Family, identity and mission

The preparatory document for the Synod is very hopeful for the Church and the family today. Without departing from what he considers non-negotiable points of his doctrine, the Church presents a tone of openness and adaptation to the new times in which the family, like all other institutions, is called to live.The Catholic Church always saw in the family one of its great hopes in terms of evangelization and the formation of people and mentalities.Considered as a “domestic church” and a prime space for evangelization, it remains prominent in official documents. In it, the ecclesial community places a large part of its expectations regarding the dissemination of the Gospel message and the transformation of the unjust structures of society. Also, and no less important, as a germinating field of priestly and religious vocations, that is, cradle of the formation of people who could dedicate their lives, their strength and their energies to the proclamation of the Gospel and to the service of the ecclesial institution itself. .

It is understandable, therefore, that the family is the object of special pastoral care on the part of the Church. And, also, object of great concern to perceive that the process of secularization and modernization places the faithful in a state of confusion and mixture of concepts and levels, without distinctions between the sacred and the profane, means and ends, values ​​and habits, the perennial and the transitory, distancing them from the direct reference of the parish and the community of faith and exposing them to the most varied influences, beginning with the media.

The generations after the 60s, already born under the seal of sexual liberation and no longer heirs of a sociological Christianity, received along with the surname, the color of the skin and the social level, perceive (often inadvertently) that their life and values ​​are developed on the margin, and even in contraband, of the orientations and discourse of the Catholic ecclesial institution.

Frequently their connection with the institution is given in terms of communal, celebratory, ritual belonging. But it fails to touch its ethos, its deeper values, its behavioral criteria and concrete attitudes towards life situations.

There is a point, however, that seems central to me in the reflection that the Synod can make about the family: the identity of an institution called to enter into dialogue with the Church. With the mission of proclaiming the Good News of the Gospel, the Church is today more than ever called to not forget that the family does not exist for itself or to build itself and to indulge in its own community excellence. Although affective ties and relational coexistence are fundamental for personal growth, emotional balance and realization of the full potential of the members of the family, every family will be failing in its vocation not only Christian, but human, if it succumbs to the temptation of the bourgeois model, closed in on itself, confined to the sphere of the private,

The family exists in the world and for the world. And it is attentive to the needs and priorities of this society, where it must develop its identity and priorities. The family is not an end in itself, but it exists to make the world better and more human. The preparation document allows us to hope that this point is an integral and constitutive part of the synodal event that will take place next year.