Monday, February 04, 2013

From Milan to Philadelphia, Vatican gets ready for next World Meeting of Families 2015

February 4, 2013. ( This was the scene back in June, when about 850,000 people attended the World Meeting of Families in Milan. Now the Vatican is getting ready for the next big gathering in Philadelphia, where just as many, if not more are expected.

Pontifical Council for the Family, President
“I think this meeting in Philadelphia will be a good way to help families, society, even politicians and those with roles in the cultural sector.”

The gathering will be in September 2015. In fact, it will be the first one to take place in the U.S. Usually these events are attended by the Pope himself. During the press conference, Msgr. Paglia talked about the need to strengthen the family unit, through Christian values. He talked about power of a healthy family, but also about broken homes, delinquency rates among youths, gay marriage and extreme individualism.  

Pontifical Council for the Family, President
“This individualism is a kind of a subtle, unnoticeable dictatorship that's very powerful. The culture of what of 'me' what do 'I want'. This is penetrating our society not necessarily in a striking way, but nonetheless in a very effective way. We see it in all dimensions of society.”

And it's this individualism that's having a real effect in the family and hence in society. To cite an extreme case, Msgr. Paglia says it's something that's clearly seen in the juvenile prison system in America. 

Pontifical Council for the Family, President
“In prisons for juveniles, 75 percent of  imprisoned youths come from a broken home. They grew up without a father.”

When it comes to the issue of gay marriage, the Church is often criticized as being anti-modern. But a married couple who took part in the press conference, says that criticism is short sighted. 

World Meeting of Families 2012, Speaker 
“The Church already takes a stand on issues that are quite divisive. Issues like the sale of weapons, war, poverty also taking care of the Ecology. All of these are the fruits of the modern, progressive world and they are issues the Church defends.  So,when it comes to gay marriage let's avoid these short sighted discussions and and let's talk about the real issue. The conversation needs to be elevated to the fundamental truths of anthropology.”

To jump start the big meeting in Philadelphia, there will be a smaller gathering this year in Rome. From October 26th to the 27th, thousands of families will visit the Eternal City on a pilgrimage to celebrate the Year of Faith and the coming World Meeting of Families. 

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