Family and Life
SynAct Family and Catechumenal Pathways: the Synod in action as regards family and human life ministry
The first online meeting to familiarize with the two tools made available by the Dicastery
During the International Forum on Amoris Laetitia (June 9-12, 2022) held during the Amoris Laetitia Family Year, bishops' conferences and international movements and associations involved in family pastoral care expressed the increasingly pressing need for dialogue - among themselves and with the academic community - to interact on issues related to family and human life.
SynAct Family: the implementation of a synodal method
Hence, last March 30, the first online meeting was held to present SynAct Family, a social platform promoted by the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, with the aim of providing a place for sharing ideas, projects, and initiatives so as to respond to the need for pastoral synergy among ecclesial realities. Given the potentials of this tool, it was decided that not only international family ministry coordinators, but also representatives of Centers and University Institutes belonging to the REDIUF, REDIF and REDIFAM networks be invited to the meeting, so that they would learn about the richness of living a platform, to which only members can access to freely exchange materials and projects. After a welcoming address by the Secretary of the Dicastery, Gleison De Paula Souza, who reviewed the goals and objectives of SynAct Family, the Family and Life area of the Dicastery - led by the Under-Secretary Gabriella Gambino – he presented the opportunities offered by the platform and its extraordinary potential in the practical application of the synodal method. This is a method made up of listening and sharing experiences and proposals related to the areas of family, marriage preparation, pastoral care of the elderly and issues of bioethics and human life.
Catechumenal Pathways for married life: how should they be implemented?
In Preadicate Evangelium, Pope Francis stresses that there is a universal treasure of creativity that has given rise to experiences, tools, initiatives and that it "must not be lost" (Cf. PE II,4). The document Catechumenal Pathways for Married Life that the Dicastery has provided to the particular Churches was presented during the online meeting by the Under-Secretary for Family and Life, Gabriella Gambino, including some practical suggestions on how to implement it. An initial step to be taken is that of changing the way in which preparation for married life is offered, and not only for the wedding day. It is not a question of increasing the work of pastoral workers, rather that of starting from a different goal: to help people discover, starting from childhood, the beauty of married life, that is, a true and proper vocation that lasts a lifetime. This is why Pope Francis, in the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia calls us to "love and cherish family life" in whatever condition they may be in, of difficulty or crisis. Many testimonies emerged from the dialogue with the 60 or so participants, and we concluded with the commitment of convening twice a year in addition to an appointment to meet again in the fall for a second encounter focused on the development that will be given to the Family Global Compact, which will soon be launched by the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life in collaboration with the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences.