Pope to Italian bishops: Families are key to a moral society

Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI

.- The Holy Father emphasized to the bishops of Italy on Tuesday that Church leaders need to support families, if they wish to ensure morality's presence and relevance in public life.

This week the Italian Episcopal Conference is meeting for its 62nd general assembly in Assisi, Italy.

The Vatican reported on Nov. 9 that the main issue up for discussion is the Italian translation of the third typical edition of the Roman Missal.

Referencing this, the Holy Father wrote in his message to conference president Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco that “all true reformers are, in fact, obedient to the faith. They do not move arbitrarily, they do not claim any discretional jurisdiction over rites.”

“They are not masters but custodians of the treasure that was instituted by the Lord and entrusted to us. The entire Church is present in each liturgical act, and adhering to its form is a condition for the authenticity of the celebration.”

Pope Benedict then addressed the topic of science and technology in his message, saying its progress “has often been at the expense of the foundations of Christianity, in which the rich history of the European continent has its roots.”

“The moral sphere,” he said, “has been confined to the subjective field and God, when not denied outright, is in any case excluded from the public conscience.”

The Pope told the bishops that countering this tendency requires more than “a generic call to values” or an “educational program that contents itself with purely functional and fragmentary interventions … ”

“What is needed is a personal relationship of trust between active individuals ... capable of taking up positions and of putting their own personal freedom into question.”

“For this reason,” the Pope said, “your decision to remind everyone who cares about the city of man and the welfare of new generations of their education responsibilities seems particularly appropriate. This vital alliance can only start with a renewed closeness to families, recognizing and supporting their primary role in education.”

“It is in families that the face of a people is forged,” he underscored.

Concluding his message to the bishops, the Holy Father urged them “to value the liturgy as a perennial source for education in the good life of the Gospel. It introduces people to the meeting with Jesus Christ, who with words and deeds constantly edifies the Church, molding her in the profound concepts of listening, fraternity and mission.”


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