The family has become a difficult challenge – Bishop of Gozo
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The Family Commission of the Gozo Diocese held its annual conference on Friday. This year’s theme was ‘Familja Soda, Socjetà b’Sahhitha’ (Solid Family, Strong Society).
The Bishop of Gozo, Mgr Mario Grech, closed the conference and in his message he said, “It is a fact that the family has become a difficult challenge, not only for the Church but also to our society. Much depends on our choices today whether this challenge is won or lost. The important question is if we will continue to look to the family as a social institution with rights and obligations.”
“It is true that increasingly Europe, both as a political and cultural entity, is finding difficulty in relating to the family. There was a time when the European Union showed a genuine interest in the family, but then changed its route after it ceded to pressure from some groups,” the Bishop said.
The laws are becoming more favourable to the individual on social, civil and economic rights, from those of the family. Today the talk is about rights and responsibilities of individuals in families, but not about the rights and responsibilities of the family as such. The more the laws neglect or disregards the concept of the family as a unit -rather than “family responsibility” – the faster the process leading to the disappearance of the family’s social role, he said.
“As in the case of many other things, the definition of family has also become fluid, so that we have come to replace ‘family’ with the word ‘household’ – a concept that includes various forms of cohabitation.”
The Bishop said, “the family, instead of offering a compilation of sound and secure relationships, has become weak and fragile. If what is supposedly the cradle of life and mankind’s first school losing its nature, is not surprising that the young generation, is at risk.”
The keynote speaker on Friday was Fr Carlo Bresciani, a psychologist, family therapist and adviser to the Holy See. His talk, which was also open to the public was in Italian with Maltese translation.