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    » 12/30/2007, 00.00

    VATICAN

    Church defends and promotes the dignity and holiness of the family, says Pope



    Benedict XVI greets the participants in the celebration of the family in Madrid sponsored by the Spanish Church; he asserts that the ‘good health’ of the family helps society’s growth.

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Today’s Angelus was a special one, dedicated to the family.  Benedict XVI, who mentioned that today was the Feast of the Holy Family, was “linked” to  Plaza de Colon in Madrid, where a celebration of the family was underway, a meeting sponsored by Spain’s Catholic bishops and Spanish Catholic associations aimed at reasserting the value of the family defined as a man, a woman, and their children, as well as parents’ responsibility in education and the need for society to support the family as an institution in which children and the elderly are welcomed. Every diocese and Church movement joined the celebration which brought together an estimated 1.5 million people in Madrid’s Plaza de Colon.

    Speaking to them (in Spanish) the Pope said: “Contemplating the mystery of the Son of God who came into the world surrounded by the affection of Mary and Joseph, I urge Christian families to experience the loving presence of the Lord in their life. At the same time I urged them to bear witness before the world of the beauty of human love, marriage and family, finding inspiration in Christ’s love for mankind. Based on an indissoluble union between a man and a woman, it [the family] constitutes the privileged sphere in which human life is welcomed and protected, from its beginning to its natural end.”

    In a veiled criticism of the Spanish government, which has legally recognised homosexual unions and has decided to eliminate religious education from schools, the Pontiff added: “Parents have the right and the fundamental duty to educate their children in their faith and the values that give dignity to human existence. It is worthwhile to work for the family and marriage because it is worthwhile to work for human beings, the most precious being created by God.”

    Earlier Benedict XVI mentioned the significance of today’s celebration, the Feast Day of the Holy Family. He said: “In accordance with the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, let us look at Jesus, Mary and Joseph, and worship the mystery of a God who chose to be born from a woman, the Holy Virgin, and come into this world the way all men do. This way He sanctified the reality of the family, filling it with divine grace, fully revealing its vocation and mission.”

    The Pope mentioned important teachings by the Second Vatican Council on the family. “[H]usbands and wives find their proper vocation in being witnesses of the faith and love of Christ to one another and to their children (cf LG, 35). The Christian family loudly proclaims both the present virtues of the Kingdom of God and the hope of a blessed life to come” (ibid).

    In remembering John Paul II for whom “what is good for people and society is strictly connected to the ‘good health’ of the family,” Benedict XVI reiterated that “the Church is committed to defend and promote the ‘the holiness and to foster the natural dignity” (GS, 47)of marriage and the family.”

    Finally, the Pope greeted the tens of thousands of faithful in Saint Peter’s Square, wishing them joy in the New Year.

    Photo: CPP

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    See also

    28/12/2008 VATICAN
    Pope appeals for truce to be restored in the Gaza Strip
    Benedict XVI also sends a Message in Spanish to thousands of people gathered in Madrid in defence of the family, and talks about the World Meeting of Families scheduled for Mexico City.

    27/12/2009 VATICAN
    God is Trinity, communion of love, and the family is its first and immediate expression, Pope says
    On the Feast Day of the Holy Family, Benedict XVI reiterates the value of marriage between man and woman as the image of God and of the education of children, seen not as “family possession” but as “God’s gift and plan.” He greets the (million-strong) crowd that took part in the Madrid Mass whose theme was “The Future of Europe is based on the Family” in opposition to the anti-family policies of the Spanish government.

    08/07/2006 VATICAN – SPAIN – FAMILY
    Pope: Absence of God undermines truth about man and future of society

    In his message to the Spanish bishops, Benedict XVI urged Christians of Spain and the rest of the world to persevere in witnessing to Christianity even in the face of persecution, to save the world from secularism, which deprives it of the testimony of God who is love. There was a special greeting for families and seminarians.



    17/08/2011 VATICAN
    Pope: pray and accompany me spiritually to Madrid for WYD
    At the general audience in Castel Gandolfo, Benedict XVI that tomorrow he will join the gathering of young people in Spain. He urges the faithful to find time every day to "nourish their spiritual life and contact with God."

    31/12/2006 VATICAN
    Pope: “Holy Family”, the prototype of each Christian family
    Benedict XVI underlined the value of the family as a “living image of the love of God” against the “prompting towards disintegration” of modern culture that seeks to destroy the institution of the family.



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