Defender of the Bond...
Is the title of clergy and religious in the Roman Catholic Church who are devoted to the well being of marriages in a given diocese or region.
At Truro all the clergy are in the process of becoming "defenders of the bond." We all share in the various marriage ministries and courses we offer here. All are also committed to having healthy marriages and many of my colleagues take part in the counseling of engaged couples as well as couples facing marital stress and/or crisis. We share in the creation and maintenance of a marriage culture. We all participate in the ministry of encouragement and instruction.
Instructing the faithful takes many forms and engages many subjects. In the past four years we have spent a good bit of time instructing the faithful on marriage, its theological foundation and best practices. Sometimes proclamation takes the form of explanation and exposition, like Elizabeth and my teaching on the Theology of the Body. Here is an example from last spring:
Sometimes instruction takes the form of moral exhortation and exposition. Last January I preached on the nuptial theology of John:
And sometimes our instruction comes in the form of wisdom and spiritual counsel, like we do several times a year in our Marriage and Pre-Marriage Courses:
Paul put it this way: "Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching."