.- In a pastoral letter marking the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Bishop Jose Sanchez Gonzalez of Sigüenza-Guadalajara has called on the faithful to join Pope Benedict XVI in Valencia for the World Meeting of Families and to unite with him in the defense of families.
“The best gift for the Pope this year would be to join with him in his plan and his mission of service to families and to all of us on the occasion of this fifth World Meeting of Families,” the bishop stated.
Although the content of his discourses and homilies is not yet known, Bishop Sanchez noted, “We know that the Pope is coming to proclaim the Gospel of the Family,” and to underscore the role of marriage, “and of the family in general and the Christian family, in particular.”
“The Holy Father will surely invite us to pray for families, to help those that are in need, to defend the institution of marriage and the family according to the plan of God,” he added.
Bishop Sanchez said he hoped the visit by Pope Benedict XVI would, “contribute to increasing our esteem, affection and appreciation of the family,” and he called for prayers for the success of the event.
Referring to the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Bishop Sanchez explained that above all, “we should pray for the Pope, for his person, for his ministry, for his intentions and for the fruit of his most important service to the Church and to humanity,” and we should constantly, “renew our filial affection.”
He also called on the faithful to be generous to the annual Peter’s Pence collection, which will take place on July 2nd, and which is intended, “to help the Pope carry out his innumerable commitments to helping the poor and those institutions…that are dependent upon, subsist, and are able to carry out their work thanks to the help of the Pontiff and of those of us able to help him.”