Movements Offered as Tool for Families

Representatives Present Charisms as Help for Domestic Churches

VALENCIA, Spain, JULY 5, 2006 (
Representatives of new ecclesial movements participated in a roundtable discussion today at the Theological-Pastoral Congress, presenting their respective charisms as tools to help families in their mission as domestic churches.

Cardinal Franc Rodé, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, led the discussion which was attended by 6,000 people and precedes the 5th World Meeting of Families.

Pope Benedict XVI plans to attend the Meeting in Valencia on July 8-9.

Panelist Julián Carrón, president of Communion and Liberation, said in his intervention that “it is increasingly evident that the maturity of those coming to marriage cannot be considered a given,” adding that “the present crisis of the family is the consequence of the anthropological crisis in which we find ourselves.”

The marital relationship depends on one’s concept of the human being and “the lack of awareness of man’s destiny leads to basing the relationship on a deception,” noted Carrón.

For his part, Luis Fernando Figari, founder of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, said that the family needs not only theoretical content but a practical program, an itinerary which he summarized in five points: personal holiness, integration as a couple, formative love of children, consecration in fidelity, and awareness that all baptized persons are members of a great family, the Church, and are called to love and feel united to the Church, beginning in the home, which must be a cenacle of love.

José Gabaldón, president of the Spanish Family Forum, presented this civil association whose “objective is the promotion and help of the person and the family before organisms, institutions and society in general, as well as facilitating communication and meetings between entities and persons that promote and defend the fundamental values of the person and the family.”

For their part, Francis and Geraldine Padilla of Couples for Christ, from the Philippines, shared their experience in this association, which began in that Asian country in 1981 and today has one million active members in 153 countries. It is an evangelizing and missionary community whose objective is “to be families in the Holy Spirit to be instruments of God in the renewal of the face of the earth.”

Gerard and Marie Christine de Roberty, international leaders of Our Lady’s Teams, presented this association made up of 60,000 Christian married couples in 71 countries. They are “schools of communion, of companionships on the journey where one learns to live in the truth and love that Christ has communicated to us in the midst of the apostles, within the great family of the disciples.”

The de Robertys indicated that “given that an isolated Christian couple is a couple in danger, it needs a team of couples to progress, to help it build and grow in love of neighbor and of God. The sharing of the couple’s spiritual life is the privileged moment for the transmission of their faith to others, confronted with the daily realities in the diversity of commitments and situations of each one’s life.”

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