Couples With Broken Marriages Find Support

Kairos Retreat Offers Prayer and Dialogue

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By Antonio Gaspari

ROME, MAY 9, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Those who suffer broken marriages are offered the chance to experience prayer and mercy at Kairos retreats in Italy.

Kairos began in 1997 and is encouraged by Bishop Gervasio Gestori of San Benedetto del Tronto.

It is coordinated by Giancarla Perotti and Antonio Barra, and is dedicated to couples who live in difficult situations with their marriages, including those who have separated or divorced and formed new unions.

Couples in crisis need the therapy of dialogue and prayer, Perotti told ZENIT. She explained that the retreat includes moments of prayer and reflection, as well as formation, dialogue and discussion.

"While before [the retreatants] felt at the margin of the Church, today they feel totally inserted within her and they are proud of that, even though they are accompanied by the cross of not being able to approach the Eucharist and for some of them, confession. But they feel that the Church is close and they see her determined to welcome them and relieve their wounds."

The Kairos representative recalled Pope John Paul II's message to families on the occasion of the Jubilee Year 2000.

"Faced with so many families that have fallen apart," she said, "the Church feels called not to express a severe and distant judgment, but rather to instill in the folds of so many dramatic situations the light of the word of God, accompanied by the testimony of his mercy. That is what we have tried to do and we want to keep doing."