By Pietro Gennarini

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 16, 2012 ( The President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, addressed the Synod of Bishops yesterday in its eleventh general congregation speaking of the importance of the Family for the New Evangelization. Taking inspiration from the words of the last three pontiffs on the family and the anthropological indications of scripture, he offered the Bishops a reflection which underlined the reasons for today’s “pastoral infertility” and indicated the family as an essential element of the answer to that problem and that of society as a whole.

“The stability itself of society is at stake,” stated the Archbishop Emeritus saying it is precisely because Western society has strived for liberation from all ties, including that of the family. The Italian prelate said that “it is urgent, very urgent” for the family to take a center stage in cultural, political and economic reflection but even more is the need for the Church to live out its mission less as an institution and more as a family.

“The Church attracts if it is truly lived in a familial way,” he said while echoing similar statements made by recent Popes. Among those he  quoted were Benedict XVI, who spoke of matrimony as a Good News in itself which is “based upon the grace” of God. Archbishop Paglia also referred to Paul VI who described the family as “expert in humanity” as well as John Paul II’s assertion that “the future of evangelization largely depends on the domestic church”.

The “extraordinary light of love” of those, albeit few, but heroic families “should be placed in the candelabra,” he asserted. Only then, he concluded, the Church hoped for by the Vatican Council II may allow the world to “taste the joy of the first Christian community.”