On Tuesday morning in the Holy See Press Office Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family and Archbishop Charles Joseph Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. of Philadelphia, U.S.A., presented the eighth World Meeting of Families, which will take place from 22 to 27 September 2015 in Philadelphia, U.S.A.
The president of the Pontifical Council for the Family explained that the meeting will occur at very important moment in the life of the Church, as Pope Francis has focused attention on the theme of the family, to which he dedicated this February’s Consistory, and which will be the theme of the next Synod in October. Other examples are last year’s Family Pilgrimage of the Year of Faith on 26 and 27 October 2013, the 11th plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Family, the Holy Father’s encounter with engaged couples on 14 February 2014, and the Pope’s Letter to Families, a series of events and initiatives that coincide with the United Nations’ convocation of the Year of the Family.
“The Philadelphia meeting aims first to gather the Churches of the America, and it is encouraging participation by all the diverse cultures, from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, that people this vast continent”, continued the prelate. “There is no doubt that the presence on the Chair of Peter of the first Latin American Pope makes the event even more meaningful. … The starting point and the guide for this journey are given to us by Pope Francis: ‘the beauty of the family and of marriage, the grandeur of a reality both simple and profound, a combination of joy, hope, burdens and suffering, just like the rest of life. We will seek to deepen our understanding of the theology of the family and of the pastoral care that we must exercise in today’s world. … Our task is to show the world God’s shining plan for families, to help married couples live out that plan with joy, and to be there for them with a shepherd’s care that is wise, brave and full of love”.
“This is what we will do as we look towards the meeting in Philadelphia: we will be there for all the families of the world with a shepherd’s care that is ‘wise, brave and full of love’. Wisdom in understanding what families face today, bravery in taking on today’s many and complex problems, and love in helping to resolve those problems in the light of the Gospel of the family and of life. We will deal with many issues in our wise, brave and loving work together: theology of the family, married spirituality and holiness, ecclesiology and pastoral care for families, the family in contemporary culture, immigration and the family, and the family and ecumenism. These are some of the routes and areas of common work that we will pursue with wisdom, bravery and love”.
“We would also hope that the meeting in Philadelphia sees a broad and active presence from the other Christian Churches and communities, as well as from representatives of the world’s other great religions, together with other men and women who, though not religious, are committed to bringing peace and goodwill to our world. May our coming together for the family encourage all peoples to remember that we are one family of humankind and that it is together as a family that we must walk the path to true happiness”, he concluded.