Vatican official thinks Philadelphia meeting will be key for families

Pope Benedict XVI greets the crowd during his trip to Milan for the 7th World Meeting of Families on June 2 2012 CNA 6 2 12 Pope Benedict XVI greets the crowd during his trip to Milan for the 7th World Meeting of Families on June 2, 2012. | World Meeting of Families 2012/CNA.

The head of the Vatican council for the family believes that the 2015 gathering in Philadelphia will be an important moment for the U.S. and the world as it considers the role and meaning of the family in society.

"I believe that the world encounter in Philadelphia will be a very important moment, not only for the United States, but for the whole world," predicted Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family.

The archbishop spoke to CNA Feb. 4 after a Vatican press conference on the 7th World Meeting of Families that took place in Milan last year.

"We need to stress the importance of the family and marriage because they are society's foundation and (they) allow society to grow by founding an interconnection between generations.

"In this sense we want to show the world not only the importance of the family, but also that it's possible and that it's really, really good," Archbishop Paglia stated.

He explained that the institution of marriage is in crisis because of a new ideology of individualism.

"The 'I' is now more important than 'us,' and the individual is more important than the family," he asserted.

"In this sense," Archbishop Paglia remarked, "we're putting a sort of poison in society which is destroying the love and the link between all people."

He also stood firmly against the redefinition of marriage, saying it "is between man and a woman from the very beginning of time, so I think it's a very bad idea to create something which is not reality."

Archbishop Paglia said the solution to the current situation is to build a "new culture" that heals the "divorce … between culture and family."

"Family, in reality, supports society, but the culture has forgotten the family," he pointed out.

"We are in a not-so-intelligent battle because we are focused on a little part of society and we've forgotten the bigger part," he added.

The archbishop thinks that the most important thing is to strengthen society.

"We are cross-eyed. And so we need to conquer with the truth and the great strength of family and marriage for our society, because God said it's not good to be alone," the Italian archbishop stated.

"I love all people and I would be pushing them the wrong way if I help them create something which isn't true," he said, referring to same-sex "marriage."

During the press conference he spoke about how the pontifical council is organizing meetings from now until the gathering takes place in Philadelphia in 2015.

His Vatican department will present the Charter of Rights of the Family to the United Nations in New York and Geneva, as well as to the European Parliament.

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The Dossis, a married couple responsible for helping families in Milan's archdiocese, was also at the press conference to speak of the results of the last World Meeting of Families.

Francesca Dossi said that one of the conclusions from the conference was that pregnant women are not less effective in the workplace since they are more creative before they give birth.

The meeting also left many with a deeper understanding of how "Sunday is not just a day of resting, but a form of energizing our relationships, especially with family members," she said.

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