Family Is Guard Against Dehumanization, Says Cardinal López Trujillo

Expects 2 Million at World Meeting in Manila

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 17, 2003 ( Asia, the most populous but least Christian continent, will be the host for the 4th World Meeting of Families, under the motto «The Christian Family: Good News.»

The theme «has all the force of a proclamation, of an evangelization,» Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, said in this interview with ZENIT.

This world event, promoted by the pontifical council, will be held in Manila, Philippines, from Jan. 22-26.

«We insist on marriage as patrimony of humanity, but in addition to what the natural law states, for us, Christians, marriage is raised to the dignity of a sacrament,» the cardinal said. «It is not about the defense of the family as a traditional and natural institution, but the raising of marriage to a divine plan.

«In this connection, the experience of the Christian family becomes an evangelical witness. The Christian family is transformed into good news that must be proclaimed because of its beauty. This is a fundamental message of John Paul II’s pontificate, who points to the family as Gospel.»

Q: Why is Christian love good news?

Cardinal López Trujillo: Christian love expressed by the family is a love that preserves the freshness of the economy of redemption and full liberation.

Through the manner of understanding the family, filial love, and respect for life, flames can be lit that will illuminate and warm places that secularization has darkened and made to grow cold. Because of this, the first point of the new evangelization is to witness a faith that is capable of rekindling an environment, a culture, which otherwise is like cold lava. The Pope wishes the family to be the object of preaching, proclamation, evangelization.

Q: Will families be the missionaries of the third millennium?

Cardinal López Trujillo: Without a doubt! They have a purposive, respectful, but necessary mission. The world runs the risk of a new slavery: a world that does not see clearly that it is spiritually sick, which is unable to contemplate profoundly the beauty of life and, because of this, tends to dehumanization.

Dehumanization is one of the most negative aspects of secularization. Man, far from God, ceases to be genuinely man because the explicit love of God does not shine in his face. A favored way to humanize the world is the rediscovery of the family as source of real evangelization.

In this connection, I would like to underline how marriage has communicated in history respect toward the dignity of woman. There is nothing more anti-evangelical than to treat women as instruments, as things, as [a] sex market. These are dehumanizing ways that can be overcome by the constitution of families, where a woman grows in the meaning of her own dignity, daughter of God, wife and mother. Because of this, the family represents a solid obstacle to dehumanization.

Q: How many people will participate in the next World Meeting of Families?

Cardinal López Trujillo: We expect at least 2 million people. Moreover, there will be a novelty: the Holy Father will be present through the connection of «Mundovision,» and from the screens will share the testimonies and send his message. Also important will be the presence of movements, especially Charismatic Renewal, the Neocatechumens, the Focolarini and Human Life International.

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