Marriage and family life are extremely important to the Catholic Church. The Bishops' Conference has an office for Marriage and Family Life.
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The Catholic Church has a long tradition of recognising the importance of healthy marriage and family life to the wellbeing of individuals, neighbourhoods and to the Church itself.
The future of humanity passes by way of the family.
Pope St John Paul II, York, 1982
The roots of the institution of marriage lie in our nature. Male and female we have been created, and written into our nature is this pattern of complementarity and fertility. Christian teaching fills out this pattern and reveals its deepest meaning.
Family life will be the focus of an extraordinary general session of the Synod of Bishops that will meet at the Vatican between 5-19 October 2014. In this section you can read the synod's preparatory document - or Lineamenta - and link out to a questionnaire to participate actively in preparation for the 2014 Synod. You can also look back on the last Synod of Bishops meeting on the family held in 1980 that resulted in the document Familiaris Consortio.