22 May 2020

Family bonds in the digital era

The intervention of Undersecretary Gambino at the 10th “Familia para todos” Conference

To mark the International Day of Families, the Center for the Family at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile has held the 10th Familia para todos (“Family for all”) Conference. Undersecretary Gambino participated in the event, which was held via videoconference and involved over two hundred representatives of various Chilean university and pastoral centers on the family, with an intervention on family bonds in the digital age.

“The pandemic of these past three months has allowed us to experience, all of a sudden, the advantages and disadvantages of technology,” noted the Undersecretary, highlighting that “working from home, the possibility for many children and teenagers to make use of informational technology to continue their education, the use of social media for keeping in touch with distant family and friends: these all have the effect of keeping us in contact and united with the communities that are our points of reference.” Yet, Gambino continues, “we are well aware of how much we have missed human and physical contact with the people who are a daily reference point for us: colleagues, friends, family members, the Christian community, our pastors. You cannot live long without true communion. Neither single people, nor families as the foundational cell of society, nor members of the living People of God on their journey can be deprived of this.”

In the same way, she adds, “when this time of pandemic is over, we must help our children rediscover the beauty of communion with their friends, their schoolmates, their teachers, and the community. For this reason it is good for us to be near to them, and by this point to have them detach themselves from screens for a few hours a day in order to help them comprehend the meaning of the times we are living in, the significance of their feelings and thoughts. This time, after all, has taught us that we cannot continue to be distracted by the unimportant things that normally overwhelm us. The Lord,” concluded the Undersecretary, “has given us a time to stop, to reflect in silence, to find the Spirit once more.”