Many people are aware of the biblical teaching on the permanence of marriage: “Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate” (Mark 10:9).

However, when crisis hits and a civil divorce looms, some couples lose not only hope but also faith. How then can one remain faithful to God and in full communion with His Church if a civil divorce happens?

The Archdiocesan Commission for the Family is organising a symposium titled Divorce, Separation & Annulment – Understanding the Church’s Teaching, on July 25 at Catholic Junior College.

The symposium aims to help participants understand how the Church applies its teachings on marriage and divorce in a spirit of compassion to the real-life situations faced by Catholics.

It will also cover legal requirements involving civil divorce, legal separation, ancillary matters and annulment, including dispute resolution mechanisms such as mediation and collaborative resolution, thus helping participants to understand the relationship between civil law and canon law.

As separation from a spouse and going through a civil divorce are deeply painful experiences, the symposium aims to help participants identify signs of unhelpful ways of coping and ways to minister to hurting or traumatised hearts to facilitate healing.

Symposium speakers include Fr Terence Pereira; Ms Peggy Yee, who is in active legal practice focusing especially on family law; and Ms Kelvyanne Teoh, principal therapist with Morning Star Community Services.

The symposium is for those wanting a deeper understanding of the complexity of the issues related to divorce, separation and annulment. The event will start at 9 am and end with Mass at 4 pm.  Lunch will be provided.

To sign up for the symposium, go to www.catholicfamily.org.sg. Registration fee (excluding handling charge) is $25 per person.

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