Monday, 20 April 2009

Familiaris Consortio revisited 1

I shall begin here a paraphrasing of John Paul II's great Letter about the Family - the greatest statement about the family which has ever been made. Herewith, paragraphs 1 - 3:

The family, more than any other part of the human community, has suffered the impact of the changes which are taking place in the world. The Church, who has a special care for all things human, wishes to offer her help to the family. It is especially important that young people today be able see the greatness of the family.
As a sign of this the 1980 Synod of Bishops chose to focus on the family, since the family is the first community which can announce the Gospel to an infant and then lead him or her to full human and Christian maturity. Indeed, it is the family which can form individuals who are socially responsible.

The Synod Fathers asked me, John Paul II, to be the spokesman before humanity of the Church's concern for the family and to indicate ways in which the family must be cherished today. In so doing, I am fulfilling in a special way the apostolic ministry entrusted to me.

It is the Gospel which shows forth the full truth about marriage and the family, and so the Church wishes to proclaim the Gospel, so that men and women today can fully embrace those truths. Marriage and the family are given the fullness of meaning by Christ.

Even though many forces today are set against the family, the Church sees the greatness of the family and its unique and powerful role in creating, forming and re-setting correctly, the fabric of human civilisation.

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