Catholic World News

Families 'under siege' since acceptance of divorce, Pope says

September 25, 2009

Noting that "families are beleaguered and under siege," Pope Benedict XVI called upon Church leaders to support the natural family, "founded upon marriage a a conjugal alliance in which man and woman mutually give and receive."

Pope Benedict made his remarks on September 25 to a group of bishops from Brazil who were making their ad limina visits to Rome. The bishops of Brazil-- the country with the world's largest Catholic population-- have been traveling to Rome in groups, arranged by ecclesiastical provinces, for consultations with Vatican officials.

Pope Benedict said that pastoral support for family life is vital today because "the secularized word is dominated by profound uncertainty" on the question of what constitutes authentic marriage and family life. That uncertainty, he added, is most evident in countries where divorce had become accepted.

The results of widespread divorce have been devastating, the Holy Father pointed out, with the consequences most harmful for the children of broken homes. He said that "the majority of those who feel orphaned are not children without parents but children with a surplus of parents."

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