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Arch. Joseph Kurtz: We asked married couples to tell us where the Church fell short

What's the best way for the Church to strengthen the family unit? It's a question bishops have been analyzing during the Synod on the Family. The president of the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, says one key recommendation came directly from married couples.  ARCH. JOSEPH KURTZ President, U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops "The most common things we asked, we said, where has the Church come up short? They said, we felt that when we got married we were a completed project, we didnâ??t hear from anyone after that. So one of the first things we have to do is within our parishes find creative ways to reach out and encourage faithful married love.â? Over the last few decades, the number of marriages have diminished in the West. Lack of financial stability is a factor. In the U.S, where roughly 40 to 50 percent of marriages end in divorce, statistics often trigger an even bigger mental challenge for the youth.  ARCH. JOSEPH KURTZ President, U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops "People hear statistics and maybe even the misreading of statistics and they end up saying, oh my God, am I doomed to failure, are they at the mercy of statistics, a young couple saying do I really have a chance, do we have a chance to make this a fruitful marriage?â?  For many years, Archbishop Kurtz was a family counselor. When it comes to marriage, he says there's quite a lot to still be hopeful for. Sacrifice is part of marriage and sacrifice comes up time and time again when talking about love.  ARCH. JOSEPH KURTZ President, U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops "I would say to people, who has loved you the most? I would hear these beautiful stories about so and so, their mother, their spouse, a teacher sacrificed for them and they talked about that love, so I know that people understand sacrificial love.â? The second phase of the Synod will take place from October 4th to the 25th 2015, just about a month before the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.  KLH  AA -VM -PR Up: JAE