2014-05-15 16:33:36

Pope urges Asian families to be leaven of Christ’s love

May 15, 2014 - Pope Francis has sent his greetings to participants in a 4-day Asian conference on the family in the Phillipines, urging the fundamental cell of society to be the leaven of Christ’s love. The theme of the May 13-16 conference in Manila is “Families of Asia: Lights of Hope”. Writing on behalf of the Pope, Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin sent a message on Thursday to Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen Dagupan, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, expressing the Holy Father’s pleasure on being informed of the event. “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 another” (Evangelii Gaudium, 66), 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,” Cardinal Parolin wrote. The Vatican's Pontifical Council for the Family and the Philippines Catholic bishops' conference are co-‎hosting the conference, which is being attended by eight bishops representing Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh ‎and Taiwan.
On the eve of the conference that kicked off on Tuesday, Philippine President Benigno Aquino declared May 12-18 as National Family and Marriage ‎Week, to underscore the importance of the family. In his ‎declaration, Aquino cited the constitutional provisions on state recognition of the "sanctity of family ‎life" and the state's protection of marriage as an "inviolable institution" and foundation of the family. ‎The president declared the need to promote nationwide awareness that "marriage is the natural ‎institution for the transmission of life". ‎

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