Vatican City, 10 December 2014 (VIS) – The 7th World Meeting of Families will take place from 22 to 27 September 2015 in Philadelphia, U.S.A., and its theme will be “Love is our mission: the family fully alive”, as announced by Pope Francis in a letter addressed to Bishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, in which he also confirms his attendance at the event.
“The mission of the Christian family, today as in the past, is that of announcing God’s love to the world, with the strength of the nuptial Sacrament. From this same announcement a living family is born and is constructed, that places love at the centre of all its human and spiritual dynamism. If, as St. Irenaeus said, ‘Gloria Dei vivens homo’, also a family that lives fully its vocation and mission, with the Lord’s grace, renders glory to Him”.
Francis remarked that during the recent Synod on the family the most urgent issues affecting the family in our society were identified, and he underlined that “we cannot qualify a family with ideological concepts, we cannot speak about a conservative family or a progressive family. The family is the family! The values and virtues of the family, its essential truths, are the strong points on which the family nucleus rests, and they cannot be called into question”. We are required, instead, to “review our style of life, that is always open to the risk of being ‘contaminated’ by a worldly mentality – individualist, consumerist, hedonistic – and to rediscover the high road, to live and to propose the greatness and beauty of marriage and the joy and being and forming a family”.
Both the indications given in the Final Report of the Synod and those that guide the path to the October 2015 Ordinary Assembly “invite us to continue in our efforts in announcing the Gospel of marriage and the family, and of experiencing the pastoral proposals in the social and cultural context in which we live. The challenges of this context stimulate us to broaden our capacity for faithful love open to life, to communion, to mercy, to sharing and to solidarity”, concluded Pope Francis, exhorting married couples, priests, and associations to let themselves “be guided by the Word of God, on which there rest the foundations of the holy edifice of the family, domestic Church and family of God”.