The World Meeting of Families
Will take place in Dublin on the 21st -26th of August 2018. It is expected that Pope Francis will attend so we are beginning our preparation now for that event. Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation “The Joy of Love” (Amoris Laetitia) offers his vision for family life. In the newsletter each week we will share with you a paragraph from this document. Each family is unique and special and Pope Francis affirms this while concentrating on the good news. Enjoy the extracts.
Week 1 extract
The welfare of the family is decisive for the future of the world and that of the Church. Countless studies have been made of marriage and the family, their current problems and challenges. We do well to focus on concrete realities since the call and the demands of the Spirit resound in the events of history and through these the Church can also be guided to a more profound understanding of the inexhaustible mystery of marriage and the family.
Amoris Laetitia/ The Joy of Love :: Chapter 2 p.31
Week 2 extract
The World Meeting of Families: We must be grateful that most people do value family relationships that are permanent and marked by mutual respect. They appreciate the Church’s efforts to offer guidance and counselling in areas related to growth in love, overcoming conflict and raising children. Many are touched by the power of grace experienced in sacramental Reconciliation and in the Eucharist, grace of that helps them face the challenges of marriage and the family.
Amoris Laetitia/ The Joy of Love :: Chapter 2 p.38
Week 3 extract
“There is also a general feeling of powerlessness in the face of socio cultural realities that oftentimes end up crushing families…Families often feel abandoned due to lack of interest and attention on the part of the institutions. The negative impact on the social order is clear, as seen in the demographic crisis, in the difficulty of raising children, in a hesitancy to welcome new life, in a tendency to see older persons as a burden and in an increase of emotional problems and outbreaks of violence. The state has the responsibility to pass laws and create work to ensure the future of young people and help them realise their plan of forming families”
Amoris Laetitia/ The Joy of Love :: Chapter 2 p.43
Pope Francis on the right to dignified housing for families
“The lack of dignified or affordable housing often leads to the postponement of formal relationships. It should be kept in mind that ‘the family has the right to decent housing, fitting for family life and commensurate to the number of the members, in a physical environment that provides the basic services for the life of the family and the community’. Families and homes go together. This makes us see how important it is to insist on the rights of the family and not only those of individuals.”
Amoris Laetitia/ The Joy of Love :: Chapter 2 p.44
Pope Francis on the care of the elderly
“The elderly who are vulnerable and dependant are at times unfairly exploited simply for economic advantage. Many families show us that it is possible to approach the last stages of life by emphasising the importance of a person’s sense of fulfilment and participation in the Lord’s paschal mystery. Euthanasia and assisted suicide are serious threats to families worldwide. The Church, while firmly opposing these practices, feels the need to assist families who take care of their elderly and infirm members”.
Amoris Laetitia/ The Joy of Love :: Chapter 2 p.48
Pope Francis on the problems faced by families living in poverty
“I would like to mention the situation of families living in dire poverty and great limitations. The problems faced by poor households are often all the more trying. For example, if a single mother has to raise a child by herself and needs to leave the child alone at home while she goes to work, the child can grow up exposed to all kinds of risks and obstacles to personal growth. In such difficult situations of need, the Church must be concerned to offer understanding, comfort and acceptance rather than imposing straightaway a set of rules that only lead people to feel judged and abandoned by the very Mother called to show them God’s mercy”.
Amoris Laetitia/ The Joy of Love :: Chapter 2 p.49
Pope Francis on addiction
“Drug use is seen as one of the scourges of our time, causing immense suffering and even breakup for many families. The same is true of alcoholism, gambling and other addictions. The family could be the place where these are prevented and overcome, but society and politics fail to see that families at risk lose the ability to act to help their members … we see the serious effects of this breakdown in families torn apart, the young uprooted and the elderly abandoned, children who are orphans of living parents, adolescents and young adults confused and unsupported.”
Amoris Laetitia/ The Joy of Love :: Chapter 2 p.51
Pope Francis on familial love and the love of Christ for us:
“Our teaching on marriage and the family cannot fail to be inspired and transformed by this message of love and tenderness; otherwise, it becomes nothing more than the defence of a dry and lifeless doctrine. The mystery of the Christian family can be fully understood only in the light of the Father’s infinite love revealed in Christ, who gave Himself up for our sake and who continues to dwell in our midst.”
Amoris Laetitia/ The Joy of Love :: Chapter 2 p.59
Pope Francis on the meaning of mercy as demonstrated by Jesus:
“Jesus began his public ministry with the miracle at the wedding feast of Cana. He shared in everyday moments of friendship with the family of Lazarus and his sisters and with the family of Peter. He sympathised with grieving parents and restored their children to life. In this way he demonstrated the true meaning of mercy which entails the restoration of the covenant. This is clear from his conversation with the Samaritan woman and with the woman found in adultery where the consciousness of sin is awakened by an encounter with Jesus’ gratuitous love”.
Amoris Laetitia/The Joy of Love :: Chapter 3 p.64