12 September 2017
Family and Life, widely shared values in the country
Ad Limina Visit of Nicaragua’s Bishops
On the morning of Monday, September 11th, during the visit “to the See” of the Apostles, Nicaragua’s Bishops were received at the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life.
The Bishops of the country’s eight ecclesiastical circumscriptions spoke about the Catholic Laity’s great commitment to evangelization, especially thanks to the “delegates of the Word,” the ministry of catechists, and volunteer services in which the Catholic Christian faithful collaborate. They delineated the training programs of lay pastoral workers, but also talked about their concerns with regard to training young people for social and political engagement inspired by the Gospel.
The prelates pointed out that a large number of young people is involved in youth pastoral care and in some of its major activities, such as the Vigil of Pentecost, which yearly brings together about 50,000 young people throughout the country. They expressed their gratitude for this and spoke with hope about how these young people are preparing for the 2019 World Youth Day in Panama since they together with Costa Rica have the responsibility to welcome young pilgrims in the days preceding the events with the Holy Father in Panama.
With respect to pastoral care of the family, the Bishops talked of the wealth expressed by ecclesial family movements and family ministry at the national and diocesan level. In Nicaragua, family and life are values widely shared among citizens, especially among Catholics, as the family is the first network of solidarity and an important social cushion.
However, as in many other parts of the world, the family experiencing the pressure of poverty that divides it and forces it to emigrate, domestic violence and the winds of relativism and ideologies. Concretely, gender ideology is leading to legislation that deteriorates the family. Today, in Nicaragua, the biggest challenge is represented not by remarried divorcees but by the fact that, for several reasons including notably a lack of evangelization, many people do not marry.
With regard to abortion, the Bishops said that Nicaraguans strongly appreciate the value of life, so even when a girl is faced with an unwanted pregnancy, she does not consider abortion. There are many pro-life groups and strong solidarity with the groups of other Christian churches in the defense of life at the legislative level.
At the end of the meeting, Cardinal Farrell thanked the Bishops for the great work that has been done and urged them not to lose hope.