2014-10-07 12:03:00

Synod explores main challenges facing the contemporary family

(Vatican Radio) One of the main challenges for the Church in promoting the family stems from an evolution of how the family itself has come to be understood by society.

This is according to Metropolitan Archbishop William Skurla of the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh, one of the participants in the Extraordinary Synod on the Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization which is currently underway in the Vatican.

Listen to Metropolitan Archbishop William Skurla talking to Andrew Summerson

In an interview with Vatican Radio’s Andrew Summerson, Archbishop Skurla said the biggest challenge pertains to how the definition of family has changed in recent years. “During that time, the Church’s understanding of man and woman, married together… to bring a family into the world is no longer a universal definition that everyone agrees to.”

Because of this, he said, “it is more difficult to speak to the world, because always we have to explain our position as almost a minority understanding of the place of the family in society today.”

Another challenge he cited is that which results a lack of permanence, with families frequently moving from place to place. “It creates an atmosphere where there is not the same kind of support that we had, say, thirty, or forty, or fifty years ago from the family in the community that people are trying to raise their children in.”

The archbishop also highlighted a third challenge which pertains to stability caused by the economic status of the family. “A change during the last twenty years,” he said, “is that the more stable families are actually the more successful [financially] families,” while those that “have to struggle economically have more difficulty in staying together.”

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