October 8, 2015

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

The following, in it's entirety, is a copyrighted transcript of the Vatican Information Service

Summary

- Married couples speak before the Synod Assembly

- Paul VI, champion of dialogue between peoples

Married couples speak before the Synod Assembly

Vatican City, 8 October 2015 (VIS) – Married couples are participating as auditors in this year's Synod dedicated to the family, presenting their concrete experiences as couples, parents or grandparents before the Assembly of cardinals, bishops, priests and experts. On 5 October the Assembly heard the testimony of the Mexican couple Gertrudiz Clara Rubio de Galindo and Andres Salvador Galindo, executive secretaries of the Episcopal Commission for the Family of the Episcopal Conference, secretaries of CELAM for the Mexico-Central America zone. On 6 October, during the third General Congregation, the Assembly was addressed by Buysile Patronella Nkosi and Meshack Jabulani Nkosi, members of the Advisory Committee for the National Family Desk of the Southern African Episcopal Catholic Bishops' Conference.

Rubio de Galindo and Galindo Lopez have been married for 45 years and have two children and four grandchildren. They commented that the early years of their marriage were difficult due in particular to the economic problems they encountered, and some relatives even advised them to separate for this reason. “In spite of insistence to the contrary, Andres and I decided to fight against the imbalance that this had caused and to persevere with our marriage and the family we had started to raise, although we took this decision without a clear awareness of what the sacrament of marriage meant”, said Gertrudiz Clara Rubio de Galindo. “Shortly after, thanks to God we had the opportunity to have an experience with the Encuentro Matrimonial Catolico, in which we learned to communicate, to forgive, but above all to understand God's plan for us as a married couple and as a family. And we continue to fight for our relationship, but now with more awareness, in accordance with God's plan”.

“Years later, in other period of economic difficulty, after visiting the Basilica of Guadalupe, we decided to collaborate with the family pastoral ministry of the diocese. This decision led us to contribute in various parts of Central America, where throughout the years we have seen that the great problems that occur within families are caused by social, cultural, political, educational, economic and religious factors, and if marriage and the family are weakened, they need to be resuscitated through formation and teaching in terms of its identity and mission”. Therefore, Rubio de Galindo concluded, the pastoral care of the family in the third millennium requires “pastors impassioned by God's plan”, who accompany and form families so that they may discover and experience “their identity and mission”.

On 6 October the Synod Fathers heard the story of Meshack Jabulani and Buysile Patronella Nkosi, married for 35 years and with five children and eight grandchildren. Three of their children, Meshack Jabulani said, are married with non-Catholics and so they “are walking in two faiths but one love”. One of their sons-in-law and their daughter-in-law intend to convert to Catholicism and in Easter 2016 they will be welcomed into the Catholic Church.

During the last 33 years they have accompanied many young people with whom they have shared their life experience, the Word of God and the teachings of the Church. “We pass on the Good News of the love of God for us through His Son Jesus Christ, and we in our life every day try through God's grace to become good news to each other and to young couples and the world. This is made possible by letting the Word of God, Christ Himself, be our compass”.

“We have and have had our numerous challenges, of perhaps not seeing things the same way or hurting each other in one way or another but our redemption has always been to try to be humble enough to say 'I am sorry'. As in the words of the Holy Father, 'pardon me, thank you and may I please' are indispensable words if we are to live in peace and harmony in our family. It is important to remember to say 'I love you' to each other and to the children. Pope Benedict XVI, in his encyclical 'Caritas in Veritate', emphasises the importance of love as the principle of life in society, the place where a person learns common good since the family is the first place where a new person learns to love, to forgive, experiences forgiveness and learns to share”.

“The choice we made 35 years ago is the choice we continue to make every day to care for each other in the family and to be faithful to each other as we committed to love forever. To modern society, which unfortunately has developed a 'throwaway culture', this kind of commitment seems to be utter foolishness and is ridiculed and discouraged. Young people then tend to be afraid to get married, and look at this commitment as a burden. Part of our calling is to encourage them to enter into the journey of holy matrimony looking at Christ as their new hope”.

