Vol 19, No 2, 2012

Family life in a post-conciliar pastoral agenda

Teresa Pirola

Abstract

Vatican II preserved traditional teaching on Christian marriage and family life yet also enabled the emergence of a renewed ecclesial vision in which married couples and families are called forth in vocation and mission like never before. The author explores this development and argues that there is an alarming absence of engagement with it in pastoral agendas in the Australian church. Two factors hindering such an engagement are discussed: one stemming from the Humanae Vitae controversy, and the other relating to the baptismal paradigm which currently dominates discourse about the "lay" vocation. A closing reflection proposes a "nuptial" paradigm shift that would allow core issues of sexuality, intimacy and familial belonging to be better integrated into pastoral life and ministry.