Pope Francis gives support to launch of Family Global Compact
By Thaddeus Jones
Pope Francis has expressed his support for the Family Global Compact that is being launched as a way to support the welfare of the family, "decisive for the future of the world and that of the Church.” In a message released on Tuesday 30 May, the Pope lauded the goals of the Compact, an initiative of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life and the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences.
Pastoral care in dialogue
The Family Global Compact aims to bring the pastoral care of families into dialogue with centres of study and research on the family located in Catholic universities around the world, especially in view of the new challenges families face today. The goal is also mutually beneficial, the Pope writes in his message, "to enable the pastoral care of families in the particular Churches to benefit from the research and the educational and training programmes in Catholic universities."
The Pope notes how by uniting together universities and programmes of pastoral ministry, both can better promote a culture of family and life in these times of uncertainty and worry. The hope is to assure people today and new generations can greater appreciate the beauty, value, and essential importance of marriage and family life, and generating and nurturing human life.
Citing his Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, the Pope sums up the goal: to make “a more responsible and generous effort to present the… motivations for choosing marriage and the family and in this way, to help men and women better respond to the grace that God offers them.”
Families in crisis
Today we witness more and more "a crisis in family relationships" caused by many and sometimes unforeseen challenges, as well as at the level of society and policies, putting pressures on family life, the Pope observes. And research shows that "the family continues to be the primary source of social life, and point to the existence of good practices that deserve to be shared and promoted globally," he underscores. He calls on families themselves to be witnesses and leaders in these efforts.
The Pope outlines four goals adopted by the Family Global Compact, as part of a long-term process. The first looks at initiating a dialogue and greater collaboration among university research centres dealing with family issues, with greater networking among them. The second goal looks at creating greater synergy in content and goals among Christian communities and Catholic universities. Third, is the promotion of the culture of family and life in society, also so that helpful public policy emerges. And fourthly, the goal is to advance proposals together so that the family can be better served in spiritual, pastoral, cultural, legal, political, economic and social spheres.
In his message, the Pope calls on everyone to help the family and stop its decline due to uncertainty, individualism, and consumerism, or a future where individuals only look out for themselves.
In conclusion, the Pope thanks all those who have joined the Family Global Compact and invites them to dedicate their creativity and confidence to efforts that help put the family once more at the heart of our pastoral and social commitment.