A job that requires patience and tenderness, Francisco said, especially given the challenges posed by the pandemic. In a video message that opened the Forum’s work “Where are we with Amoris laetitia?” to around 350 people from all over the world, the Pope spoke of the co-responsibility of Churches and spouses to spread the love of God in the homes, cooperating “in a fruitful way in the care and protection of the ‘domestic Churches’” that will “build the families of the tomorrow”.
Andressa Collet – Vatican News
A video message from the Pope opened the activities of a special program dedicated to deepening strategies for the pastoral application of Francis’ apostolic exhortation on marriage, the family and children. O Forum “Where are we with Amoris laetitia?” began this Wednesday (9) and brings together – in online mode for four days – about 350 people from all over the world who work with family ministry, representing 70 Episcopal Conferences and more than 30 associations and international movements. The event, which plans to create a network of collaboration to “announce the Gospel of the family more effectively, responding to the signs of the times”, as the Pontiff observed, is promoted by Department for the Laity, Family and Life.
Where are we with Amoris laetitia?
The great public, made up of pastors and lay people who work in different realities of the world, closely followed the words of Pope Francis. At the beginning of the message, there was an invitation to listen to “the concrete needs of families” in mutual help and dialogue from the Holy See:
“The question you ask – ‘Where are we with the application of Amoris laetitia?’ – It seeks to encourage people to practice fruitful ecclesial discernment on the style and purposes of family ministry in the perspective of the new evangelization. The Exhortation Amoris laetitia is the fruit of a profound synodal reflection on marriage and the family and, as such, requires patient work of implementation and a missionary conversion.”
The family that works with the pastorals
A work of synodal path to be developed in practice in the local Churches through “cooperation, sharing of responsibilities, capacity for discernment and availability to be close to families”, anticipated Francis, especially in the midst of the difficulties imposed by the pandemic. In this context and through active listening by the Church, the family is also invited to get involved in the evangelization journey, being “a valid witness” to spread “seeds of communion among peoples”:
The mission of the “Domestic Church”
Married couples, then, have “a special mission in building the Church,” noted the Pope in the video message:
A “co-responsibility” that is lived between spouses and ordained ministers who must “cooperate fruitfully in the care and protection of ‘domestic churches’”. The Pope warned, however, that these married couples need “to be called” by the pastors of the Church, in a “spirit of ecclesial communion” and giving the necessary space to work together in “building the Church as a ‘family of families'” and “to advance on the path of pastoral and missionary conversion”.
The joy vamos releas
For this “renewed pastoral impulse” to happen with creativity, Francis urged us to take the Amoris laetitia exhortation in hand and identify the concrete priorities of each local Church, according to the needs that ended up changing because of the pandemic. There are many current challenges facing families, the Pope said: from ideological pressures, relational problems, material and spiritual poverty to “a great loneliness due to the difficulty of perceiving God in one’s life”.
The formation of lay people, then, the Pontiff also observed, needs to receive special attention. It is about getting deeper into “preparation for marriage, accompanying young married couples”, in addition to getting closer to the elderly and wounded families, for example. A whole journey so that “they can better understand the importance of their ecclesial commitment, that is, the meaning of the mission that comes from being a spouse and family”: