Tuesday, 23 April 2024
Benedict on the Family 2007 PDF Print E-mail

The Holy Family and the holiness of families

In his Angelus address, marking the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, in 2007, the Holy Father, Benedict XVI, speaking in Spanish, said:

"Contemplating the mystery of the Son of God, who came into the world surrounded by the affection of Mary and Joseph, I urge Christian families to experience the loving presence of the Lord in their life.
At the same time I urged them to bear witness, before the world, of the beauty of human love, marriage and family, finding inspiration in Christ's love for mankind.
Based on an indissoluble union between a man and a woman, it [the family] constitutes the privileged sphere in which human life is welcomed and protected, from its beginning to its natural end..."

The Holy Father's words were carried, via satellite video-link, to the Plaza de Colon in Madrid, Spain, where a meeting and celebration of the family, sponsored by the Spanish bishops' conference, was being held.

An estimated two million people attended to bear witness to the family, defined as a man, a woman, and their children. The meeting also sought to assert the responsibility of parents in the education of their children and the absolute need for the state to support the family as an institution in which children and the elderly are welcomed. Every Spanish diocese and Church movement was represented at this celebration.

Recently the Spanish Socialist government had given legal recognition to homosexual unions and has decided to eliminate religious education from schools.

The Holy Father added:

'Parents have the right, and the fundamental duty, to educate their children in their faith, and the values that give dignity to human existence. It is worthwhile to work for the family and marriage, because it is worthwhile to work for human beings, the most precious being created by God.'

Cardinal Antonio Ruoco, archbishop of Madrid, said to the crowds that the family is "objectively the most serious problem that European societies face today."
He added that "the idea of marriage and family is radically relativized," and that lifestyles "opposed to the value of the indissoluble love between a man and a woman" are being promoted among the youth.
The cardinal recalled that, in the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the family is recognized as the "natural and fundamental nucleus of society," and that it should be protected by society and the state.
Cardinal Ruoco added, "A Christian response to this crucial question is urgent and crucial for our future, that of Spain, of Europe and of all of humankind."


Recently in 2008, on the Feast of the Family, in a similar link-up with a public Mass in Madrid, attended by a vast crowd of thousands, Pope Benedict urged Spanish Catholics to keep their families strong.

"Do not let love, openness to life and the incomparable links that join your homes weaken," the pope said in a message read out in Madrid. "The pope is by your side," the pontiff added.

The archbishop of Madrid, Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, added: "the future of humanity depends on the family, the Christian family."
"It is possible to conceive, organize and live marriage and family in a very different way from what is in fashion in so many areas of our society," he said in a homily.
Rouco Varela called abortion one of the worst "scourges" of modern times.
He concelebrated the Mass along with five other archbishops, 22 bishops and more than 300 priests.


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