12:12 - MALTA: MSGR. GRECH (GOZO), MUCH HAS BEEN SAID AND DONE TO WEAKEN THE FAMILY
Strengthening the role of the family within society. I was asked by Msgr. Mario Grech, bishop of Gozo, in the pastoral letter dedicated to the family, made known yesterday in the presentation of the World Meeting of Families taking place in Milan, at the end of this month. In the letter entitled Strengthening the family, the bishop faces several burning issues such as the recent introduction of divorce in the legislation of Malta (confirmed through referendum last year). Exactly in this respect, the bishop wrote: In the last few years, in Malta, doubts have been slowly but inexorably raised about what the family represents, its mission and its role in society. Truth about the nature and the identity of the family became unnecessary. Much has been said and done in an effective way to weaken the family as the fundamental cell of society. The introduction of divorce in the marriage legislation in Malta is the most resounding case. But its not the only one. The bishop is worried about the spreading of an individualistic mentality in which the ‘rights of the individual overshadow the ‘rights of the family. In such context, it is necessary for the family to gain its institution status again: hence the appeal of the bishop to families and their association. (Continued)
12:13 - MALTA: MSGR. GRECH (GOZO), MUCH HAS BEEN SAID AND DONE TO WEAKEN THE FAMILY (2)
The questions needing action are also listed in the letter: First of all - wrote Msgr. Grech - it is essential to rely on a clear, unambiguous definition of the family. For us, the family is a natural society of people built on relationship between man and woman, founded on the indissoluble conjugal bond. That means - added the bishop - the ‘family shall never be used to represent a mere juridical acknowledgement of the people living under the same roof, or similar agreements. Since the family is the primary unit necessary for society, as a consequence, it shall be duly given a privileged status by the State. No other kind of relationship between people - insisted the bishop - shall be identified as family. Moreover, in the letter, the bishop speaks about the family as the sanctuary in which human life is conceived and grows. Hence: total respect of human life from the beginning to the natural end, and total rejection of abortion and euthanasia. The letter ends with an appeal to the families not to remain in the shadow, and to take part in the public debate as protagonists to have their voices heard and to defend the family. It is necessary for the family to be acknowledged as subject and party, in such a way that it may pay its contribution to the strengthening of common good through continuous dialogue with the State.