World Meeting of Families Opens in Manila

Cardinal Says Basic Cell of Society Is «Good News» for World

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

MANILA, Philippines, JAN. 22, 2003 ( The family is still «good news» in a world that often views the institution as outdated, the archbishop of Manila said at the opening of the World Meeting of Families.

«I have prayed much for the success of this World Meeting,» said Cardinal Jaime Sin during the opening Mass today. «We know that the Philippines is very close to the Pope’s heart.»

Among those listening were 5,000 participants in the theological-pastoral congress, which is now under way at the Philippine International Convention Center, with representatives from 75 countries.

The cardinal asked: «Is the family really good news when traditional values of fidelity and commitment are frowned upon as vestiges of an antiquated past? How can the family be good news when today’s children cannot even be safe in their own homes?»

«To this question, I dare respond yes: The family is still good news to the third millennium,» he said. «But not simply family — it has to be a Christian family.»

Six cardinals, 190 archbishops and bishops, and 500 priests concelebrated the Mass with the archbishop of Manila.

Songs, dances, organs, trumpets and violins accompanied the liturgy. The celebration was followed from the altar by Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo, papal legate and president of the Pontifical Council for the Family.

The Pope himself chose Manila as the venue for the World Meeting of Families because the Philippines, the only country of a Catholic majority in the continent, must bear the burden of Asia’s evangelization, explained the president of the event’s Central Committee, Auxiliary Bishop Socrates Villegas of Manila.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation