Sixth World Encounter of Families: The Family, Teacher of Human and Christian Values
SOME 15,000 participants, including 35 cardinals and numerous bishops from around the world, converge today in Mexico City for the 6th World Encounter of Families. The theme of the 2009 ecclesial event is "The Family, Teacher of Human and Christian Values." The activities during the five-day event include a Theological-Pastoral Congress, a Festive Meeting with Testimonies, and a Concluding Celebration of the Eucharist. The World Encounter of Families is a triennial event. The last meeting was held in Valencia, Spain, in 2006.
The family has been naturally conferred the primal responsibility of nurturing and guiding its members by instilling in them human and Christian values that will enable them to cope with the realities of this world, learn to become good and responsible citizens, and develop a reverence for and an intimate relationship with God.
In a message on the occasion of the recent Feast of the Holy Family, Pope Benedict XVI emphasized that the family is "a grace of God" that radiates "an eternally gratuitous love that sustains faithfully and without limits, even in moments of difficulty or discouragement." Just as the God who loved us first and loves us unconditionally, the family imbued with human and Christian values is capable of serving as an effective support system for its members. …