“The Promise” and The New Ecumenical Directory – Questions related to the promise arise regularly for interchurch couples, and especially for their extended families.
Because questions about “The Promise” come up fairly regularly, I believe that this indicates a need for more remote preparation that includes not only the likelihood but also a consideration for the ways that the positive aspects of the lived experience of being part of an interchurch family in our current society can be cultivated. This kind of study if it also examines thoroughly all of the ways for the community to become a support system not only for the marriage, and all marriages in general, but also if it explores the role that interchurch families can and do play on our journey toward and seeking Christian Unity, we, all of society, will all be the better for it.
An excellent discussion of “The Promise” as it is defined and clarified in the New Ecumenical Directory can be found at http://www.interchurchfamilies.org/journal/93su10.html
The discussion presented at the preceding link also takes into consideration how we live as interchurch families and how we are affected by the New Ecumenical Directory.
John Coventry, S.J. concludes his discussion by stating that “One has to recognise with gratitude very considerable progress, even if there is still some way to go, particularly in consideration of interchurch children. And it is a pity that almost exclusive stress is laid on the wedding as an occasion for eucharistic sharing, even though it is seen that there are other “exceptional cases”.
“As AIF ( Association of Interchurch Family) members well know, such sharing is a growing need in a united Christian life and does not exist only for certain highlight occasions near the start of a marriage; the couple and the family need lifelong nourishment if they are to be “builders of unity”. ‘
“However, the Directory banishes for ever the mistaken and oft repeated answer, always in conflict with Vatican II’s Decree on Ecumenism, n. 8, that eucharistic sharing can only be a sign of full communion and never an expression of partial communion as a means towards full communion.”
Ecumenists, those seeking Christian Unity and interchurch families will find John Coventry, S.J.’s document to be enlightening and encouraging. (Please see the full article at the link given above.)
~ M.J. Glauber