POPE Francis’ message to the Asian Family Conference, which ended yesterday, punctuated a reality largely ignored by mass- and entertainment-media formed human beings in our world today. Their liberal, secular and anti-natural-law mentality has made them despise the family. That is why they can favor laws that make divorce easy, encourage the annihilation of children in the womb and allow caregivers to commit the “humanitarian” murder of people they perceive to be suffering unbearably from their illnesses. That is why they commit marital infidelity and threat children as burdens.
The Asian Family Conference was held in Manila on May 13 to May 16. The conference had the theme: “Families of Asia: Lights of Hope.”
Its successive activities were held in three venues in Manila– the Cardinal Sin Auditorium in Paco, the Pope Pius XII Center in Ermita and the University of Santo Tomas in Sampaloc. 551 participants attended, lay faithful, members of religious orders and communities and clergymen from 14 Asian countries, 60 Philippine dioceses and 20 lay associations.
The Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Family, Bishop Jean Laffitte, came here from Rome to open and close the conference. Twenty-eight bishops attended as well as some men and women of other Christian confessions and other religions.
Important and necessary activities
We believe conferences and convocations of this kind, reminding the public that powerful and entrenched secular and anti-nature forces are actively destroying the family and erasing it from human culture, are important and necessary activities. Conferences like this also encourage the participants to become more resolved in helping stem the anti-family tide.
Pope Francis’ message to the Asian Family Conference reminded the Catholic faithful that the family is the “fundamental cell” of society. It is in the family that young human beings learn to live with each other despite their differences.
The Pope sent a telegram, through his Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, to Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan, who is the current president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.
“Recalling that the ‘family is the fundamental cell of society where we learn to live with others despite our differences and to belong to one other,” the telegram from Cardinal Parolin said, “His Holiness calls upon all the lay faithful gathered to deepen their experience of faith and communion, under the guidance of the Successor of Peter and the Bishops, so as to be a leaven of Christ’s love in the midst of humanity.”
At the end of the conference yesterday, the participants issued an “Exhortation.” It contains so many gems for reflection and food for the spirit. We are publishing it in two parts today and tomorrow in our OpEd section.
Here we quote two of its paragraphs:
“An amnesia of God
“A consumeristic, materialistic and individualistic culture that suffers from an amnesia of God (Pope Benedict XVI) and is fed by a certain liberal and moral relativism has also threatened the family by breeding lifestyles harmful to family living. And so people live, motivated not so much by the cultivation of healthy human relationships but driven rather by the desire for money, pleasure and success.
“A liberal and moral relativism
The outcome is a society where fidelity and commitment come in short supply and are subordinated to the accumulation of possessions and the achievement of personal ambitions. Hence, the widespread phenomenon of divorce and marital infidelity.”
We must all join the fight against the forces at work to annihilate the family.