WHY DID POPE FRANCIS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH CONVENE AN EXTRAORDINARY SYNOD ON THE FAMILY ON OCTOBER 5, 2014
The answer to that question lies in the importance and immense value the family is to society. The family is the basic unit of society. The family is the cell of society. If that cell in some way becomes cancerous, society becomes cancerous. The family is the heart of society, and if the family suffers a heart attack so does society. The family is the central atom of the element of society. You split that atom, society suffers a destructive explosion. The value and importance of the family cannot be overestimated.
Pope St. John Paul II says much about the importance of the family. He states, “As the family goes so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.” And again, Pope St. John Paul II states, “The future of humanity passes by way of the family.” At another instance the Saint says, “Families are important, the reason is simple: the future of a human person, his happiness, his capacity for giving life meaning, all depends upon the family. This is why I never tire of saying that the future of humanity is closely linked to that of the family.” Pope Francis says, “Not only would I say the family is important and necessary for the survival of humanity. Without the family, the cultural survival of the human race would be at risk.”
Where are traditions handed down? In the family. Where are moral values transmitted? In the family. Where do children first experience love? In the family. Where do children find support? In the family. Where do we learn the all-important respect for authority? In the family.
Patriarch Sviatoslav bears witness to the above statements while speaking on the Family. After living under communism in his earlier years, he remarks, “Everything I learned about the church, about Christ, the ambience of where I learned to pray (before I met a priest for the first time) was my home, my family.
He further said, “His people’s experience was that The Family was the last defense of human dignity; only inside the family did we feel ourselves protected because society outside of your own home was very dangerous, not human, not Christian.”
We could go on and on showing how important the family is to our culture, our society, and how we must in every way support such an institution. It is no wonder that Pope St. John Paul II wrote an exhortation on the family in the year 1984. It is no wonder that Pope St. John Paul II convened an ordinary Synod on the family in the year 1980. It is no wonder that Pope Francis convened an “Extraordinary Synod” on the Family on October 5, 2014
– Submitted by: Rev. Canon Walter Wysochansky