Pandemic shows importance of family, says new institute head

Msgr Philippe Bordeyne (CNS/Pontifical John Paul II Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences)

The pandemic has made clear that the family is a “barometer” of challenges facing the global community, but also that it is the place best equipped to help people face those challenges, said new head of the Pontifical John Paul II Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences. Source: Crux.

At the official inauguration of the institute’s academic year on Friday, Msgr Philippe Bordeyne, the former rector of the Institut Catholique de Paris, said the Rome centre’s focus on multidisciplinary studies about marriage and family life cannot ignore the impact of the pandemic nor the social pressures and inequalities it laid bare.

“The family is a barometer of global challenges,” he said. “It is deeply touched by the great shocks of our time: unemployment and poverty, mass migration, the digital revolution, the generation gap, the disregard for human life, the ecological crisis.”

At the same time, he said, “the family holds up quite well in these stormy times. Founded on the spousal love of a man and a woman, nourished by affection and mutual respect between generations, the family manages to preserve, against all odds, spaces of peace and joy, of celebration, of solidarity, of gratuitousness, of retreat that allow it to invent new ways of living for the benefit of the home, but also of a broader social life.”

Msgr Bordeyne said Pope Francis’ changes to the institute indicate that “its mission continues to be principally in the theological field because it draws resources from the Christian faith,” but its offerings have been expanded to include “a more decisive dialogue with all the sciences that touch on marriage and the family, also with an openness to the diversity of cultures and socioeconomic contexts.”

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Pandemic shows importance of family, says head of John Paul II Institute (By Cindy Wooden, CNS via Crux

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