Monday, 20 April 2009

Familiaris Consortio revisited 2

Paragraphs 4 and 5.

Since the family is the hinge of human civilisation - everything about human society depends ultimately upon the family - the Church must come to appreciate the culture which the family inhabits today. This is necessary if the Church is to engage in the evangelisation of the family. More importantly, the Church must listen to the needs, the hopes and fears of families themselves. And again, the Church must come to recognise those prejudicial forces which affect families today. The Church, with her evangelical discernment is able to do this and is able to offer families her own service to the truth. Indeed, the Church understands the family so well that she is able to offer a complete and true vision of marriage and the family.

The discernment which the Church makes is based upon the presence in her of the Holy Spirit, through the different gifts and charisms which the Spirit bestows, especially to the lay faithful who have "the specific role of interpreting the history of the world in the light if Christ".

This however, doesn't mean that the Church's disecernment is based on consensus or power, but upon conscience. It is here that the Church discerns what it is about human life that is an expression of the truth of Christ. Christian spouses are here at the forefront of an authentic evangelical discernment - testing themselves against the rule of faith - because of their specific charism, the sacrament of marriage.

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