"At one of the first meetings someone said: At my wedding there were three priests; when I got separated, I was completely alone.' We, then, realized that something has to be done to help separated people to recover their relationship with God." This was said by Ernesto Emanuele, President of the association "Separated Christian Families" and "Separated Faithful", on April 7th, at the Pious Sodality of Piceno of Rome, at the Conference "The family today, between separation and divorce. Reflections based on the initial research by associations of separated persons," promoted by the Foundation "Ut vitam habeant" conjointly with the Institute of Anthropology for the culture of the family and the person and the Office of Family Ministry of the Vicariate of Rome.
"The people going through a separation—he continued—are like sponges; they absorb everything: we have to talk to them about God. In these 25 years, we have seen 'miracles', people who have not been reunited with their spouses but who, in the midst of the pain, have found God, and those who have found a God different from how they knew Him before." The speakers at the Conference were Cardinal Elio Sgreccia, Leonardo Salvemini, Fr. Maurizio Gronchi and Cesare Massimo Bianca, was moderated by Msgr. Andrea Manto, director of the Pastoral Health Ministry and in head of the Office of Family Ministry of the Vicariate of Rome.
The "keywords" of the association's activities—added Emanuele—are "listening, welcoming, and accompaniment. In Italy, since 1975, four and a half million people have been separated, one million and three hundred thousand children have separated parents, and this is—he concluded—the problem of education that remains unsolved."