2. The love is put in the central point of marriage and that Love between
husband and wife, members of the same family brings about deeper
communion and strong foundation of marriage.
3. Christian couples are called to cement their faithfulness and love to God.
4. There should be a catechesis that, there are possibilities of the celebration
of the canonical form of marriage for those couples civilly married.
5. These couples should also be assisted and prepared for the reception of the
sacraments especially noting that this union between the baptized has been
raised by Christ, the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.

Q. 33 Christian community involvement in these situations


a) Is the Christian community able to be pastorally involved in these


b) How can it assist in discerning the positive and negative elements in the
life of persons united in a civil marriage so as to guide and sustain them
on a path of growth and conversion towards the Sacrament of
1. Identifying them.
2. Holding healthy discussions that will foster a return-to-sacrament attitude.
3. Involvement in the Church activities.
4. Embracing and encouraging them to take up their roles in the Church.
5. Listening to their reasons as to why they have not solemnized their marriage
in the Church
c) How can those living together be assisted to decide to marry?
1. Emphasis to be put on the sacrament of Marriage more than the aspect of
2. Community and Church leadership to be involved in marriage negotiations
along with the family members. If need be, the community should be
encourage to help with the dowry.

3. Communities to play down the ethnic differences that may hinder the couple
from canonical marriage.
4. In inter-ethnic marriages, the families and community need to be involved to
harmonize marriages.
5. In inter-faith marriages, the Catholic Church needs to emphasis the equality
of partners in marriage.
6. Help the couple to reduce the expenses incurred during wedding/marriage by
encouraging them to have simple weddings and join organized mass weddings.

Q. 34. Response to traditional forms of marriage


In a particular way, what response is to be given to problems arising from
the continuity of traditional forms of marriage in stages or those between

1. The Church to accompany the couple during the traditional stages of
2. The Church can embrace the traditional values that are compatible with
3. The Church to evangelize the unhealthy cultural practices that deprive the
couples of grace.
4. Christian marriage is not supported by the African traditional cultural
structures of marriage. There is need to create Christian structures that
will support traditional marriage.

Q. 35: Care for wounded families


a) Is the Christian community in a position to undertake the care of all
wounded families so that they can experience the Father’s mercy?
1. Yes, some wounded families are bold enough while others shy away from
seeking pastoral care from their Christian Community.
2. The church on her own cannot take care of the wounded but she can do that
in collaboration with other stakeholders.

b) How does the Christian community engage in removing the social and
economic factors which often determine this situation?

i) Social point of view:
1. The concept was to capture the idea of giving security to the family values.
2. The traditional marriage safeguards regulations that preserve the integrity
of marriage and families.
3. Marriage was a community entity; not just individual venture.
ii) Church point of view:

We are in a position to safeguard if the church is serious about the sanctity of
marriage through:

1. Serious and effective catechesis
2. Effective family life programs
3. Marriage Encounter should be deeply promoted
4. Establishing a very strong functional marriage tribunals, directed by
5. Implementing the country’s positive aspects of the Marriage Act, through
the Church.
iii) Economically:
1. Through microfinance projects and self-help groups
2. Capacity building e.g. in entrepreneurship
3. Providing affordable goods and services (e.g. Medical, education, food and
clothing and shelter)

c).What steps have been taken and what can be done to increase this
activity and the sense of mission which sustains it?

Steps taken: Offering pastoral care and counseling services

What can be done?

1. Formation of support groups (marriage encounter and the faithful house) to
share daily experience, pray together and encourage each other
2. Establishing alcoholic anonymous (AA) and Rachel’s vineyard as pastoral
3. The pastoral care can reach churches through commitment, availability of
needed resources, personnel, self-giving and fidelity.
4. Sharing of experiences, resources and personnel between the local churches
5. Twinning of parishes and SCCs to experience sharing.

Q 36: Shared pastoral guidelines


How can the identification of shared pastoral guidelines be fostered at the
level of the particular Church?

1. Particular churches should study their pastoral needs and come up with clear
pastoral guidelines and structures to steer their pastoral activities through
creation of pastoral offices and departments.
2. Such structures should be extended to the Metropolitan level for effective
networking and collaboration.
3. Sharing of experience and information at various levels (Integrated
Christian Formation Program (ICFP) in Dioceses and the activities of the
Family Life Program at KCCB).
4. Pastoral agents involved in various apostolates.

Q 37: Nullity


How can the procedure to determine cases of nullity be made more
accessible, streamlined and possibly without expense?

To have functioning tribunals at every metropolitan with expert (professional)
Canon/civil lawyer. Such service should be pastoral-oriented so that the
subjects/clients should access the service at minimal or no cost.

Q 38: Divorced and remarried


With regard to the divorced and remarried, pastoral practice concerning
the sacraments needs to be further studied, including assessment of the
Orthodox practice and taking into account “the distinction between an
objective sinful situation and extenuating circumstances” (n. 52). What are
the prospects in such a case? What is possible? What suggestions can be
offered to resolve forms of undue or unnecessary impediments?


