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Pope Francis during the General Audience of Wednesday 2nd of September 2015


Pope at Audience: No Economic, Political Engineering Can Substitute Families’ Contribution

Speaks on Importance of Families Giving Witness in Societies ‘Often Marked by Impersonalism, Spiritual Aridity’

“The family’s covenant with God is called today to oppose the communal desertification of the modern city. But our cities have become like deserts because of lack of love, because of a lack of smiles. So many amusements, so many things to pass time, to make one laugh, but love is lacking. A family’s smile is capable of overcoming this desertification of our cities.”

Speaking to the thousands of faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square for his weekly General Audience, Pope Francis said this as he continued his catechesis on the family, specifically reflecting on the importance of families for spreading the faith, which helps build a more human society. 

The Holy Father reminded those gathered how Jesus, while affirming the primacy of faith in God, referred to his disciples as his brothers, sisters and mothers. 

In the Christian life, these family ties are transformed and enlarged; as spiritual fathers and mothers, as brothers and sisters to one another, and particularly to those in need, we bring the Father’s love to our world. 

When we do this, Francis explained, we become a blessing, a sign of hope for the renewal of all social relations. 

Within families, the Holy Father reminded those gathered that faith becomes a powerful force for unity and love. Moreover, he added how faith inspires a convincing witness to the Gospel.  “How important is this witness in our societies, so often marked by impersonalism and spiritual aridity!” he observed. 

“No economic or political engineering is able to substitute this contribution of families. The Babel project builds skyscrapers without life. Instead, God’s Spirit makes deserts flower,” Francis said.

Before concluding, Pope Francis said all should pray for all families, and like the wine of the wedding feast of Cana, that they bring happiness, joy and the warmth of God’s love to our world.


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About Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is a Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in four languages). She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, at times from the papal flight, and has done television and radio commentary, including for Vatican Radio and BBC. She is a contributor to National Catholic Register, UK Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside the Vatican, and other Catholic news outlets. She has also collaborated with the Vatican in various projects, including an internship at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and is a collaborator with NBC Universal, NBC News, Euronews, EWTN and Salt & Light. For 'The Other Francis': or

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