06/16/2018, 15.49
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Pope tells the Forum of Family Associations that patience helps, calls for support for the birth rate

Putting aside his prepared speech, Pope Francis spoke about a married couple "in love" for 60 years. He stressed the importance of "patience" in times of crisis and infidelity. The fourth chapter "is the core of Amoris Laetitia". Those who reduce the apostolic exhortation to a "sterile casuistry of 'we can' and 'we cannot' ‘did not understand anything’." The sensitivity of the Forum should not be “labelled as a confessional in order to accuse - wrongly - of partiality. It is based instead on the dignity of the human person and therefore can be recognised and shared by everyone."

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – On Saturday, Pope Francis met with members of the Forum of Family Associations, which is celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary. The group is a network of more than 500 Catholic associations that seek to influence society more positively about the family.

In his address, instead of reading his prepared speech, the pontiff chose to speak to the group of parents and children. One thing that "helps a lot" in family life "is patience", he said. To illustrate this, the pontiff spoke about the patience of a couple that he knows, married for 60 years, who told him that they were still “in love”.

Francis also stressed the role patience plays in "situations of great crisis, bad crises, times of infidelity" in which the "patience of love that waits, waits" is needed, which "is holiness that forgives everything because it loves."

Citing his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, and the criticisms against it from various sides, Francis suggested reading the fourth chapter. "It is the core of Amoris Laetitia. It is the everyday spirituality of the family.” Those who reduced the text to a "sterile casuistry of 'we can' and 'we cannot'" did not "understand anything".

In his speech Forum, the Holy Father also put forward the idea of ​​a "catechumenate for marriage", stronger that than some "preparation conferences". He also spoke about the group’s mission that in society.

"The sensibility that you carry forward with regard to the family should not to be labelled as a confessional in order to accuse - wrongly - of partiality. It is based instead on the dignity of the human person and therefore can be recognised and shared by everyone."

One of the Forum’s campaigns is in favour of a higher birth rate and for support of motherhood in a country that is in the middle of a "demographic winter".

"Do not get tired of supporting a higher birth rate in Italy, making government institutions and public opinion more aware of the importance of drafting policies and creating structures more open to the gift of children.”

“It is a genuine paradox that the birth of children, which constitutes the greatest investment for a country and the first condition for its future prosperity, often represents a cause of poverty for families, due to the lack of support or the inefficiency of many services."

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