European bishops called on Catholics gathered Dec. 30 in Madrid’s Colombus Square for a public Mass to uphold family values in an increasingly hostile society.
During the event, Archbishop Jean Pierre Cattenoz of Avignon in France voiced gratitude for the Christian family “at a time in which the world is seeking to destroy the family and life.”
In statements to Europa Press, he defended what he called the traditional family which stems from the union of one man and one woman, against other concepts of the family that have become widespread in France and Europe. He also urged Europeans not to lose hope in their efforts to support Christian principles on the dignity of human life.
Bishop Zbignierw Kiernikowski of Siedlce in Poland urged Europeans to strengthen their faith in Christ and to help marriages become more stable by resisting “the present-day circumstances that are against the family.”
He called the family the “backbone” of society and “the place where new lives can grow” and where children find support. This kind of stability comes from “good preparation” and above all, from faith, because “without faith there is no guarantee for stability in marriage,” he said.
Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna also addressed the families gathered for the Mass and said the family is “a very powerful sign of hope” amidst today’s society, “which has lost its taste for the family and for life.”
By attending the Mass, he said, families were “courageously saying yes to the gift of life” despite “the daily difficulties” that they encounter.