"How far have we come with Amoris laetitia? Strategies for the application of the apostolic exhortation of Pope Francis». With this title, an online seminar organized by the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life was held from June 9 to 12. Its objective has been to initiate a reflection on the present and the future of family ministry, to make it more concrete and closer to families.
The Forum began with a video message from Pope Francis in which he recalled that "The laity increasingly needed to accompany families", and urged them to seek training more and more because “many families are not aware of the great gift they have received in the Sacrament, an effective sign of the presence of Christ that accompanies every moment of their life. When a family fully discovers this gift, it feels the desire to share it with other families, because the joy of the encounter with the Lord tends to spread and generates another communion; she is naturally missionary"
After four days of work by its 350 participants representing 70 episcopal conferences and more than 30 international movements and associations, Cardinal Farrell presented the conclusions of the Forum. Here is a synthesis:
- Families today need to discover that, together with the sacrament of marriage, they have received a mission that must be shared with pastors; the main contribution to family pastoral care is offered by the parish, which is the family of families, where small communities, ecclesial movements and associations coexist in harmony;
- You need a training more suitable for priests, deacons, religious, catechists and other pastoral agents, insisting on the presence of the laity in formation courses;
- The training of people who accompany couples in preparing for marriage It must be a priority: spouses who, once formed, can provide for the formation of other families, and create a chain of formators to initiate formation processes that extend to more growing families;
- Family ministry must be fundamentally missionary to reach people where they are; Special attention must be paid to families in marital crisis or with other difficulties: the pastoral care of the separated, divorced or abandoned, with special attention to children, the disabled and the elderly; we must also reach out to families far from the Church.
In this way, ideas and projects have been shared that will make it easier for everyone to reach the heart of pastoral care, that is, to families from all over the world.