"May the Lord bless you and make your contribution to the common good of society and of the Church bear fruit, by showing how the matrimonial reality—in its original form, drawn from the book of Genesis and from the Lord Jesus in his nuptial vision of love—is the only one that can stand before God, continuing the work of creation and cooperating with the Creator in the history of salvation, through the succession of the generations." This words were written by Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, in his message for the opening today in the Vatican of the 5th Meeting of the Portuguese-Speaking Jurists on the Family, with the theme "Constitution and Family: Public Policies and the Synod of the Catholic Church on the Family."
The last two General Assemblies of the Church's Synod on the family—said Msgr. Paglia, quoting the premise of the Instrumentum Laboris—"have above all confirmed that 'the proclamation of the Gospel of the family is an integral part of the Church’s mission, so that the revelation of God may illuminate the reality of the relationship between man and woman, of their love and of the fruitfulness of their relationship. Today's widespread cultural, social and spiritual crisis is a challenge that questions the Church’s evangelizing mission towards the family, the vital core of society and the church community.' The Church is more than ever aware that She must proclaim the 'beauty of the vocation to love," and that this—he added—is of "great potential for society as well."
The Church's dialogue with the State, especially on these issues, he said, "is confidently awaiting actions and laws that concretely support employment, fiscal policies, assistance to families and children as well as to working women and mothers. We are aware that many difficult pastoral situations are also due to legislative deficiencies and to the lack of family policies, victims of a prejudice that equates marriage with economic loss."
Consequently, the State, "faced with the increasingly disquieting proportions of the triple crisis of marriage, natality and education, needs to dialogue with the Church, recognizing that marriage and family represent much more than just a cultural tradition or a social or legal requirement, but rather constitute the basic structure of civil society."
The President of the Dicastery emphasized that "families based on marriage offer essential benefits to society, through the generation of new citizens and the growth of the social virtues. Therefore, they have the right to adequate cultural, legal, social and economic recognition. Laws can have a negative effect on marriage and the family, but they can also support, defend and promote them as their greatest resource, as a subject of public interest that is not comparable to other forms of cohabitation of a private nature."
Finally, he addressed to the participants the wish that their work "may illuminate and convincingly present to the people of our time the values of the family, in a society that knows well the value of religious freedom and of genuine secularism."