A message of civilization and hope

Seventh World Meeting of Families
by L'Osservatore Romano | Source: www.news.va

2012-05-30 L’Osservatore Romano

Milan, 30.
A passionate message of civilization and hope for building the society ofthe future is what the Seventh World Meeting of Families inaugurated thismorning in the capital of Lombardy aims to be. Cardinal Angelo Scola, Archbishopof Milan, and Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, President of the Council for the Family,opened this important ecclesial event, which, from Friday, will culminate in theVisit of Benedict XVI. The event is obviously marked by sorrow –  it is under “acloud of melancholy”, Cardinal Atonelli said, because of the severe recentearthquake which has harshly hit Emilia Romagna.

   Thetwo cardinals gave the green light to the International Pastoral TheologicalCongress at which more than 100 relators are scheduled to speak – prelates,pastoral workers, academics, experts – and which will result in a 360°reflection of the real situation of the family today. Among the first speakerswill be Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, President of the Pontifical Council forCulture, who in his introduction suggested the metaphor of the “house” as a keyto understanding the family's role “in the work of creation and the celebrationof salvation”.

   The general inspiration for the reflection comes from the meeting's theme:“The family: work and celebration”. This choice has proven to be a “felicitousintuition”, Cardinal Scola affirmed, because it sums up “the principal aspectsof the daily life of each one of us, of every person, who is always in touch, ina relationship with others”. The family, in fact, “makes possible theunderstanding and development of two constitutive differences of the humanbeing: the difference of gender between a man and a woman and the differencebetween the various generations of children, parents and grandparents. Inkeeping these two differences united, the family is the first and irreplaceableschool of communion”. Then work “is the milieu in which every man and everywoman expresses him or herself. They collaborate with their skills, and alsowith their efforts, in the creative action of the Father and the redeemingaction of Jesus”. Lastly, rest fits into the family and work relationship. “Itencourages balance, gives a rhythm to emotions and to work, because it providesthe space for re-generation, re-creation, and is complete when it becomes acelebration, in other words repose, a freely-given community pause that is fullof joy”.

Read More about the Opening Speech:


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