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Around the Family
Roundtable with Cardinal Baldisseri, Enzo Bianchi and Claudia Mancina in the office of L’Osservatore Romano

The Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, the prior of Bose, Enzo Bianchi, and a professor of philosophy at the Sapienza University of Rome, Claudia Mancina, were the participants in the round table about the family, coordinated by Lucetta Scaraffia, which took place on 16 November in the office of L‘Osservatore Romano in the presence of director, Giovanni Maria Vian, the theologian Fr. Maurizio Gronchi, Sr. Catherine Aubin, Giulia Galeotti, Sr. Rita Mboshu Kongo and Silvina Perez of "Women Church World."
"Pastoral ministry—said Card. Baldisseri—takes care of young people‘s formation, accompanying them to the full and joyful response to the vocation of marriage and the family; it supports young couples in the early years of marriage, taking special care of those who live the painful experience of failure; it helps them to feel at home in their parish and places of mission. The public institutions must deal with more of the family, and that means: developing supportive policies and helping many of them to overcome economic insecurity, as well as facilitating their access to education, cultural life and active social life."
Focusing on today‘s family, Claudia Mancina spoke about the "result of a developement closely linked to the evolution of social relations and individual rights; it may, therefore change again, as in fact it is; and the law necessarily intervenes to regulate this change. Today, a great transformation is in progress, due to the change of the role of women, a change that is taking place not only in Western countries. Another big revolution is the increasing length of human life, which implies that the family no longer lasts a whole lifetime. Consequently, I am against using the concept of individualism in a purely negative sense: individualism is not against the family, it does not put the family in the background. The really serious problem is narcissism."
"Marriage as a love ‘story‘ that requires faith and trust" was the subject addressed by Enzo Bianchi, the prior of Bose, who explained that "this is why the two partners are first of all called ‘fiancés,‘ in other words, people who put faith and trust in others in view of the alliance, and the sign of the nuptial bond, the wedding ring, is called ‘fede‘ (faith in Italian). Today, the marital path is threatened by a lack of faith and trust in love, in life and in the future. The Church is called, more than ever, to do something simple but decisive: to teach the Christian life, to teach people to think and to ask questions. Pre-marital courses are not enough, because this is an educational problem: what the younger generation lacks is human grammar. Educators can, therefore, do a great deal, and they have a wide field in which to operate."
For the entire report on this Roundtable, published today in the column "Famiglia" of L’Osservatore Romano, click here:

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