marriage and family

Familiaris Consortio

Thirty years ago on 22 November 1981, the Apostolic Exhortation on the Christian Family in the Modern World, Familiaris Consortio, was published. To mark this anniversary, the Marriage and Family Life Project Office has prepared a multimedia archive examining the World Synod of Bishops on the Family in 1980 whose deliberations inspired the content and structure of Familiaris Consortio. These features offer an insight into the preparations for the Synod in England and Wales, examine contemporary concerns for marriage and family life, and the impact of the document once published, especially as it informed the pastoral visit to England and Wales of Blessed Pope John Paul II in 1982.

Familiaris Consortio

Synod Announced

On 16 December 1978, Pope John Paul II agreed on ‘The Role of the Christian Family’ as the theme for the next World Synod of Bishops in 1980. In May 1979 the...Read more

familiaris consortio

Synod Starts

The Fifth General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops met in Rome from 26 September to 25 October 1980. 148 bishops and 68 other delegates from across the globe...Read more

familiaris consortio

2011 Anniversary

Thirty years ago, on November 22nd 1981, Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Exhortation on the Christian Family in the Modern World, Familiaris Consortio, was pub...Read more


Dr David Thomas

Family theologian Dr David Thomas advised the US Bishops at the 1980 Synod of Bishops on the Family in Rome. The resulting document, an Apostolic Exhortation of Pope John Paul II, called Familiaris Consortio was released a year later. Read more

familiaris consortio

Family Perspective

The impact of Familiaris Consortio is perhaps more easily traced from a historical perspective. It had a clear impact on the Papacy of Blessed Pope John Paul...Read more

familiaris consortio

Document Published

On 22 November 1981 Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio was published. It was more than a year after 200 delegates had gathered i...Read more

Familiaris consortio


The comprehensive nature of Familiaris Consortio appears to some extent to have worked against its reception. It is generally agreed that its length was and...Read more

familiaris consortio

The Church and the Family in the Modern World

22 November 2011 marks the 30th anniversary of the publication of Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio.  To date it remains the only report of this scale to be issued by the Holy See on the Church and its relationship to the family in the modern world. 

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