“This reality of divine love is lived out in the family as a community of persons who experience the richness of love in their conjugal, parental, filial and sibling relationships,” they said.
The bishops made their remarks on Sept. 24 at the end at the First Meeting for Family Ministry in the Bolivarian Countries, convened by the Bishops' Conference of Venezuela.
In their statement, they criticized the modern tendency to reduce the meaning of family, “characterized by phenomenon such as individualism, utilitarianism, consumerism and relativism.”
They also censured the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO) for changing the definition of the family and making it “a universally modifiable consensus.”
“The family will become whatever conforms to the interests of those in power,” they warned.
In contrast, the bishops added, the Christian anthropological vision sees the family “as a community of life and love, when the experience of sincere and total donation is shared and experienced and the family institution becomes fruitful, unifying and missionary.”
During the event, participants committed to incorporate the action plans developed during the meeting in their local communities, echoing the message of Pope Benedict XVI during the VII World Meeting of Families, which took place in Milan this year.
On that occasion, the Holy Father told families, “Your vocation is not easy to live, especially today, but love is a wonderful reality, the only force that can truly transform the cosmos and the world.”
At the conclusion of a nationwide meeting for families in Venezuela, the country's bishops said that the relationship between mothers, fathers and children should mirror the love between the Holy Trinity.