Pope Francis said something very interesting this week to the cardinals gathered for the Extraordinary Consistory of all the Cardinals. We would do well to heed his words:
extend a warm greeting to you all and, with you, I thank the Lord who
has given us these days of meeting and working together. We welcome
especially our brothers who will be created Cardinals on Saturday and we
accompany them with our prayers and fraternal affection.
these days, we will reflect in particular on the family, which is the
fundamental cell of society. From the beginning the Creator blessed man
and woman so that they might be fruitful and multiply, and so the
family then is an image of the Triune God in the world.
reflections must keep before us the beauty of the family and marriage,
the greatness of this human reality which is so simple and yet so rich,
consisting of joys and hopes, of struggles and sufferings, as is the
whole of life. We will seek to deepen the theology of the family and
discern the pastoral practices which our present situation requires.
May we do so thoughtfully and without falling into “casuistry”, because
this would inevitably diminish the quality of our work. Today, the
family is looked down upon and mistreated. We are called to acknowledge
how beautiful, true and good it is to start a family, to be a family
today; and how indispensable the family is for the life of the world and
for the future of humanity. We are called to make known God’s
magnificent plan for the family and to help spouses joyfully experience
this plan in their lives, as we accompany them amidst so many
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