Vatican Marking Anniversary of John Paul II's "Familiaris Consortio"

Family Council to Host Plenary Assembly Next Week

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 25, 2011 ( The Pontifical Council for the Family will mark the anniversary of its creation at its plenary assembly next week, which coincides also with the 30th anniversary of «Familiaris Consortio.»

At a press conference today, the Tuesday through Thursday conference was presented by the officials of that Vatican dicastery.

Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, president of the council, highlighted themes from «Familiaris Consortio,» such as the central role of the family in the new evangelization and in pastoral ministry in parishes and dioceses. He also highlighted the missionary vocation of the family «to live, irradiate and express to the world the love and presence of Christ; … to become a great sign of the credibility of the Gospel through mutual service, generous and responsible procreation, care of children, commitment to work, concern for the poor and needy, prayer in the home, participation in Mass and Church activities, and involvement in civil society.»

Bishop Jean Laffitte, secretary of the pontifical council, noted how trends in legislation undermine the foundation of the family, which John Paul II said could not be considered «without reference to conjugal love.»

«This would seem obvious but, in fact, recent legislation has juridically legitimized alternative models of the family which separate it from its deepest root: the love of a man and a woman linked by an indissoluble bond,» the bishop said.

He also pointed to «new difficulties,» such as that «getting married in Church is often no longer part of an active life of faith; and this means that an awareness of the sanctity of Christian marriage is lost. Thus we can see why the pastoral care of marriage and the family today requires serious and profound consideration.»

The pontifical council’s quarterly «Familia et vita» will be dedicating a special edition to the 30th anniversary of «Familiaris consortio.» Its 29 articles have been written by experts and scholars on the main themes contained in the apostolic exhortation, among them five cardinals, 10 archbishops and bishops, and six lay people including four women. 

The work of the plenary can be followed at the dicastery’s Web site:

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