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In the present circumstances, the conjugal and family bonds are put to the test in many ways. The affirmation of a culture that exalts narcissistic individualism, a conception of freedom disengaged from responsibility for the other, the growth of indifference to the common good, the imposition of ideologies that attack the family project directly, as well as the growth of poverty that threatens the future of so many families, are all the more reasons for the crisis of the contemporary family. Then there are the open questions of the development of new technologies, which render possible practices which at times are in conflict with the true dignity of human life. The complexity of these new horizons recommends a tighter bond between the John Paul II Institute and the Pontifical Academy for Life. I exhort you to frequent courageously these new and delicate implications with all the necessary rigor, without falling “into the temptation of varnishing them, of perfuming them, of adjusting them somewhat and of domesticating them”. Paus Franciscus, Brief, Aan de Groot-Kanselier van de Pauselijke Katholieke Universiteit van ArgentiniĆ« b.g.v. het eeuwfeest van de theologische faculteit (3 mrt 2015)

The uncertainty and disorientation that touch the fundamental affections of the person and of life destabilize all the bonds, those of the family and the social, having the “I” prevail increasingly over the “we,” the individual over society. It is a success that contradicts the plan of God, who entrusted the world and history to the alliance of man and woman (Gen. 1, 28-31). This alliance — by its very nature — implies cooperation and respect, generous dedication and shared responsibility, ability to recognize difference as richness and promise, not as motive for subjection and malfeasance.

The recognition of the dignity of man and of woman implies a just appreciation of their mutual relationship. How can we know in depth the concrete humanity of which we are made without learning it through this difference? And this happens when man and woman speak to each other and question one another, love one another and act together, with mutual respect and benevolence. It is impossible to deny the contribution of modern culture to the rediscovery of the dignity of the sexual difference. Therefore, it is also very disconcerting to see that now this culture seems to be blocked by a tendency to cancel the difference instead of resolving the problems that mortify it.

The family is the irreplaceable womb of the initiation of the creaturely alliance of man and woman. This bond, sustained by the grace of God the Creator and Savior, is destined to be realized in the many ways of their relationship, which are reflected in the different communal and social bonds. The profound correlation between family figures and the social forms of this alliance – in religion and in ethics, in work, in the economy and in politics, in the care of life and in the relationship between the generations – is now global evidence. In fact, when things go well between man and woman, the world and history also go well. In the opposite case, the world becomes inhospitable and history stops.


Sala Clementina
Soort: Paus Franciscus - Toespraak
Auteur: Paus Franciscus
Datum: 28 oktober 2016
Copyrights: © 2016, Libreria Editrice Vaticana / zenit.org
Voorlopig Engelstalige versie
Bewerkt: 28 oktober 2020

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