15 October 2019
Family relationships, a resource for society
At the Dicastery, a meeting with representatives of university family institutes
Over the past few days, the Dicastery has hosted a meeting of REDIUF, or the Rete Internazionale degli Istituti Universitari per la Famiglia (“International Network of University Family Institutes”), which was established on 22 August 2018 in connection with the World Meeting of Families in Dublin. Representatives from about twenty different institutions, coming from Spain, Italy, France, and Latin America, took part in the event.
Their work was focused on deepening an understanding of the “extended” family—namely, the network of relatives made up of grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins—to study and to better appreciate family roles and bonds, as well as the importance of these family bonds in the pastoral care of the family, particularly for the most vulnerable individuals, such as children and the sick.
The goal was to establish a practical collaboration between Catholic universities and the Dicastery on topics that are relevant today in terms of placing marriage and the family at the center of pastoral activity, in this case making use of the contributions and specific help that can come from university research and education. In this respect, the Secretary of the Dicastery, Father Alexandre Awi Mello, recalled that “ignorance of the family, like ignorance of the Scriptures, is ignorance of Christ.”
The participants in the meeting had the opportunity to attend the General Audience in St. Peter’s Square, during which they were able to greet Pope Francis and receive his blessing.