“The way to the heavens passes through the family, understood as beatitude in its revelation”, said the Metropolitan archbishop of Katowice, Msgr. Wiktor Skworc, inaugurating on May 20 the Fifth Metropolitan Feast of the Family. “In the light of our faith – he continued – the family is an ecclesial family whose beginning resides in Christ and which, in line with its missionary imperative, was brought to the world by the apostles and by their followers”.
Witness of faith. Recalling that that family “was built on the foundations of faith by the first Christian martyrs and confessors, on the faith of our ancestors and forefathers”, Msgr. Skworc underlined that “from the gift of being included within the multi-generational ecclesial family stem the concrete tasks of the faithful”. These are: to bear witness to their faith in their everyday lives. Not less important are “missionary cooperation implemented through prayer and the bestowal of suffering”. The prelate underlined that “in a multigenerational family resides the value of solidarity understood as the principle of social life”, and he called for the need to “discover and enhance the role of the elderly” since precisely “their life helps acknowledge the hierarchy of human values, highlighting the continuity of generations and their mutual interdependence”. The Feast of the Family in the diocese of Katowice will culminate on May 27 with the yearly pilgrimage to the Piekary Slaskie shrine, dedicated to the Most Holy Virgin Mother of Justice and Social Life.
The dignity of man. In mid May an international seminar was held in Krakow under the auspices of cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, the archbishop of the ancient capital of Poland, with the participation of two Slovakian universities of Presov and Ruzomberok. The meeting was organized on the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of the publication of the apostolic exhortation Familiaris Consortio. “The family best describes our strength and our value, showing that man is conscious of his own reasons”, underlined the director of the regional centre for social policies in Krakow Wioletta Wilimska, inaugurating the seminar. Recallling the definition of the family in the words of John Paul II, Msgr. Grzegorz Kaszak, ordinary of the diocese of Sosnowiec, said that de facto unions weaken the family, leading to the loss of the religious aspects of marriage. Henryk Skorowski, dean of the Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw, said: “the foundation of democracy isn’t grounded on freedom since it can be badly interpreted. Instead, it’s based on human dignity, namely, on the family. This understanding “gives the family the right to freedom and grants to it social rights such as the possibility of demanding guarantees for development and fulfilment of its own finalities and goals”. Jan Mazur (Pontifical University John Paul II) instead remarked that in modern times also the job market should be “at the service of families, considering increasing unemployment and migration flows caused by material difficulties”.
Educating the next generations. The archbishop of Warsaw-Prague, Msgr. Henryk Hoser, during another meeting dedicated to the family, organized in the same days in Warsaw, guarded against the gender ideology, whose “true goal” is to “destroy the family, religion, the Church, along with all traditional models, creating an easily manipulable society”. The prelate added that “gender ideology has adopted the concept of class struggle to man-women relations, ascribing to the latter the label of ‘oppressed group’, claiming that development is thwarted by systems and structures formed by religion, the most important of which are the family and the Catholic Church”. In support of the interest and the support to families, large families above all, the President of the Polish Republic Bronislaw Komorowski recently met adoptive families with more than three children, acknowledging “their courage and their commitment for the education of the next generations”. In the meantime, while many representatives of civil society are asking the Polish government not to ratify the European Council’s convention against violence in the family, describing it as inadequate and merely aimed against Christian set of values, others are preparing for the great March for Life and the Family, organized across 42 Polish cities on June 3, simultaneously with the World Meeting of the Family in Milan.