Teološko – znanstveno promišljanje o braku i obitelji percipira današnje stanje braka i obitelji u Crkvi i svijetu, osobito gledajući pomoću crkvenih dokumenata. Uvažavajući smjernice Hrvatske biskupske konferencije nastoji se pomoću dokumenata uvesti ili oživjeti oni oblici pastoralne skrbi koji će obuhvaćati cjelokupni obiteljski pastoral. Na tome je tragu i ovaj doktorski rad koji pod naslovom Hrvatska zajednica Bračnih susreta u svjetlu postkoncilske teologije o braku i obitelji istražuje doprinos zajednice Bračnih susreta pastoralu baraka i obitelji. Rad je strukturiran u četiri poglavlja. Prvo poglavlje, oslanjajući se na povijesno – pastoralni kontekst, donosi povijest nastanka novoga pokreta u Katoličkoj Crkvi u Španjolskoj prije Drugoga vatikanskog koncila. Kronološki se prati širenje i unutarnji razvoj strukture te metode rada pokreta koji ima u cilju obnovu bračnih parova, svećenika i redovnika po sakramentima ženidbe i svetoga reda, te obnoviti Crkvu, društvo i svijet. Drugo poglavlje na početku sažimlje pretkoncilsko ozračje s obzirom na nauk Crkve o sakramentu braka, da bi zatim analizom koncilskih i postkoncilskih dokumenata, kao i dokumenata koje je izdala Hrvatska biskupska konferencija, podastrlo postkoncilski nauk o braku i obitelji. Središnji je dio rada posvećen metodologiji kojom Hrvatska zajednica Bračnih susreta provodi vikend programe s bračnim parovima, svećenicima, redovnicima i redovnicama, ali i u novije vrijeme i sa zaručnicima. Analiza metodologije obuhvaća i formacijske stupnjeve za nositelje i protagoniste izvorne ideje osnivača Bračnih susreta Gabriela Calva. Četvrto poglavlje u fokusu istraživanja ima samu Hrvatsku zajednicu Bračnih susreta te njezin doprinos pastoralu braka i obitelji u Hrvatskoj. Istraživanje je potkrepljeno kritičkome analizom kvantitativnih arhivskih podataka promatrajući pastoralno djelovanje od 1976. godine do 2019. godine. Analizira se i provedeni anketni upitnik s koordinatorima pojedinih lokalnih zajednica Bračnih susreta s ciljem uvida u stanje samih lokalnih zajednica i njezine uključenosti u druge crkvene i društvene subjekte koji promiču pastoralni rad i skrb za brak i obitelj.
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The doctoral dissertation titled Croatian Marriage Encounter Community In The Light of The Marriage And Family Post-Council Theology covers a rather unresearched subject on the Croatian Marriage Encounter Community (CMEC), especially emphasizing the Marriage Weekend (MW) methodology. This is the programme the Community offers not only to the married couples for their matrimonial life and unity renewal given by the Sacrament of Matrimony, but also to the priests, monks and nuns, aiming at renewing the Church, society and the world, having in mind the marriage and family teachings of the Church.
The paper has four chapters. The first chapter gives the historic overview of the Marriage Encounter (ME) movement beginnings in Spain and its first activities in America. The second chapter states the marriage and family theologic view and teachings according to the pre-Council (the Second Vatican Council) and post-Council documents, as well as the documents on marriage and family published by the Croatian Bishop Conference. In the the third chapter the theologically scientific analysis is being used as it surveys the Marriage Weekend methodology in view of the post-Council marriage and family teachings. The last, fourth, chapter deals with the Croatian Marriage Encounter Community as one of the marriage and family factors in pastoral activity in Croatia from its beginning to this day.
In the first chapter, titled History of Marriage Encounter, the historic overview of the Marriage Encounter Movement beginning in Spain is being presented, along with its ideas and expansion in the world. All the Secound Vatican Council documents in varying degrees report on the importance of the faithful lay people’s role in the Church renewal and apostolate. However, it has been known, as well as confirmed in this disertation, that the faithful lay people had been involved in the Church renewal even before the Second Vatican Council. The emergence of many communities throughout Europe testifies to that point, including the Marriage Encounter movement, whose methodology brings the news to the pre-Council pastoral activities – matrimonial spirituality.
History of the Marriage Encounter (ME) begins in Spain in the 1940’s on the initiative of a young married couple, Jaime Ferrer and Mercedes Escola, along with the Jesuit priest, father Gabriel Calvo. They start organizing conferences for married couples, emphasizing the married couple’s spirituality, experience sharing and mutual dialogue. All those efforts would enable the
couples renew their unity by the Sacrament of Marriage they entered into and live the sacramental mercy as well as join in the apostolate of the Church and the world renewal. In order for the couples to get the high-quality guidelines for mutual and christian life, the conferences become weekend – encounters with guiding teams. The guiding team includes a married couple and a priest. Weekend – encounters have a well organized structure and methodology based on the teachings of the Church and soon are called Encuentro Conyugal / Marriage Encounter, while in the whole world the movement becomes known as Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME).
