The family is fundamental in giving witness to the love of God and the Synod is “called to interpret this zeal, for today, this zeal and care of the Church.”
These were Pope Francis’ words today at his weekly General Audience. The Pope begins today a series of catecheses on the relationship between the Church and the family during the Synod of Bishops on the family.
The Pope began by saying that the daily lives of today’s men and women show a need for an “injection of family spirit.” While civil, economic, juridical, and professional relationships seem rational, they often become dry, even unbearable.
“While wanting to be inclusive in its forms, in reality they abandon to solitude and waste away an always greater number of people,” he said.
The Jesuit Pope explained that in today’s world, support for the family has been diminished and that the virtues of family life have not been incorporated in modern society.
“The family introduces to this need the bonds of fidelity, sincerity, trust, cooperation, respect; it encourages to project a habitable world and to believe in relations of trust, even in difficult conditions; it teaches to honor the word given, respect of individual persons, the sharing of personal and other limitations.”
The Pope went on to say that despite all its advances in science and technology, modern society is unable to translate these virtues into better ways of coexistence.
He then highlighted the Church’s mission in this time of the Synod. Recalling Jesus’ calling of Peter to be a “fisher of men”, the Pope said that “today, families are one of the most important nets for the mission of Peter and of the Church.”
“This is not a net that makes us prisoners. On the contrary, it frees from the evil waters of abandonment and indifference, which drown many human beings in the sea of loneliness and indifference. Families know well the dignity of feeling themselves children and not slaves or strangers, or just a number of an identity card,” he said.
Concluding his address, Pope Francis called on the faithful to pray that the Synod Fathers may “foster the impetus of a Church that abandons the old nets and returns to fish trusting in the word of her Lord.”
— — —
On the Web:
For the translation of the Pope’s address, go to: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/general-audience-on-the-relationship-between-the-church-and-the-family