Marriage Is Foundational and "Irreplaceable," Says Pope

Confirms 2006 Family Meeting in Spain

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 29, 2005 ( Marriage and family are indispensable to the growth of society and the transmission of the faith, says Benedict XVI.

In a letter addressed to Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, Benedict XVI affirms that, «in keeping with God’s plans, the Church cannot fail to proclaim that marriage and the family are irreplaceable and admit no other alternatives.»

The letter was motivated by Pope John Paul II’s convocation last February of the 5th World Meeting of Families, to be held in Valencia, Spain. Benedict XVI thus confirmed his support for the event.

The letter, made public today by Archbishop Agustín García-Gasco of Valencia, during the celebration of the solemnity of Corpus Christi, mentioned the «wonderful novelty» of his the family meetings initiated by his predecessor to proclaim the «Gospel of the Family,» whose value is central for the Church and society.

Benedict XVI said that «to give a truly human face to society, all nations cannot ignore the precious good of the family, founded on marriage.»

«The marital alliance, by which a man and a woman constitute between them a consortium for life, ordered by its very nature to the good of the spouses and to the procreation and education of offspring, is the foundation of the family, patrimony and common good of humanity,» he added.

Noble mission

Under the motto «The Transmission of Faith in the Family,» the meeting will be held the first week of July 2006.

Repeating the motto in his letter, Benedict XVI affirmed that «the Christian family has today more than ever a most noble and inescapable mission, the transmission of the faith, which implies commitment to Jesus Christ, dead and risen, and insertion in the ecclesial community.»

«Parents are the first evangelizers of their children, precious gift of the creator, beginning with the teaching of the first prayers,» he said. «Thus a moral universe is built rooted in the will of God, in which the child grows in human and Christian values which give full meaning to life.»

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