We are well aware of the many challenges facing families today, and we know how difficult it is, in current social conditions, to achieve the ideal of fidelity and solidarity in conjugal love, to bring up children, and to preserve the harmony of the family unit. While on the one hand – thanks be to God – there are shining examples of good families, open to the culture of life and love, on the other hand, sadly, an increasing number of marriages and families are in crisis. From so many families, in a worryingly precarious state, we hear a cry for help, often an unconscious one, which clamours for a response from civil authorities, from ecclesial communities and from the various educational agencies. Accordingly, there is an increasingly urgent need for a common commitment to support families by every means available, from the social and economic point of view, as well as the juridical and spiritual. In this context, I am pleased to recommend and encourage certain initiatives and proposals that have emerged in the course of your Conference. I am thinking, for example, of the laudable commitment to mobilize citizens in support of the initiative for "Family-friendly fiscal policy", urging Governments to promote family-related policies that give parents a real possibility of having children and bringing them up in the family.Have a look at the VIS report which also refers to Pope John Paul's affirmation that "the future of humanity passes by way of the family."
Friday, 16 May 2008
It's the family, stupid!
I am increasingly convinced that the battle for civilisation is centred on the family. As the fundamental unit of society, it is increasingly under threat from moral, social, and economic pressures. The family should be our principle focus of pastoral support and encouragement. Today, the Holy Father spoke to the Forum of Family Associations and the European federation of Catholic Family Associations. He said: