MANILA, July 29, 2015— The head of the Roman Catholic Church in Manila called on family-oriented groups to go down to the grassroots amid observations that family ministry is becoming a ‘luxury” for the middle and upper class.
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle called on lay movements to shed individualism and work together in attending to the spiritual needs of poor families.
“Let us break from that image that family ministry is a middle class or upper class luxury,” Tagle said during the 2nd Marriage Encounter Congress in Manila on Saturday.
Pastoral care for the poor
He said lay groups supporting the church’s mission for the family need to cooperate, not compete, with each other.
“Let’s just help one another. The challenge is immense,” Tagle said. “Let us offer pastoral care for the family among the poor.”
Echoing Pope Francis’ statement on care for the poor, the cardinal said the greatest injustice is that the less fortunate are denied spiritual care.
“They experienced so much injustice. They need pastoral care,” he said.
More than 700 delegates attended the conference where they formulated motions for the upcoming Vatican synod on the family.
The gathering also resulted in the building of a consensus on marital and family enrichment programs that can be shared by other faith-based organizations.
Tagle said the Congress is still part of the whole process that the universal church is going through.
The family is Good News
He said the dynamics the Pope wants is to get a wide-ranging poll of Catholics on their opinions about church teachings on the family.
The prelate also called on the delegates to rediscover the meaning of Gospel in the family and relate it their daily lives.
He said in many fora that he attended, very little space is given to pointing out the Good News in the family.
“So you get out having the conviction that family is bad news,” Tagle said.
During the Council of Synod’s recent meeting, Tagle said a concern was raised that many people are afraid of marriage and family life, especially in Europe.
The reason, according to him, is these people only hear and see bad things about family.
Sadly, he said, those who talk often about the bad things come from those who are supposed to be proclaiming the Gospel.
“It was an eye opener to us,” Tagle said. “So let us make sure that we are the ones who proclaim that family is Gospel and not bad news.” (Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews)