Nature and Origins of CFCI

  1. Nature of Ecclesial Movements
    • Ecclesial Movements are one of the gifts of the Spirit to our time, one of the most significant fruits of that springtime in the Church which was foretold by the Second Vatican Council[i], and were considered by Pope John Paul II as a source of hope for the Church and for humanity[ii]. They are a sign of the freedom of forms, in which the one Church is realized[iii]. Ecclesial Movements are a significant expression of the charismatic dimension of the Church, which together with the institutional dimension are co-essential to the divine constitution of the Church founded by Jesus because they make the mystery of Christ and his saving grace present in the Lord.[iv] They belong to the living structure of the Church[v] and are a luminous sign of the beauty of Christ and of the Church, his Bride[vi]
    • Ecclesial Movements are concrete ecclesial realities with predominately lay membership, a journey of faith and a Christian witness each of which base their own pedagogical method on a precise charism given to the person of the founder in specific circumstances and ways[vii]. Inspired by the life of their founder; each movement attempts to live the Gospel anew in its totality, and recognize the Church without hesitation as the ground of their life without which they could not exist[viii].
    • Charisms recognized by the Church are ways of deepening one’s knowledge of Christ and giving oneself more generously to him, while at the same time rooting oneself ever more deeply in communion with the entire Christian people[ix]. They offer themselves as forms of self-fulfilment and as facets of the one Church[x].
  2. Origin of Couples for Christ and Constitution of Couples for Christ India
    • COUPLES FOR CHRIST as a movement began in 1981 in Manila, Philippines, and is now a worldwide movement operating in many countries. It has grown into a holistic family life renewal ministry encompassing, besides the ministry to married couples, ministries to every member of the family.
    • COUPLES FOR CHRIST INDIA is one expression of this international ecclesial movement and is constituted as a private association of Christ’s faithful according to Canons 298 – 329 of the Codex Iuris Canonici and Canons 573 – 583 of the Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium for the evangelization, renewal and strengthening of families according to the mind of God as revealed by Christ and his Church. It brings together men and women who have committed themselves to the Lord Jesus Christ and to one another to live out their faith as a missionary community, so that they may both grow in Christian perfection as men and women of God, transforming their families to find fulfilment in Christ Jesus, and be instruments of God’s saving love to all peoples.
    • COUPLES FOR CHRIST INDIA, constituted as an autonomous national private association of Christ’s faithful in the Catholic dioceses of India, whether of the Latin Rite or of the Oriental Rites, draws inspiration and wisdom from the lives of Francisco & Geraldine Padilla lived out in the community of Couples for Christ Foundation for Family and Life constituted as a National Private Association in the Philippines and recognized as such by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. It holds that God raised up Francisco & Geraldine Padilla to be co-founders and bearers of the original charism of Couples for Christ. It recognizes the authority of Francisco Padilla as the first Servant General of community of Couples for Christ Foundation for Family and Life and seeks to live in spiritual harmony with him and his legitimately elected successors in the community he leads.

[i] Cf. John Paul II, Message to participants at the World Congress of the Ecclesial Movements in Movements in the Church: Proceedings of the World Congress of the Ecclesial Movements, Rome, May 27 – 29, 1998, Pontificium Consilium Pro Laicis, Vatican, 1999, p.16

[ii] John Paul II, Homily Vigil of Pentecost, May 25, 1996

[iii] John Paul II, Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, 19.1 (1996): 1373

[iv] Cf. John Paul II, Message to participants at the World Congress of the Ecclesial Movements in Movements in the Church: Proceedings of the World Congress of the Ecclesial Movements, Rome, May 27 – 29, 1998, Pontificium Consilium Pro Laicis, Vatican, 1999, p.18-19

[v] Cf. Benedict XVI, Address to the Bishops of the German Bishops’ Conference, 21 August 2005 quoted by Archbishop Stanislaw Rylko in New fruits of ecclesial maturity in The Beauty of Being a Christian: Movements in the Church: Proceedings of the Second World Congress of the Ecclesial Movements and New Communities, Rome, May 31 – Jun 2, 2006, Pontificium Consilium Pro Laicis, Vatican, 2007, p.20

[vi] Cf. Benedict XVI, Message to participants at the Second World Congress of the Ecclesial Movements and New Communities in The Beauty of Being a Christian: Movements in the Church: Proceedings of the Second World Congress of the Ecclesial Movements and New Communities, Rome, May 31 – Jun 2, 2006, Pontificium Consilium Pro Laicis, Vatican, 2007, p.7

[vii] Ibid., p.18

[viii] Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, The Ecclesial Movements: A Theological Reflection on Their Place in the Church, in Movements in the Church: Proceedings of the World Congress of the Ecclesial Movements, Rome, May 27 – 29, 1998, Pontificium Consilium Pro Laicis, Vatican, 1999, p. 18

[ix] Cf. John Paul II, Message to participants at the World Congress of the Ecclesial Movements in Movements in the Church: Proceedings of the World Congress of the Ecclesial Movements, Rome, May 27 – 29, 1998, Pontificium Consilium Pro Laicis, Vatican, 1999, p.18

[x] Cf. John Paul II, Address on the occasion of the Meeting with the Ecclesial Movements and the New Communities in Movements in the Church: Proceedings of the World Congress of the Ecclesial Movements, Rome, May 27 – 29, 1998, Pontificium Consilium Pro Laicis, Vatican, 1999, p.222

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