The Archbishop of Marseille, President of the Episcopal Conference of France, Msgr. Georges Pontier, spoke at the autumn Plenary Assembly in Lourdes, on November 3rd, addressing among other topics the recent Ordinary Synod of Bishops on "The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and in the Contemporary World", which ended in Rome on Sunday, October 25th.
"In his speech at the end of the Synod—said Archbishop Pontier—, Pope Francis said that this Synod has made the world understand the importance of the institution of the family and of marriage between a man and a woman, founded on unity and indissolubility, and led it to appreciate the family as the fundamental basis of society and human life."
"The Pope—Msgr. Pontier continued—also praised the loyalty of the many couples who are therefore the first messengers of the Gospel in the family." "For us, pastors—he added—it was a profound moment of ecclesial life, in which we experienced the beauty of the Church, one and diversified, united by Peter and sharing in his presence our questions as pastors entrusted with a part of God's people." Finally, Msgr. Pontier concluded, saying that "the canonization of the Martin couple has opportunely illustrated the message of holiness offered to the family and lived precisely by a family from our own land in the ordinariness of the daily life of a couple and parents who are educators and witnesses. Furthermore, the fact that they were the parents of Little Teresa also added a strong spiritual influence dictated by their very existence."