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Vatican’s New Education Prefect, Cardinal Versaldi, Defends Marriage and Family

AFP/Alberto Pizzoli

Kim Scharfenberger - published on 04/15/15

Strong opponent of "relativistic clture"

Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, who was recently named by Pope Francis to serve as prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education, has a strong record of defending marriage and family against a culture that increasingly dilutes the importance of those sacred institutions.

His appointment comes at a time when Catholic education and religious freedom are under attack by advocates for the redefinition of marriage and sexual morality, and just months before the Synod on the Family later this year. 
In a 2013 speech on the defense of the natural family, Cardinal Versaldi urged the Church to resist a “relativistic and subjective culture,” ZENIT reported. As modern culture becomes increasingly embroiled in redefinition, it becomes more necessary than ever to safeguard “the full and objective meaning of marriage,” Cardinal Versaldi said.

He lamented the fact that cultural issues such as the increasing prevalence of divorce and widespread declining birthrates have contributed to a “disaster” situation for the family and endangered the sanctity of marriage. These issues, along with “pseudo-pastoral trends,” fail to form “the good of the family.”

The Church has a responsibility to stop this “disaster” of modern society caused by relativism and deception, Cardinal Versaldi insisted. Denying “the natural reality of marriage” is “anthropological pessimism,” he added, and fails to encourage commitment in married couples.

Prior to his appointment to the education post, Cardinal Versaldi served as president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See since 2011. He is known as a strong leader in the Vatican.
“The appointment confirms that the Congregation for Catholic Education will remain a key body in the ranks of the Roman Curia,” Catholic News Agency reported.

Cardinal Versaldi, who studied and taught at the Jesuits’ Pontifical Gregorian University, has an academic interest in integrating insights from psychology with canon law to improve the Vatican’s understanding of marriage and vocations.
He has stressed the importance of “helping both priests and married people reach a mature affectivity” in order to fully realize their respective vocations, according to a translation of an interview with La Gregoriana. He noted that young people are often “the victims of increasingly sophisticated deceptions of modern society.”

Kim Scharfenbergerwrites for Catholic Education Daily, an online publication of The Cardinal Newman Society. This article was originally published at Catholic Education Daily and is reprinted here with permission. 

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