Pope Benedict: The family, "an untouchable sanctuary"
The “Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice” foundation is a lay-led, pontifical organization
whose purpose is the implementation of “Catholic Social Teaching” through lay Catholic
business, academic and professional leaders. Members of the foundation have been attending
their annual conference in Rome and on Saturday Pope Benedict received the group at
At the heart of the Holy Father’s speech to those gathered was
The Pope noted that this year is the 20th anniversary of Blessed
Pope John Paul II’s encyclical Centesimus Annus and the 30th anniversary of his Apostolic
Exhortation Familiaris Consortio as well as 100 years after Pope Leo XIII historic
work Rerum Novum.
Pope Benedict said that “in these 120 years of development
of the social doctrine of the Church in the world, great changes have occurred”.
he added, despite these advances the core of the internal social teaching, which has
always been to promote the human person and the family has not altered.
Second Vatican Council,” the Holy Father continued, “spoke of the family in terms
of the domestic church, as the "untouchable sanctuary. Even the economy, he said
with its laws must always consider the interest and the protection of this primary
cell of society.”
Referring to the work of the foundation's participants,
the Pope said they will have seen the difficult situation many are experiencing, in
term of a crisis of work and the economy that is accompanied by a family crisis.
Pope noted conflict between couples and in families, as well as a lack of jobs was
creating a complex situation.
What it requires underlined Pope Benedict “was
a new harmonious synthesis between family and work, to which the social doctrine of
the Church can offer her valuable contribution”.
In his concluding remarks
to the group, the Holy Father said it was not for the Church to define ways to tackle
the economic crisis. However, he added that Christians have a duty to denounce wrong
doing, to testify and to keep alive the values that underpin human dignity and to
promote those forms of solidarity that promote the common good, so that humanity will
become more and more the family of God .