To Destroy the Family Is to Destroy Society, Warns Pope

Meets With Pontifical Council for the Family

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 21, 2004 ( John Paul II says that anyone who destroys the family causes profound harm to society.

“Whoever destroys this fundamental fabric of human coexistence, by not respecting its identity and by upsetting its tasks, causes a profound wound in society and provokes harm that is often irreparable,” the Pope said Saturday when receiving in audience the participants of the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Family.

The Vatican dicastery held its three-day assembly in the Vatican. The meeting ended Saturday.

In his Italian-language address, the Holy Father emphasized that the “mission of spouses and of Christian families, in virtue of the grace received in the sacrament” of marriage, “at the service of the building of the Church and of the construction of the kingdom of God in history … has lost nothing of its timeliness.”

“What is more, it has become exceptionally urgent,” he said.

Commenting on the theme of the pontifical council’s assembly — “The Mission of Mature and Experienced Couples in Regard to Engaged Couples and Young Married Couples” — the Pope recommended to young families to value the “discreet, delicate and generous help of other couples who have been experiencing marriage and the family for some time.”

He said this advice is helpful “especially in the first years of marriage,” when families are exposed to “eventual difficulties as those created by the adaptation to life in common or the birth of children.”

The Holy Father was pleased to note “the growing presence worldwide of movements in favor of the family and life.”

“Their dynamism, placed at the service of those who have been married recently, guarantees a precious help to give the opportune answer to the richness of the vocation to which the Lord calls them,” he said.

Finally, the Pope again urged participation in the 5th World Meeting of Families, planned for 2006 in Valencia, Spain.

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