02/04/2013, 00.00
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In the Year of Faith a pilgrimage to reaffirm the value of the family

Statistics show that the family remains in first place among the desires of young people, in spite of a "race to individualism" and strong cultural opposition. Boundaries cannot be removed by assimilating marriage and the family into any form of affection. Nor is loving each other enough to justify marriage.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The Pilgrimage of Families to the tomb of St. Peter in Rome on 26 and 27 October next will be an "important moment of celebration and joyful witness" during the Year of the Faith.

Announced this morning, it is one of the initiatives of the Pontifical Council for the Family - organized together with the Council for the New Evangelization - to reaffirm the fundamental value of the family in a world there is an "incredible drive to build a society made of individuals, each separated from the other, where the 'I' prevails over the 'we', the single over society, and therefore the rights of the individual over those of the family. "

In this sense, Msgr. Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, this morning presented the dicastery's  initiatives spanning the period from the World Day in Milan last year to the next edition in Philadelphia in 2015.

"The statistical data - he said - are unanimous in pointing out that the family is still in first place as a place of safety, refuge, support, and remains at the top of the desires of the vast majority of young people. In Italy For example, about 80% of young people say they prefer marriage (civil or religious), only 20% opted for cohabitation. Of this 20% only 3% seems to consider cohabitation a final choice, the other 17% think of it as a period of preparation for marriage. In France, surveys indicate that 77% want to build their own family life, in a lifelong commitment with the same person. The percentage rises to 84% for young people aged 18 to 24 years. In short, neither the extraordinary acceleration of the historical processes that our generation is experiencing, nor the strong cultural opposition that surrounds the family have managed - for now! - to sever the deep roots it has in people's hearts. Marriage and family remain a fundamental reality for society, indeed, good news for the people. "

"This profound truth that marks human life so radically is being beaten back however, by a culture that is tits very opposite." There is a "race to individualism" that is "breaking up the family, as well as the different forms of society. For this reason, the breakdown of family life is the first problem of contemporary society, though few realize it, so much so that we continue to make choices, including policies and laws, which are dragging society to the brink of the abyss. "

"To the point that we no longer recognize the family as the root of marriage and of its being the foundation of society, thus subverting centuries old anthropology."

Today the Church, which welcomed the ancient patrimony of marriage and the family, "is concerned - and often it is on its own in this - by the crisis that marriage and the family are going through, because it is aware that both are a Gospel, good news for the men and women of today, often alone and without love, paternity and support. Therefore the superficiality with which the Church is accused of conservatism is surprising. It is not a question of supporting institutions that have been superseded, but of thinking about the future of human society itself. Rather, one could say that we are the 'custodians of the future', in fact, the future of society. "

In this context, families are required to testify "by example that it is possible and beautiful to 'start a family', which is crucial for their own lives and the lives of others to experience the love of marriage and the family love, which alone can sustain the difficulties that inevitably occur. "

"There is a great task ahead of us on a cultural level:  this means working to restore value to a culture of family, so that once again it may be attractive and also important in our lives and society. It is an area that requires new intelligence and new creativity. It means liberating marriage and the family from what I would call the self-sufficiency of emotional individualism. You can not remove boundaries by assimilating marriage and the family into any form of affection. Neither is love alone enough to justify marriage. Wrong choices dressed up in reason must be unmasked. For example it is argued that marital fidelity 'forever' is impossible and unthinkable. I wonder: why we can say for ever for a football team and not a wife or husband? Obviously something is wrong. And what about the practice, whether desired or imposed, of the decision to have only one child? In a few years: What will become of the word 'brother' or 'sister'? And if the term 'parent A' and 'parent B' becomes the norm, I wonder, what will the first word that parents long for their child to say be? ".



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