Pope Francis says that in the face of “ideological colonizations,” married couples are called to give testimony as a “happy family,” but must also go beyond giving testimony and find concrete ways to support other couples.
The Pope said this today when he addressed the Équipes Notre Dame [Teams of Our Lady], a lay movement for married couples that has spread to more than 70 countries since its founding by Father Enrico Caffarel in France in the 1940s.
The Bishop of Rome called the couples, strengthened by their meeting as “Teams,” to make a commitment as missionaries.
He said this commitment is ever more important as the “image of the family — as God wills it, made up of one man and one woman in view of the good of the spouses and also of the generation and education of children — is deformed through powerful contrary projects supported by ideological colonizations.”
The Holy Father has referred before to what he calls “ideological colonization.” For example, on his trip to the Philippines in January, during his meeting with families, he said this “colonization” is not “born of the dream that we have with God from prayer and the mission that God gives us. It comes [from] outside.”
He clarified further on the return flight from the Philippines, recalling an example of this “ideological colonization” from 20 years ago, when a loan was promised to a minister of education, but on the condition that a school book with gender theory was used. He noted that the bishops of Africa often decry that their cultures are being victimized by this “ideological colonization.”
In his address to the Teams of Our Lady today, the Pope recognized that married couples are “already missionaries” just by the testimony of their family life in their own social, professional and family circles.
“A happy and balanced family, inhabited by the presence of God,” he said, “speaks on its own of the love of God for all men.”
Still, the Pope said, couples need to commit themselves to do more.
He said that whenever it is possible, they should take up “with renewed creativity” concrete activities that can “receive, form, and support” couples in the faith, particularly young couples, before and after their marriage.
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