MANILA, May 26, 2014 – The family is destroyed, not by external influences of secularism and consumerism, but by pride, says the head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said.
“If we want to preserve each and every family, and for every family to become lights of home for the world, the enemy is not secularism, consumerism, or unjust laws. The enemy is right within us…that enemy is pride,” said Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas at the recently concluded Asian Conference on the Family (ACF).
Great threat to families
He urged the Catholic faithful to return to nothingness and live by the virtue of humility for it is pride that causes the greatest damage to the indissoluble bond of the human family.
“From the very beginning of time, when there were no authoritarian regimes, commercialism, consumerism, and secularism, what destroyed the first family was pride,” Villegas said in his homily during the Festival of Families held at the Quadricentennial Pavilion of the University of Santo Tomas on May 16.
Villegas called on families to turn away from this capital sin as it has destroyed many families, leaving many homes broken.
He also reminded the faithful of their weaknesses, noting that “we have nothing to boast for everybody is more powerful than us. We cannot be proud and we can only be humble because we are only little ones.”
“Before the Lord, we cannot boast of anything. Before the Lord we are all nothing, but we have become beautiful, we have become tall,” Villegas said.
Different kind of ‘pride’
Villegas pointed to a different sort of pride – pride in being “touched by God.”
“We can stand tall in the midst of other people, not on our own, but because we have been touched by God. We have been made beautiful by God even if we have been blackened by sin,” he added.
Bearing the theme, “Families of Asia: Lights of Hope,” the ACF aimed to generate discussion on the Charter of Rights of the Family—its message, challenges, and impact on families in the Asian region—30 years after it was promulgated on October 22, 1983. The four-day convention ran from May 13 to 16.
The Charter, which came two years after the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope John Paul II on the role of the Christian family in the modern world (Familiaris Consortio), was intended to provide a “formulation of the fundamental rights that are inherent in the natural and universal society which is the family.”
Bishop Jean Laffitte, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Family, graced the celebration together with bishops from Indonesia, Laos-Cambodia, Thailand, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Taiwan. (Jennifer M. Orillaza)