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Pope Francis addresses cardinals on the family as consistory begins

Catholic World News - February 20, 2014

Pope Francis called upon the Church’s cardinals and cardinals-designate to direct their attention to “the beauty of the family and marriage” as they began their extraordinary consistory.

“During these days, we will reflect in particular on the family, which is the fundamental cell of society,” said Pope Francis. “From the beginning the Creator blessed man and woman so that they might be fruitful and multiply, and so the family then is an image of the Triune God in the world.”

“Our reflections must keep before us the beauty of the family and marriage, the greatness of this human reality which is so simple and yet so rich, consisting of joys and hopes, of struggles and sufferings, as is the whole of life,” he continued. “We will seek to deepen the theology of the family and discern the pastoral practices which our present situation requires. May we do so thoughtfully and without falling into ‘casuistry,’ because this would inevitably diminish the quality of our work.”

“Today, the family is looked down upon and mistreated,” Pope Francis added. “We are called to acknowledge how beautiful, true and good it is to start a family, to be a family today; and how indispensable the family is for the life of the world and for the future of humanity. We are called to make known God’s magnificent plan for the family and to help spouses joyfully experience this plan in their lives, as we accompany them amidst so many difficulties.”

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