Catholic World News

Malaysian prelate warns families against secularization, divorce

February 11, 2016

In a pastoral message for the lunar new year, a Malaysian archbishop called upon families to resist temptations to secularization and to heed the example of the Holy Family rather than seek material wealth.

“When family units are broken, the order of society and the world will be in chaos,” wrote Archbishop John Wong of Kota Kinabalu. “Married couples are called to continue God’s work through procreation. With children as the fruits of love between husband and wife, it is the primary mission of parents to share and help children experience the love of God.”

“People do not give priority to their families,” he continued. “The divorce rate is on the rise … They emphasize the fulfillment of their personal happiness instead of those of their spouses. They become selfish and are reluctant to forgive and accept each other as they are.”

He added:

As Catholics, are our homes filled with the Presence of God? Do we have a place at home for the Sacred Scripture, the Crucifix and holy items? Do we pray and read the Bible together? If not, let us make this [Lunar] New Year a new beginning to grow together in Christ as a family.

Malaysia, a Southeast Asian nation of 30.9 million, is 61% Muslim, 20% Buddhist, 6% Hindu, 5% Protestant, and 4% Catholic. Islam is Malaysia’s official religion.

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