1. The couple to follow canonical procedure of annulment of their marriage
to avoid the impediment of prior bond.

2. The ecclesiastical tribunals in Kenya to follow due process in adjudicating
marriage cases.

Q 39: Legislation: mixed marriages


Does current legislation provide a valid response to the challenges arising
from mixed marriages/inter-religious marriages?


Elements to be taken into consideration:

1. The Catholic Church to foster dialogue between structured/mainstream
2. The Catholic Church to put into consideration the religion of the other
spouse which is as dear to them as the Catholic faith.
3. These mixed marriages lead to confusion of Religion by the offspring
about the religion to embrace.

Q 40: Care for gay persons


a) How can the Christian community give pastoral attention to families with
persons with homosexual tendencies?

This is a recent phenomenon in the Church and African Cultures. We need
guidelines on how to approach people having these challenges.

b) What are the responses that, in light of cultural sensitivities, are
considered to be most appropriate? Try to dissuade the gay from
practicing and encourage them to marry and have a family.
c) While avoiding any unjust discrimination, how can such persons receive
pastoral care in these situations in light of the Gospel?
1. Be kind, merciful and compassionate.
2. Never judge or condemn them but help the person to be aware and get out
of the behavior by referring them to trained people to deal with their issues.
3. Educate young people on Christian values

d) How can God’s will be proposed to them in their situation?

Encourage them to adhere to the teachings of the Church. Apply the use of
Jesus’ attitude: “SEE THE SIN NOT THE SINNER”

Q. 41: Beauty of parenthood (motherhood and fatherhood)


a) What are the most significant steps that have been taken to announce
and effectively promote the beauty and dignity of becoming a mother or
father, in light, for example, of Humanae Vitae of Blessed Pope Paul

The church has actively promoted:

1. Natural Family Planning.
2. Family Life Education.
3. Marriage Encounter.
4. Effective Catechesis.
b) How can dialogue be promoted with the sciences and biomedical
technologies in a way that respects the human ecology of reproduction?
1. The church should support all science and technology that does not interfere
or negatively affect the natural human reproduction as God designed and
purposed it.
2. The dialogue need to be appropriate in promoting the sanctity of life.

Q. 42: Structures & tools of maternity and paternity


a) A generous maternity/paternity needs structures and tools. Does the
Christian community exercise an effective solidarity and support?

YES. How?

1. The Church leadership encourages young couples to welcome new life through
bearing of children.
2. The small Christian communities visits the new parents to congratulate and
help them out.
3. There is need for better catechesis to orient the attitude of Christians
towards respectful and dignified living of the sacrament of marriage.
b) Is it courageous in proposing valid solutions even at a socio-political
1. Laws of adoption must be very clear to guide the church in this venture.

2. Schools as centers of evangelization should be able to create structures and
systems of encouraging children to grow spiritually, humanly and
3. Children are received as gifts from God.

c) How can adoption and foster-parenting be encouraged as a powerful sign
of fruitful generosity?
1. The church can establish homes for orphans that promote adoption locally,
right from parish to diocesan level.
2. The Church should actively participate in advocating for laws that support
adoption and foster parenting.
d) How can the care and respect of children be promoted?
1. Encourage African generosity, hospitality and sense of communal life. This
will help the children to grow in values of solidarity and communion.
2. All children should be celebrated in society. The church should be at the

Q. 43: Maternity-paternity and vocation


a) The Christian lives maternity/paternity as a response to a vocation. Is
this vocation sufficiently emphasized in catechesis?


b) What formation is offered so that it might effectively guide the
consciences of married couples?
1. Catechesis/Youth program teachings on vocation of marriage/Family
life/Marriage encounter etc.
2. In formation, chastity as a way of life is stressed in marriage that is
c) Are people aware of the grave consequences of demographic change?

No. People may not be aware on how societal changes affect perceptions at
family, community, national, regional, continental and global levels.

Q. 44: Abortion


How does the Church combat the scourge of abortion and foster an
effective culture of life?

1. Through guidelines which strengthen the pastoral care of the affected.

2. Effective catechesis regarding abortion.
3. Encouraging parents to take care of the child, rather than procuring an
4. Youth program has structures which teach the consequences of abortion.
5. Promotion of Pro-life programs
6. Teaching on the sanctity of life, dignity and the right to live.

Q. 45: Educational Mission

a) Fulfilling their educational mission is not always easy for parents. Do
they find solidarity and support from the Christian community?
1. Yes. The Christian community offers solidarity and support to Christian
parents by identifying children who require educational support e.g. orphans
and the vulnerable.
2. In the recent times, the schools have become more of business-oriented
venture, rather than pastoral.
3. The children in traditional times belonged to the community, and this should
be encouraged.
4. Some parents abscond their responsibility of educating their children.
Where SCCs are a pastoral priority, they offer support to such parents.

b) What suggestions might be offered in formation?

