A new “Enchiridion of the family” was presented at the VII World Meeting of Families in Milan. The text contains the most recent teachings of the Church on the issues of family and human life, including writings and discourses from the last years of the pontificate of John Paul II as well as, for the first time, those of Benedict XVI, from 17 May 2005 to 31 December 2011. “The purpose of the publication – Card. Ennio Antonelli, president of Pfc, writes in the presentation – is to provide a useful reference tool for agents of family ministry, associations, pro-family and pro-life movements, scholars, teachers, politicians.” The themes, which are all in the index, range from theology and anthropology of the family to education, love and marriage preparation, from conception to natural death, including children’s rights, and from attention to canonically irregular situations and interfaith marriages.
Five thousand copies of this volume, edited by Father Gianfranco Grieco, office head of the Pontifical Council, and Maria Milvia Morciano, were printed in the format of the Pontifical Yearbook. The volume also includes a chapter dedicated to Card. Tarcisio Bertone, papal legate to the VI World Meeting of Families (Mexico City, 2007), and the documents of Vatican Dicasteries, starting with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on sensitive issues such as abortion, divorce and birth regulation, as well as legislative texts of canon law and an appendix with the writings and discourses of Card. Antonelli. In the volume, the number of interventions made by Pope Ratzinger on these topics, superior to that of the first five years of the Wojtyła pontificate, stands out. Interestingly, then, the themes of family and life are explicitly addressed in many of the meetings of Benedict XVI with the Ambassadors, especially those of more advanced countries.