The Vocabulary of the Family

The Instrumentum Laboris of the 5th American Missionary Congress has been published—from the crisis to the urgency of saving the family

“America in Mission, the Gospel is Joy” is the catchphrase of the document “The joy of the Gospel: heart of the prophetic mission, source of reconciliation and communion,” the Instrumentum Laboris which will guide the work of the 5th American Missionary Congress and the 10th Latin American Missionary Congress to be held in Bolivia in July 2018.

The theme of the family appears many times in the document: the starting point is the crisis experienced by the family institution, which is mirrored by “the instability of marriage, in the experiences of concubinage, the disintegration of the nuclei, the abandonment of the elderly, and the emptying of the content of the concept of marriage itself as some countries legalize same-sex relationships.” The conclusions of the Synod on the family and the Post-Synodal Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, we read, “offer a good guide to accompany the situations of families from the perspective of mercy, the heart of the Gospel’s message.”

Beginning with the exaltation of the “value of the family in the prophetic mission of the Church”, the document goes on to focus on the “mission of working for the universal human family”: “One of the most urgent challenges today is to make the global world, caught up in structural injustice, a universal home, a new human family,” by breaking down the “walls of social exclusion, economic exploitation, and xenophobic racism.” Thus, the priority will be “to create spaces where attention is given to those who suffer: the homeless, families living in precarious conditions, the poor, the unemployed, the immigrants.”

The defense of the family, we read further on, “is a matter of urgency. The family is a space of humanization and sanctification,” a privileged place for life, “the place of encounter, love, gratitude, and affective experience.” This explains the “urgency” of the mission of “educating to reflection and listening, mutual understanding, respect, communication and encounter, love and forgiveness, joy, happiness and harmony: a full lexicon serves for the retrieval of the family.”

 América en Misión: el Evangelio es alegría

26 January 2017