  1. 1. Catholic parents should be advised to give holistic education to their children.
  2. 2. Promoting the Pontifical Missionary Childhood (PMC) motto “children helping
  3. children”
  4. 3. Encouraging children activities e.g. festivals and sports
  5. 4. Creating awareness and sensitization on the needs of children
  6. 5. Allow children to participate in liturgical activities and not to be left at the
  7. periphery
  8. 6. Allowing children to interact and witness to others in the SCCs and in Bible
  9. Studies
  10. 7. Storytelling and Biblical stories should be used for moral and spiritual
  11. teaching
  12. 8. Encourage Christians to have collective social responsibilities to their
  13. children.
  14. 9. God is our Father and we are his children, therefore, we should uphold human
  15. dignity and respect to all the children in need.

c) What steps can be taken to acknowledge the role of parents in raising children, even at the socio-political level?

  1. Safeguard the family unit, support parent’s efforts and protect children’s rights
  2. Educate parents on being honest while seeking scholarships/bursaries.
  3. Promote children’s council where they can express views
  4. Nurture and develop talents in children through talent exploiting groups
  5. Allow the children to have peer counseling groups by providing proper formation.

Q. 46: Duty to transmit Faith — Parents and the Christian Community

How can parents and the Christian family be made aware that the duty of transmitting the faith is an intrinsic aspect of being a Christian?

In Matthew 28:16-20 we are commissioned by Jesus by virtue of our baptism to  go out to the whole world and preach the good news. Family and marriage  ministry should be carried out through:

  1. Catechesis
  2. Church groups and associations
  3. On-going formation at all levels
  4. This should be introduced and promoted through marriage catechesis.
  5. Both parents (husband and wife) should participate in the SCC together. This models family participation for the children.


Synod Recommendations

  1. There are too many sub questions.
  2. There should be simpler language and simpler construction of sentences.
  3. For future, have fewer questions.
  4. Continue contextualizing the annual statistical questionnaire that every diocese in the world send to Rome e.g. on family ministries, Lay leaders, SCC.
  5. The questions have a Western tone or viewpoint and sometimes lack a Global South perspective.


AIDS Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (a disease of the immune system characterized by increased susceptibility to opportunistic infections).

Affectivity Causing emotion or feeling.

Catechumenate A person under instruction in the rudiments of Christianity, as in the early church; a neophyte.

DNFLO Diocesan and National Family Life Offices

Doctrinal Of, relating to, or concerned with doctrine

Enculturation The process whereby individuals learn their group’s culture, through experience, observation, and instruction.

E-OGASB Extra Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops

Evangelium Vitae (Latin: “The Gospel of Life”) is the name of the encyclical written by Pope John Paul II which expresses the position of the Catholic Church

Familiaris Consortio (Latin roughly translated as “of family partnership”, but titled in English On the role of the Christian Family in the Modern World)

HIV Human Immune-deficiency Virus is a variable retrovirus that invades and inactivates helper T cells of the immune system and is a cause of AIDS

Humanae Vitae (Latin of Human Life) is an encyclical written by Pope Paul VI

ICFP Integrated Christian Formation Program

Instrumentum Laboris (Latin for “Working Document”)

Lineamenta (Latin for “Guidelines”) also called the Preparatory Document

Lumen Gentium: The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, is one of the principal documents of the Second Vatican Council.

Magisterium: The authority and power of the church to teach religious truth.

Mystagogy: Instruction given to others before initiation into religious mysteries or before participation in the sacraments.

NFP: Natural Family Planning is the general title for the scientific, natural and moral methods of family planning that can help married couples either achieve or postpone pregnancies.

NGOs: Non-Governmental Organization

Novelty: State or quality of being novel, new, or unique; newness; occurrence, experience, or proceeding:

Nullity: The state or quality of being null: nothingness; invalidity.

OGASB: Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops

PC: Pastoral Cycle

Relatio Synodi (Latin for “Report of the Synod”)

Pedagogy: The art or science of teaching; education; instructional methods.

Periscopes: An optical instrument for viewing objects that are above the level of direct sight or in an otherwise obstructed field of vision, consisting essentially of a tube with an arrangement of prisms or mirrors and, usually, lenses: used especially in submarines.

PMC Pontifical Missionary Childhood

Prenuptial “Prenuptial” means “prior to marriage”, but is often used to refer to a prenuptial agreement.

Primordial principle Resonance – the Primordial Principle of Life. What are resonances and what significance do they have for the organism and life in general?

Relatio Synodi Official English Translation of Final Synod Document.

Repudiation To reject with disapproval or condemnation

Salvific Plan Having the intention or power to bring about salvation or redemption:

Solemnize: To perform the ceremony of (marriage

Synod (noun) and Synodal (adjective)

Theory and Praxis: Praxis is the process by which a theory, lesson, or skill is enacted, embodied, or realised. “Praxis” may also refer to the act of engaging, applying, and exercising

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