The second chapter is a short overview of the marriage and family theology which follows the Church teachings from its beginnings to the Second Vatican Council and the post-Council documents, based on the sacramental matrimony and the insolubility of marriage. Special emphasis is put on the theologically-pastoral differentiation of the pre-Council and post-Council marriage and family atmosphere.
Pre-Council teaching about marriage, after the teaching according to saint Augustine, emphasizes the three benefits of marriage: children (procreation), fidelity and sacrament, while everything else is secondary. The analysis of the Second Vatican Council document and the post-Council theology has shown that the sacramental matrimonial teaching has deepened in the light of the modern society new awareness and needs, noticing a novelty in a different approach to the matrimony, in the essence of marriage, as well as in the role and mission of the spouses in the Church and the world. Following the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, the shepherds of souls of the Church in general and in Croatia issued certain documents on marital and family subjects at their sessions after the Council. The most important document on the marriage and family pastoral activities in the Croatian Church is The Directorate for the family pastoral activity in the Church in Croatia, which in the present-day Croatian Church represents the synthesis of the existing experience, activities and theological judgement. The Ducument gives the guidelines to the pastoral staff, as well as to the families on how to become active pastoral factors, able to accomplish the planned pastoral programmes.
Theologically-pastoral reflexions, as well as the marriage and family documents produced by the Church, aim at paving the new ways of the pastoral activity on the national, diocese/archdiocese and parish level, alongside the existing ones. One of them is Croatian Marriage Encounter. The third chapter of the disertation gathers information on its methodology in the light of the post-Council on these fundemental documents: Marriage Encounter Weekend Draft, Weekend Overview. Supporting Document for Understanding of the Marriage Encounter Weekend Draft, Marriage Encounter Article of Association, The Apostolate Guidelines and Speeches (given at the meetings), as well as the methodology of Gabriel Calvo, which hasn’t been changed in its essence since the first weekend held in 1961 in Spain. Ater the detailed analysis of the Marriage Encounter (ME), it has been concluded that ME doesn’t consider itself a family community, but a movement for the Church and the world renewal by the matrimonial and holy orders sacraments.
Marriage Encounter Community (MEC) has got four fundemental keystones: original weekend, married couple teams, structure, community. Marriage Encounter Weekend or the Original weekend is the main event for each married couple, priest, monk and nun. Ideas introduced by each person’s life experience are intended to renew the matrimonial love of the couples participating at the Original weekend, as well as renew the priests’ dedication by the holy orders sacrament and renew the monks’ and nuns’ dedication promised by their vows of obedience. The dialogue in pair is the basic means of the Marriage Encounter Weekend. It is the key of true communicaton which enables not only a closely-knit action of the two people, but also the sound functionig of the human nature. The Marriage Encounter weekend managers are the team couples (a couple married in the Catholic Church in cooperation with a priest) who share their experience through the ‘speeches’ at the Original weekend. By doing so, they testify, evangelise and participate in the apostolate. The team couples are the carriers of the community structure from the worldwide level to the lowest level of the local communities. This structure covers many services and duties that make possible leading and managing the whole Movement, meeting high standards within a developed framework. The analysis of the Marriage Weekend (MW) methodology confirms the thesis that Croatian Marriage Encounter Community (CMEC) by its structure and methodology enables the continuous monitoring of married couples.
The fourth chapter of the doctoral disertation, titled Croatian Marriage Encounter Community as one of the marriage and family pastoral activity factors in Croatia, reports on the family pastoral activity development in the Republic of Croatia, emphasizing the historical development of the Croatian Marriage Encounter Community and its marriage and family pastoral activities. Based on the Community archive data, the quantitative data of the Marriage Weekend participants since its establishment to this day have been presented in relation to separate dioceses, as well as the current state and the activities of the Community. A survey has been taken among the coordinators of the local communities. The data analysis is being interpreted in accordance to the paper’s main thesis, which is: give a historic review of the Marriage Encounter (ME), examine and present the methodology of the Marriage Weekend (MW) achievements, using the scientifically-theoligical analysis with reference to the post-Council marriage and family teachings and confirm the hypothesis linked to the beginnings and activities of the Movement not only with reference to the post-Council documents, but also to the marriage and family pastoral documents in Croatia. Based on the processed data, it has been concluded that the Croatian Marriage Encounter Community successfully uses the prematrimonial pastoral methodology and it is open to the cooperation with other church and society subjects in achieving its goals. The Community is also one of the bigger and better organised Catholic associations in Croatia, with the firm structure, good organisation, clear goals and elabotated methods of work.