Lima (Fides Service) - In the face of the many difficulties and dangers encountered by families today which threaten their stability and their nature, aware that it is not easy for married couples to escape negative influences, the Church in Peru through the Bishops’ Commission for the Family organised Pro Life Day and National Family Week 4 to 11 September with the slogan “Marriage source of life, foundation of the family”.
To foster reflection on how to help couples called on the basis of their sacramental union to be the foundation of the family, the commission issued a message “Defending the Family and Life”, and a pastoral handbook “Marriage source of life, foundation of the family” for use both during group meetings and by individual couples.
The message notes with concern that in the globalised world of today the fact that various governments in Europe and Latin America have approved or are considering the approval of laws which destroy the very essence of the family and are against life itself, is having a negative impact on families in Peru. This influence is aggravated not only by dominant moral relativism but also by unleashed materialsm, exasperated individualism and the engative influence exerted on conciences by the media. In this situation the message says: “as Christians convinced of the value of life we must fight currents which disregard essential values such a maternity where the solution for an unwanted child is abortion, where the elimination of an elderly person who is a “nuisance”, is called euthanasia. A society which fails to respect life is a society which is ill and is moving towards self destruction”. The message says “by building familes with solid foundations we ensure that the values transmitted therein will serve as a basis for a future society of fraternity and soldarity”.
The document ends with a call not to let a negative vision of life overshadow the value and brilliance of so many Peruvian families who struggle to be faithful to the Gospel with reciprocal love and respect solidarity and justice and who have the courage to announce the Good News and denounce evil: “We are called to be faithfull witnesses to this teaching at all times and everywhere, proclaiming the Gospel of family and life”.
The hand book offers reflections on 6 themes one for each week-day: “Self awareness”, “Marriage in crisis”, “the couple in communication and dialogue”, “love and sexuality”, “Communion of persons”, “sacrament of matrimony and the Eucharist”. Each theme is presented with an opening prayer, a scripture reading and references to Church teaching to giude reflection where there is no spiritual director or for less qualified persons. This is followed by a serioes of questions and the Prayer for the Family. On the occasion of National Family Week many dioceses have adapted their activities to reflect on the most serious and urgent matters of family pastoral . (RZ) (Agenzia Fides 5/9/2005, righe 39, parole 534)