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Truths of the Catholic Church series

Pontifical Councils

Laity || Family || Justice and Peace || Promoting Christian Unity || “Cor Unum” || Culture || Social Communications || Inter-Religious Dialogue || Legislative Texts || Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People || Health Pastoral Care

The Pontifical Council for the Family: in relation to the pastoral care of the family and the defense of life, the Council assists the Pope with the following: theology and catechesis of the family; conjugal and family spirituality; the rights of the family and the child; formation of the laity for the pastoral care of the family; marriage preparation courses. 

The Church, as mother, gives birth to, educates and builds up the Christian family… By proclaiming the word of God the Church reveals to the Christian family, what it is and should be according to the Lord’s plan; by celebrating the sacraments the Church enriches and strengthens the Christian family with the grace of Christ… by the continuous proclamation of the new commandment of love, the Church encourages and guides the Christian family to the service of love so that it may imitate and relive the same self-giving that the Lord Jesus has for the entire human race.

As mother and teacher, the Church stands besides families, with the greatest riches of the Magisterium that provide so much guidance in the present circumstances of life in today’s world. These riches shed light on family life and help families as they make their day-to-day journey.

John Paul I










John Paul I     from his address to a group of  American Bishops

The Christian family is so important, and its role is so basic to transforming the world and in building up the Kingdom of God, that the Council called it ‘a domestic Church’.

Let us never grow tired of proclaiming the family as a community of love. We must encourage parents in their role as educators of their children – the first catechists and the best ones. What a great task and challenge they have: to teach children the love of God, to make it something real for them.

By the loving witness of their lives, families can bring Christ’s Gospel to others. A vivid realization of the sharing of the laity – and especially the family – in the salvific mission of the Church is one of the greatest legacies of the Second Vatican Council.

We can never thank God enough for this gift.


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