November 18, 2014 by t.matthaei
Pope Francis received the Bishops of Zambia on Monday who are in Rome on their Ad Limina Visit. In his remarks to the group the Pope spoke about the importance of the family and the need to reach out to the poorest and most afflicted and in society. He also spoke to the Bishops about encouraging young people to play an active role in the life of the Church.
Among other things he said:
“Dear Brother Bishops,
I welcome you to the City of the Apostles, where you have come as shepherd pilgrims ad Limina Apostolorum Petri et Pauli, and I thank Archbishop Mpundu for his gracious words on behalf of all the bishops, priests and people of your country…
In regard to these difficulties, I am convinced that “the weakening of family bonds is particularly serious because the family is the fundamental cell of society, where we learn to live with others despite our differences and to belong to one another; it is also the place where parents pass on the faith to their children” (Evangelii Gaudium, 66). Be solicitous whether in or out of season, by supporting this “sanctuary of life” (Africae Munus, 42) which is the family, for it is here that the Church’s well-being in Zambia must grow and be fostered…
I ask you, with your priests, to form strong Christian families, who – by your catechizing – will know, understand and love the truths of the faith more deeply, and thus be protected from those currents which may tempt them to fall away. Affirm Catholic couples in their desire for fidelity in conjugal life and in their yearning to provide a stable spiritual home for their children, helping them to nurture the life of virtue in the family. By so doing, your authentic teaching of the doctrines of the faith will touch the daily life of Zambian households….