Archbishop Paglia at the International Colloquium promoted by the Chemin Neuf Community: "An alliance to ferment society"
An alliance between family and the Christian community, so that they will not remain locked up in their circle but be able to "ferment all of society in a ‘family‘ way." This wish was formulated by the President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, in his address to the International Conference on "Families in the Community, the Future of a Utopia," promoted by the Chemin Neuf Community in Geneva from 3 to 6 March. The meeting will be centered on the role of families in the Church: the objective is to understand how to "follow Christ as a family" and be "families on mission" that can renew the Church, taking into account the harmonizing elements of the vocation to the family and to religious life. In this sense, Msgr. Paglia highlighted the responsibility of the "new communities" to live their charism in a more generous and creative way, with a strong "perspective that tightly binds the family and community, ordained ministry, the nuptial sacrament and celibacy."
The utopia mentioned in the title of the colloquium, said the Dicastery‘s President, is "that of a new way of living, not closed in on itself but open to all, and especially to the poor. On such a horizon, the responsibility of welcoming those who have no family, the lonely and weak becomes clear, because they are part of the larger family of God. Now, it is in this perspective—he added—that you should also put the issue of remarried divorcees or imperfect families and those in the making. [...] We could say that families are not ecclesial enough because they easily retreat within themselves, and Christian communities do not have enough family sense because they are weighed down by bureaucracy or graying functionalism." The family, he said, "is an irreplaceable blessing for the land, which is our common home, the home of all the peoples of yesterday, today and tomorrow. The promise that God gave to the man and the woman, at the beginning of humanity, includes all human beings, to the end of time. If we have faith—even just a little bit—, the families of the peoples of the earth will look to the Christian families and Christian communities who already live this broad solidarity, and they will recognize themselves in this blessing. This is God‘s great dream for the world: to gather all—he concluded—in the one human family."