Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Benedict XVI will participate by videoconference in the world meeting with families that will be held in Mexico City from January 16-18. He himself said so today at the Angelus for the faithful in St. Peter's Square.
The world meeting of families, in its fourth edition, is organized by the pontifical council for the family, and, this year, by the diocese of Mexico City. The theme is "The family, educator of human and Christian values."
The pope wanted to emphasize the educational value of the family, just after administering baptism today to 13 children in the Sistine Chapel. "Dear friends," the pope said, "how great is the gift of baptism! If we could understand this fully, our life would become a constant 'thank you'. What a joy for Christian parents, who have seen a new creature emerge from their love, to bring this to the baptismal font and see it born again from the womb of the Church, into a life that will have no end! This is a gift, a joy, but also a responsibility! Parents, in fact, together with godparents, must educate children according to the Gospel."
Benedict XVI then explained that the meeting in Mexico City will be developed "in three sections: the first, the theological-pastoral congress, at which the theme will be developed, partly through the sharing of significant experiences; then there will be the moment of celebration and testimony, which will demonstrate the beauty of the coming together of families from every part of the world, united by the same faith and the same commitment; and finally, the solemn Eucharistic celebration, as an act of thanksgiving to the Lord for the gifts of matrimony, the family, and life." As his legate at the meeting, the pope has already chosen Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, secretary of state, but he has said that he wants to follow "the extraordinary event with lively participation, accompanying it with prayer and participating by videoconference."
"Starting now," he concluded, "I ask you to implore for this important world meeting of families the abundance of divine grace. Let us do this by invoking the maternal intercession of the Virgin Mary, Queen of the family."