CCEE Press: The resources of the family ministry in front of the current challenges

Tuesday, 25 March 2014, 13:33
Teachers and students of the science of marriage and the family have met in the last few days in Rome (March 20-21) along with bishops from all over the world to reflect upon and analyze the legacy of John Paul II on the family. The meeting, organized by the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies of Marriage and the Family, received the patronage of the Council of European Catholic Bishops' Conferences (CCEE), which also supervised the final session

The purpose of the final session of the meeting was analyzing the resources of the family ministry in front of the current challenges. The session, chaired by Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, and moderated by Mgr. Duarte da Cunha, Secretary General of CCEE, benefitted from the contribution of several European experts.

During the works an observation has been repeated several times - the widespread ignorance of the teaching of the Church on the family, which is very often perceived as a set of rules. This is confirmed also by the many responses to the questionnaire on the family received by the Synod of Bishops. The mission of the Church, instead, is first of all and in every circumstance, proclaiming Christ who comes to meet everyone and knocks at the door of every hearth to bring the fullness of life. It is Christ who saves the families through the Church. In Rome, participants and speakers have rather emphasized the pastoral challenge to bring out the beauty of the Gospel of the Family without concealing its demands of truth that ultimately correspond to the expectations of the human heart. Cardinal Baldisseri urged participants to use this time of preparation for the forthcoming Synod as an opportunity to debate on the topic of the family and make visible the beauty of the teaching of the Church, as witnessed on a daily basis by the life of many Christian families. In fact, one of the purposes of the next Synod is to analyze the doctrine of the Church in front of the challenges of today's world in order to discern what the Lord is teaching to his own people, thus also addressing the great thirst for learning more about what the Church proclaims on the topic of the family. And especially to arouse the enthusiasm of the whole Church to bring Christ to all the families.

On the eve of the canonization of the one who has already been called the Pope of the family, the figure and the contribution of John Paul II on the topics of marriage and the family were repeatedly evoked. The passion for the family of the Blessed Pope has led him to develop a rich magisterium which is still relevant today. Familiaris consortio, his catechesis on human love and many other documents, but above all the memory of his way of dealing pastorally with the families, are still sources of inspiration as witnessed by the family ministry operators from five continents who attended the meeting.

In fact, the magisterium of John Paul II clearly shows how the family is, even for our time, a really good news and that marriage, if it is lived in the light of divine grace that redeems the human heart, is a source of love also in very adverse circumstances.

In short, the teaching of this future saint is an invitation to unceasingly proclaim the love of the family, even when this proclamation must go against the general trend, because this is a responsibility of the Church, a heir of this Pope. In this sense, the Church is invited to promote an adequate family ministry, which can accompany the individuals and the families and bring everyone to the truth and love of Jesus.

The family ministry cannot be understood as a sector or an aspect of pastoral care, but rather as the perspective to which all pastoral care refers to. This adequate and complete pastoral care which had been wholeheartedly promoted by the Blessed Pope coincide with the urgency to proclaim the joy of the Gospel to which Pope Francis drew the attention of the whole Church.

The participants paid tribute to Pope John Paul II by taking part in a Thanksgiving Mass celebrated by Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, first dean of the John Paul II Institute, in St. Peter's Basilica at the tomb of the Blessed Pope.




TAGS: ССЕЕ, family


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