Thousands of priests and catechists from the Diocese of Rome met with Pope Francis at the Vatican. They told him of the troubles they deal with in their parishes. In response, the Pope focused on a danger families and society face today: living in a hurry.
"When I hear the confession of young couples and they start talking about their children, I always ask them the same question: do you make time to play with your children? The fathers usually say: 'But Father, when I go to work in the morning they are sleeping, and when I'm back home they're also in bed.' This is no way to live.”
Not only parents, but especially children pay for this lack of time and attention, the Pope went on, because they might grow up as 'orphans,' who don't get support from neither their family, parish nor society.
"This is a society of orphans. Let's think about this, eh? It's important. Dad is tired, mom is tired, they go to sleep... And the children remain orphaned.”
As a way of fighting this downward spiral, Pope Francis proposed gratuitous love: if children perceive the uninterested love of their parents, teachers and priests, they won't feel alone.
"The gratuity of that dad or that mum who know how to spend time with their children. We need more of this gratuity in families, parishes and in society.”
The Pope encouraged Catholics to revive the concept of an open Church, that welcomes everyone as a mother. He concluded that it will help parishes revitalize, and recalling Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, added that Church will grow as longs as it remains attractive.