Pope Francis has voiced his support for a collaboration between Catholic universities' family studies departments and family ministry programs.
Pope Francis offered his support to a “Family Global Compact” — a plan that will bring programs of pastoral ministry to families into dialogue with the family studies departments at Catholic universities around the world.
The compact is an initiative of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life; and the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences.
“The goal is synergetic: to enable the pastoral care of families in the particular Churches to benefit from the research and the educational and training programs in Catholic universities,” the Holy Father noted.
And this synergy is needed today as we are in a “time of uncertainty and a certain shortage of hope,” he said.
The Pope expressed his hopes that the culture generated by the Family Global Compact will help “new generations to appreciate marriage and family life with its resources and challenges and the beauty of generating and nurturing human life.”
He pointed out the four goals of the Compact:
1. Initiating a process of dialogue and greater collaboration among university study and research centres dealing with family issues, in order to make their activities more productive, particularly by creating or reviving networks of university institutes inspired by the social doctrine of the Church.
2. creating greater synergy of content and goals between Christian communities and Catholic universities.
3. promoting the culture of family and life in society, so that helpful public policy resolutions and objectives can emerge.
4. harmonizing and advancing proposals that result from this, so that service to the family can be enhanced and sustained in spiritual, pastoral, cultural, legal, political, economic and social terms.
The Pope said we cannot be “indifferent to the future of the family”:
It is in the family that many of God’s dreams for the human community are realized. Hence, we cannot resign ourselves to the decline of the family in the name of uncertainty, individualism and consumerism, which envision a future of individuals who think only of themselves.
Instead, the family is a “community of life and love, a unique and indissoluble covenant between a man and a woman, a place where generations meet, a source of hope for society.”
Healthy family relationships represent a unique source of enrichment, not only for spouses and children but for the entire ecclesial and civil community.