“We have experienced new life being born, and have seen our parents giving us support in raising our children. We have also seen them getting older and more frail and have taken care of them until they passed on. We have seen our children develop to parenthood themselves and us assuming a supportive role for them and their families. We continue to pass on our faith, all the Christian values and the culture of 'Ubuntu' – humaneness. This brings joy and fulfilment and has made our lives richer and fuller through the grace of God”, concluded Nkosi.

Paul VI, champion of dialogue between peoples

Vatican City, 8 October 2015 (VIS) – Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, secretary for Relations with States, today spoke in Brescia, Italy during the meeting entitled “Dialogue between Peoples in the name of Paul VI”, which commemorated the 50th anniversary of Blessed Paul VI's visit to the General Assembly of the United Nations on 4 October 1965.

The prelate noted that a few months after the beginning of his papacy, in the encyclical “Ecclesiam Suam”, Paul VI proposed dialogue between the Church and the contemporary world as the cornerstone of his pontificate, assigning a fundamental role to dialogue between peoples to guarantee peace and equitable human development. “Pope Montini saw the theme of peace as an urgent and imperative duty, emphasised both by doctrinal reflections on the role of the Church in the contemporary world and the development of international institutions, which were reborn after the interruption of the second World War and grew rapidly in number and quality. We must not forget that the backdrop to Paul VI's commitment to peace, and in contrast to it, was the threat of a total nuclear war, the unfettered arms race and the difficult and at times tragic crisis of the Cold War, such as the raising of the Berlin wall, the Cuban missile crisis, the beginning of the United States' involvement in Vietnam, and many other minor conflicts”.

With regard to dialogue between States and peace-building, Archbishop Gallagher recalled Paul VI's memorable message to the United Nations in 1965 in which he indicated four key points in the mission of the institution: offering States a formula for peaceful co-existence, a sort of international citizenship; working to unite nations, without exclusion; following the formula of equality, so that no State may be superior to the others; and considering the legal pact that unites the member States of the United Nations as a solemn oath that must change the future history of the world: “No more war, no more war”. To these points, the Pope adds another two points relating to the development and dignity of humanity: peace cannot be constructed solely through politics and the balance of forces and interests, but rather with the spirit, with ideas, and with works of peace. It involves working for development and for the rights and fundamental duties of humanity. International dialogue is concerned primarily with the issue of human life, which is sacred.

In the second part of the encyclical “Populorum Progressio”, on the development of peoples, Paul VI explains economic relations with great lucidity, highlighting finance and credit on the one hand, and international trade on the other, as priority areas for joint work. He underlines, among other things, the need for a global fund to assist poor countries, funded by richer nations principally through the limitation of military spending. With regard to international commerce, he observes that the financial and technical efforts to assist developing countries will be illusory if their results are cancelled by the interplay of trade relations between rich and poor countries.

“It is well known that Pope Montini viewed nationalism and racism as basic obstacles to the construction of a fraternal international community, based on the United Nations Charter, on an equitable legal, financial and commercial multilateral system and on respect for human rights”, noted Archbishop Gallagher.

The prelate went on to refer to the international presence that the Holy See acquired during Paul VI's papacy, entering as an Observer in the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1964, participating then as a member in the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and often as an observer in many international bodies and at many conventions, from the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in Geneva, the International Labour Organisation, the World Health Organisation, the Council of Europe and the Organisation of American States.

Again between the years 1963 and 1978 the Holy See participated in the development of the international system for the protection of human rights, through its adhesion to the Convention against Racial Discrimination and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and its participation in the Conference for Cooperation and Security in Europe.

Blessed Paul VI, added Archbishop Gallagher, developed the progress made by St. John XXIII in the opening of the East European countries, adding to the objective of recognition of the rights of the Holy See, the desire to promote religious freedom, including the freedom of the Catholic Church, and to favour peace and harmony between peoples. The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, ratified by the Holy See on 25 February 1971, formed part of the efforts made to contain the nuclear threat and the arms race in general, but also served to establish channels for dialogue with the authorities of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Finally, the Holy See, as a State, was invited by the Warsaw Pact to participate in the Helsinki Final Act, which laid the foundations for the basic exercise of freedom of thought, conscience and religion or religious belief for the citizens of Eastern Europe.

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