The Eighth World Meeting of Families, which will take place in 2015, has the task of showing “the world God’s shining plan for families, to help married couples live out that plan with joy, and to be there for them with a shepherd’s care that is wise, brave and full of love”.
This was the hope expressed today by Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, during a press conference to present the next meeting from September 22 – 27. Also in attendance at the press conference was Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. of Philadelphia.
Pope Francis has placed significant emphasis on the family during his pontificate. The next Synod of Bishops this October will reflect on the theme: “The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of the Evangelization.”
Archbishop Paglia also emphasized the importance of the Holy Father’s presence at the event, which will “gather the Churches of the Americas.”
“There is no doubt that the presence on the Chair of Peter of the first Latin American Pope makes the event even more meaningful,” he said.
“The starting point and the guide for this journey are given to us by Pope Francis: the beauty of the family and of marriage, the grandeur of a reality both simple and profound, a combination of joy, hope, burdens and suffering, just like the rest of life.
“We will seek to deepen our understanding of the theology of the family and of the pastoral care that we must exercise in today’s world,” he added. “Our task is to show the world God’s shining plan for families, to help married couples live out that plan with joy, and to be there for them with a shepherd’s care that is wise, brave and full of love”.
The president of the Pontifical Council for the Family went on to say that the meeting in Philadelphia will give the Church a presence for all the families of the world “with a shepherd’s care.” Archbishop Paglia highlighted some of the challenges and complex problems faced by families today, saying that will work together with families to face these challenges with “wisdom, bravery and love.”
Concluding his presentation, Archbishop Paglia expressed his hope that World Meeting of Families will see the active participation of other Christian Churches, as well as representatives of the world’s religions and those who are not religious. “The event will be an opportunity to bring together people who “are committed to bring peace and goodwill to our world,” he said.
“May our coming together for the family encourage all peoples to remember that we are one family of humankind and that it is together as a family that we must walk the path to true happiness”.