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Pope highlights importance of the family and greets cardinals at the Consistory

February 20, 2014: The Extraordinary Consistory of all the Cardinals commenced on Thursday morning, ahead of the creation of 19 new Cardinals on Saturday. Greeting the Cardinals, Pope Francis spoke about the Family, the topic of their reflections, calling it an image of the Triune God in the world.

While inviting the Cardinals to reflect on the "beauty of the family and marriage, the greatness of this human reality”, Pope Francis called for a deepening of the theology of the family and discerning the pastoral practices which the present situation requires. He also warned against falling into ‘casuistry’, because that would inevitably diminish the quality of their work.

Below, full text of the Pope’s address:

Dear brothers,
I extend a warm greeting to you all and, with you, I thank the Lord who has given us these days of meeting and working together. We welcome especially our brothers who will be created Cardinals on Saturday and we accompany them with our prayers and fraternal affection.
During these days, we will reflect in particular on the family, which is the fundamental cell of society. 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. 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. 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.
We thank Cardinal Walter Kasper for his valuable contribution which he will offer us with his introduction.
Thank you all, and have a good day!


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