Papal Message for the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia 2015 – The Gospel of Marriage
The Pope sent a message to
all those participating in the preparations for the eighth World Meeting of
Families in Philadelphia 2015. The following is a translation of the message
address to Archbishop Paglia and written in Italian.
my Venerable Brother
of the Pontifical Council for the Family
the end of the Seventh Word Meeting of Families, Pope Benedict XVI announced that the city of Philadelphia, in the United
States of America, would host the following gathering. On many occasions I have
confirmed this decision, looking with trust and hope to this event of grace at
which, please God, I will take part. It will take place from the 22 to 27
September 2015 and will have as its theme “Love is our mission. The family
mission of the Christian family, today as yesterday, is that of proclaiming to
the world, by the power of the Sacrament of marriage, the love of God.
From this very proclamation a living
family is born and built, one which sets the hearth of love at the centre of
its human and spiritual dynamism. If, as St Irenaeous said ”
” (Adv. Haer., IV, 20, 7), then so a family, which,
by the grace of the Lord, lives to the full its vocation and mission glorifies
recently celebrated the Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on:
” Pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelization”. In
the sign of synodality we identified the most urgent themes confronting the
family in our pluralistic society. In reality, “we cannot qualify the
family with ideological concepts, we cannot speak of a conservative family or a
progressive family: family is family!” (
Address to participants in the
International Colloquium on the complementarity of man and woman
November 2014). The values and virtues of the family, its essential truths, are
the strengths on which the family
nucleus rests and cannot be called into question. We are called, rather, to review our own
life-style which is always exposed to the risk of being
“contaminated” by a worldly mentality – individualist, consumerist,
hedonist – and to rediscover ever again the royal road, in order to live and
proclaim the grandeur and beauty of marriage and the joy of being and making a
indications of the Final Report of the recent Synod, and the guidelines of the
upcoming Ordinary Assembly of October 2015,
invite people to fulfill in their
commitment to proclaim the Gospel of marriage and of the family and to
experience the pastoral proposals in the social and cultural context in which
we live. The challenges of this context should stimulate us to enlarge the
space afforded to faithful love open to life, to communion, to mercy, to
sharing and to solidarity. I urge all married couples, therefore, priests and
parish communities, as well as movements and associations to let themselves be
led by the Word of God, on which rests the foundation of the holy edifice of
the family, the domestic Church and the family of God (cf.
Lumen Gentium, nn.
6 and 11).
express my appreciation to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for its generous
availability and organizational commitment put at the service of the universal
Church and of families across the different continents. I ask the Lord to
reward even now this beloved particular Church with abundant heavenly graces.
I invoke the intercession of the Virgin of Guadalupe and of Aparecida. From my
heart I impart to you, dear Brother, and to the collaborators of your Dicastery
the Apostolic Blessing, which I willingly extend to all those who are
cooperating in the preparations for the Meeting, and I ask you to please pray for me.
the Vatican, 9 December 2014