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Pope Francis Says John Paul II’s Intuition Seen Even More Clearly Today

In address to Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, recalls that family is the icon of God’s alliance with the entire human family

Pope John Paul II’s “far-sighted intuition” in establishing the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family is ever more clear today, Pope Francis says.

The Pope said this when he received today in the Vatican some 400 people representing these academic institutions.

The Polish Pontiff “vigorously restored to the attention of the Church, and to human society itself, the depth and delicate nature of the bonds that are generated from the conjugal alliance between man and woman,” Francis said.

The Pope emphasised that the development of the Institute on all five continents confirms the validity and meaning of the “Catholic” form of its program, while he added that further initiatives can be developed to foster discussion with people of different religions and cultures.

“At the current moment, conjugal and family bonds are challenged in many ways,” he said, including:

  • a culture that exalts narcissistic individualism,
  • a concept of freedom detached from responsibility for the other,
  • the growth of indifference with regard to the common good,
  • the imposition of ideologies that directly attack the family project, and
  • the growth of the poverty that threatens the future of many families
  • open questions on the development of new technologies, which make possible practices that are at times contrary to the true dignity of human life. …

“The uncertainty and disorientation that affect the fundamental affections of the person and of life destabilise all bonds, family and social, causing ‘I’ always to prevail over ‘we’, the individual over society. It is an outcome that contradicts the plan of God, Who entrusted the world and history to the alliance of man and woman. This alliance, by its very nature, implies cooperation and respect, generous dedication and shared responsibility, and the capacity for recognising difference as a wealth and as a promise, not as a reason for subjugation and abuse,” the Holy Father said.

“The Church sees in the family the icon of God’s alliance with the entire human family. … The charity of the Church therefore endeavours to develop, at doctrinal and pastoral level, our capacity to read and interpret, for our time, the truth and the beauty of God’s creative design. The irradiation of this divine plan … requires a special intelligence of love, and also strong evangelical dedication, inspired by great compassion and mercy for the vulnerability and fallibility of love between human beings.”

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