Vatican City, Mar 19, 2021 / 12:00 pm
Pope Francis on Friday encouraged Catholics to support and defend families by making an effort to be close to them in the struggles and joys of their daily lives.
In a video message for the start of the “Amoris Laetitia Family” year on March 19, the pope said “we are called to accompany, to listen, to bless the journey of families; not only to trace the direction, but to make the journey with them.”
It is not enough to just reiterate doctrine, he said. We are called “to enter homes with discretion and with love, to say to spouses: the Church is with you, the Lord is close to you, we want to help you keep the gift you have received.”
Pope Francis’ video message was played during a webinar entitled “Our Daily Love,” organized by the Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life; the Diocese of Rome; and the John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute.
The online conference marked the opening of a year dedicated to deepening the Church’s pastoral accompaniment of families, as outlined in Francis’ 2016 apostolic exhortation Amoris laetitia.
In his message, the pope noted how important family ties have been during the coronavirus pandemic, even as families have been under extra pressure from the many challenges brought by the situation.
“So let’s support the family,” he urged. “Let’s defend it from what compromises its beauty. Let us approach this mystery of love with amazement, with discretion and tenderness.”
“And let us commit ourselves to safeguarding its precious and delicate bonds: children, parents, grandparents... These bonds are needed to live and to live well, to make humanity more fraternal,” he stated.