Family is under attack as never before – Pope

The family is beaten and wounded, Pope Francis claims

The family is under attack now more than ever because of today’s culture of division that wants to break from, and be free of, all everlasting bonds and forms of solidarity, Pope Francis said.

“Talking about problems of the family, for example, bonds are being destroyed, instead of created. Why? Because we are living in a culture of the provisional, of conflict, of the inability to make alliances,” he said.

What is needed is a Church and Catholics who are willing to “waste time” on people, not just principles, and accompany face-to-face those needing to discover the truth in Jesus Christ, he said.

The Pope’s comments came during a 90-minute encounter with about 8,000 lay members of the international Schoenstatt movement in the Vatican audience hall. The movement, founded by the late German priest Fr Joseph Kentenich, was celebrating its 100th anniversary.

Questions

Representatives asked the Pope five questions, ranging from how to help strengthen families to his secret for maintaining a sense of hope and happiness in such a trouble-plagued world.

In response to a question about how to help families, Pope Francis said he believed “the Christian family, the family, marriage have never been attacked as much as they are right now”.

The family is “beaten and the family is bastardised” and debased, since almost anything is being called a family, he said.

The family faces a crisis “because it is being bludgeoned by all sides, leaving it very wounded”, he said. There is no other choice than to go to the family’s aid and give them personal help, he said.

Permanent
union

“We can give a nice speech, declare principles. Of course we need to do this, with clear ideas” and statements saying that unions that do not reflect God’s plan of a permanent union between a man and a woman are forms of “an association, not a marriage”.

 

He said the sacrament of matrimony is becoming just a ceremony or social event for some people, who do not see its sacramental nature as a union with God. Part of the problem is a lack of formation for engaged couples and “this is a sin of omission on our part,” he said.