Pope calls marriage ‘the heritage of humanity’
Pope calls marriage ‘the heritage of humanity’ Vatican City, Dec. 05, 2005 (CNA) - On Saturday, Pope Benedict XVI met with representatives of Latin American family and life groups, to whom he stressed the value of human life in the face of new ethical issues, and the need for faithfulness, and openness to life within marriage.
The group was made up of presidents of the Latin American Episcopal Commissions for the Family and Life, meeting in Rome over the weekend. The meeting was promoted by the Pontifical Council for the Family, headed by Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo.
Recalling the great interest of his predecessor, John Paul II, on the pastoral care of the family, Benedict said that "for my part, I share this same concern which to a large extent affects the future of the Church and of peoples."
"Your duty as pastors," he said, "is to present the extraordinary value of marriage in all its richness; as a natural institution, it is 'the heritage of humanity.'“
“At the same time,” he added, “its elevation to the great dignity of Sacrament must be contemplated with gratitude and wonder, as I myself recently pointed out when I said that 'the value of Sacrament that marriage assumes in Christ means that the gift of creation was raised to the grace of redemption.”
The grace of Christ is not external to man's nature, it causes it no harm, but, in elevating it beyond its own limits, liberates and restores it'."
The Holy Father went on, saying that “the total commitment of husband and wife, with its particular characteristics of exclusivity, faithfulness, duration in time and openness to life, lies at the basis of that community of love and life that is marriage.”
“Today,” he said, “we must announce with renewed enthusiasm that the gospel of the family is a way to human and spiritual fulfillment, in the certainty that the Lord is always present, in His grace."
‘Children express wealth of a family’
The Pope then went on to address a number of life-related issues, including embryonic stem cell research and abortion, noting that new attitudes are putting the fundamental right to life into question.
"A man is truly ethical only when he obeys the compulsion to help all life which he is able to assist, and shrinks from injuring anything that lives." Albert Schweitzer