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    » 05/29/2012, 00.00

    VATICAN - ITALY

    The 7th World Meeting of Families opens with an eye on hope and the economic crisis

    Bernardo Cervellera

    The normal family, united in matrimony with two or more children, "is happier," says Card Antonelli. It shapes in a positive way society and the workplace. Cultural, political and economic forces must support it. For Card Scola, the meeting is an exceptional event that can support ordinary life. "Radiant" stories are a contrast to an inward looking world.

    Milan (AsiaNews) - The 7th World Meeting of Families is "an extraordinary event that can support ordinary life," said Card Angelo Scola, archbishop of Milan (pictured) during a press conference in one of the halls of the Milan Convention Centre (Fiera Milano City). The meeting (30 May-1 June) took three years to prepare. It will host hundreds of speakers and 7,000 representatives from about 150 countries. Some 5,400 volunteers will be at hand to help visitors, not to mention local parishes and families who opened their doors to welcome conventioneers. Contrary to a widespread belief that such large gatherings come to nothing, this meeting "will be felt in Milan, Lombardy and around the world," Card Scola said. This is because the "normal family, constituted by a man and a woman, tied by bond of fidelity and open to life" is a resource and an asset in contemporary society.  

    Card Ennio Antonelli, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, spoke in the defence of the normal family against other forms of association as a real support for society and the economy.  "The normal family, united in matrimony with two or more children, is happier" than all other forms of union, the cardinal said, citing the results of a study that will presented more extensively in the coming days. For this reason, "it is to the greater advantage" of society.

    "Even when it is poorer," such a family "is richer in human relations between spouses, parents, children and siblings." This "wealth" has an external impact as well because "it produces quality human capital that can face the task of work and participate in the celebration of religious rites. This has in turn a positive feedback on work."

    For the cardinal, cultural, political and economic forces should not penalise family life, which should be protected instead by specific laws, taxes and part-time employment. Sunday should also be a day of rest.

    With 'Family: work and celebration' as its central theme, the meeting focused on the family's public dimension. Hence, work is where the family meets the outside world, celebration is how it "humanises" time.

    During the meeting, a pastoral theological congress will also take place, Mgr Franco Brambilla, bishop of Novara. The three-day congress will show how the family can be an "engine" that opens up society. This way, it will be possible see how the wider structures of work influence the family, the couple and children's education. It is hoped it will also show how family life can "humanise" such structures.

    Various participants will speak in morning sessions. Other activities are scheduled for the afternoon of 31 May in a number of cities in the region of Lombardy. The same will happen at various venues in the city of Milan on the afternoon of 1 June. Thus, people from around the world will have an opportunity to relate their own experience.

    For Eugenia Scabini, dean of the Faculty of Psychology at Milan's Catholic University, and consultor (adviser) to the Pontifical Council, the meeting and the stories people bring will be a "radiant" contribution to a world caught up in nothing but tragedies, a sort of gift families make to society. "Presenting people who live generously and openly at a time when everyone looks inward" is "a gift to families of believers and non-believers alike."

    For the schedule of activities, go to Family2012.

    For the first time, the World Meeting of Families will host a meeting for children and teenagers centred on the idea of the garden. It will in fact be located in a garden where participants will learn to recognise, protect and celebrate its life.

    For the duration of the meeting, Benedict XVI will impart plenary indulgence to all participants, via mass media as well.

    At the end of their press conference, Cardinals Scola and Antonelli together with Lombardy President Roberto Formigoni inaugurated the International Family Fair, an exhibition area for organisations, associations, movements and trade unions devoted to the defence of the family.

     

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    See also

    02/06/2012 VATICAN - ITALY
    Pope: Love of Christ in celibacy, source of communion and mission for families
    Benedict XVI, on a pastoral visit to Milan, meets priests, deacons and consecrated in the Cathedral, within the context of the VII World Meeting of Families. Among the saints "who have devoted their energies to the service of the Gospel" he mentions two PIME missionaries. Personal love of Jesus Christ, also cultivated with liturgical prayer, is the source of the "zeal" and the unity of life of the priest.

    31/05/2012 VATICAN - ITALY
    Family as a safe asset in a precarious world and workplace
    For the theological pastoral congress currently underway at the World Meeting of Families, the family and the workplace must urgently strike an alliance. In opposition to individualism, the experience and social doctrine of the Church emphasise the relational nature of man. Freely giving and meaning give work its value. Card Tettamanzi criticises the excessive remunerations in banking, industry and sports. For Chilean scholar Morandé Court, the family is an important opportunity to give work quality, which today is no longer based on production or capital, but on "creating human capital". Participants express their solidarity to quake victims in Emilia-Romagna.

    06/07/2006 VATICAN
    Pope to visit Spain to promote the Christian family, free from individualist culture
    Benedict XVI will be in Valencia next Saturday and Sunday for the end of the World Meeting of Families whose focus is the transmission of the faith.

    08/07/2006 VATICAN- SPAIN - FAMILY
    Pope tells governments not to obstacle the family, font of love and joy

    At the closing vigil of the fifth World Meeting of Families, Benedict XVI exalted the family as a "necessary good for all peoples". There were testimonies from different nations.



    23/11/2007 VATICAN
    World Meetings of Families to encourage embattled family, says Cardinal Trujillo
    The president of the Pontifical Council for the Family describes the world meeting scheduled for Mexico City, titled “The Family: Educator in Human and Christian Values. The next meeting of his dicastery is dedicated to grandparents.



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