Family Seen as Humanizing Factor of Globalization

International Conference Concludes

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BARCELONA, Spain, SEPT. 16, 2002 ( The sixth International Congress on the Holy Family ended here with a call to promote the beauty of the family as a means to humanize globalization.

The Sept. 6-9 meeting was closed by Auxiliary Bishop Francisco Gonzalez of Washington, D.C., a Holy Family religious.

«The process of globalization — that increasing interconnection of political, economic and social life of peoples on earth — runs the risk of allowing itself to be dragged by the impelling force of a pure market economy, neo-liberalism, the law of productivity and profit, since there are many in the village that the world has become who are not benefiting all together,» Bishop Gonzalez said.

«The Church, our community of faith, is the one that, by the Gospel we have received and the lifestyle to which we have been called, can give a positive face to the phenomenon of globalization,» the bishop added.

«To love one another is not to look at each other, but to look together in the same direction,» Bishop Gonzalez said at the closing of the congress, organized by the congregation of the Children of the Holy Family. It was attended by bishops, priests, men and women religious, and laity from Europe, America and Asia.

The meeting also studied the motif of the Holy Family in the work of architect Antonio Gaudí, whose process of beatification is under way. Participants visited his Cathedral of the Holy Family in Barcelona, among other works.

Special attention was given to aspects of family pastoral care, in the light of the apostolic exhortation «Familiaris Consortio,» and the numerous family movements that arose last century.

Cardinal Ricard Carles, archbishop of Barcelona, who presided over the celebration of the Mass on the first day, said: «I am profoundly convinced that the emergence of the spirituality of the Holy Family has been the inspiration for the flowering — new in many aspects — in our time of a conjugal and family spirituality.»

«This contribution can be considered providential today, when so many factors tend to erode and de-Christianize the Christian concept of marriage and the family,» the cardinal added.

The Holy Family congresses began in 1992. They have studied the impact of the Holy Family on the Church and in society. That impact has grown since the 17th century. The 19th century in particular saw growth, thanks to the interventions of Popes Pius IX and Leo XIII, and the numerous religious institutes that arose, inspired by the spirituality of the Holy Family.

Father Josep Blanquet, secretary-general of the Congregation of Children of the Holy Family and coordinator of the sixth congress, said that in recent years the Holy Family has increasingly appeared in post-conciliar spirituality and liturgy.

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