Cardinal: Family ministries should aim to build exemplary Christian families in every parish
“Families need conversation and exchange of ideas, not friction”, said Prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, Cardinal Kevin Joseph Farrell.
Recently, in honour of National Day for Life, celebrated by the Italian Church, the Cardinal sat down with an Italian newspaper to talk about the many aspects of family, and even discussed topics such as the demographic crisis in Europe. Cardinal Farrell attributed the cause of aging populations and falling birthrates to a “short-sighted” culture. “All the blame cannot be put on young people,” he commented. “But on our economic and political culture which is individualistic, materialistic, consumerist and utilitarian.”
He shared that the Church finds it worrying that many people rather stay single rather than start a family. “It gives the impression of greater freedom while, in reality, the contrary is true,” said Farrell. “Recent surveys show that the percentage of people who say that they are happy is higher among married people than among singles.”
On the subject of family, Cardinal Farrell stressed the important role parents play in their children’s lives. “Children need their parents. This relationship is essential for their psychological and human wellbeing, and for them to learn basic values and social virtues,” he said.
In his interview, he also briefly mentions the role family ministries play in their community. “The concrete aim and priority of family ministries should be to form a group of exemplary Christian families in every parish, families that are aware of their mission in the Church and in society,” said Farrell.
Another role of the Dicastery, Farrel highlights is welcoming incomplete families and cohabitating couples into the community, “We must respect them, listen to them and include them in concrete experiences and ecclesial activities so that they may first feel loved by God.”