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Sunday Pope Quote: JPII on the pastoral care of the family

Today’s Sunday Pope Quote comes from an apostolic letter written by Bl. Pope John Paul II in the Jubilee Year 2000, Novo Millenio Ineunte. In it, the Holy Father offers encouragement to those who build and strengthen the family – encouragement needed perhaps even more today than twelve years ago.

Bl. Pope John Paul II: At a time in history like the present, special attention must also be given to the pastoral care of the family, particularly when this fundamental institution is experiencing a radical and widespread crisis. In the Christian view of marriage, the relationship between a man and a woman — a mutual and total bond, unique and indissoluble — is part of God’s original plan, obscured throughout history by our “hardness of heart”, but which Christ came to restore to its pristine splendour, disclosing what had been God’s will “from the beginning” (Mt 19:8). Raised to the dignity of a Sacrament, marriage expresses the “great mystery” of Christ’s nuptial love for his Church (cf. Eph 5:32).

On this point the Church cannot yield to cultural pressures, no matter how widespread and even militant they may be. Instead, it is necessary to ensure that through an ever more complete Gospel formation Christian families show convincingly that it is possible to live marriage fully in keeping with God’s plan and with the true good of the human person — of the spouses, and of the children who are more fragile. Families themselves must become increasingly conscious of the care due to children, and play an active role in the Church and in society in safeguarding their rights.

– Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte (2000): no. 47; bold emphasis added

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