‘The Christian Family between Crisis and Hope’ - Message of His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel addressed to the Romanian Orthodox faithful on the occasion of the Family Sunday
On the occasion of the Family Sunday, the Patriarch of Romania conveyed the following message to the Romanian Orthodox faithful: We have all seen that after December 1989, a series of changes occurred at the level of the whole Romanian society. Some of them had positive effects, waited for and expected, while some other phenomena, on the contrary, exerted a negative influence in the people’s lives. Such a phenomenon, very obvious during the last few years, is the crisis of the family and the degradation of the family life on the backdrop of the increase of the general insecurity and of the many sudden changes brought about in a very short time. The sociologists think that a phenomenon of intellectual overwork came up, of social tiredness that brings about the degradation or anarchy of the social life, that explains why both in Romania and in the entire Europe, the Christian family is faced today with many crisis: the economical crisis (poverty, unemployment, uncertainty for the day to come, emigration to richer countries), the moral crisis (abortion, divorce, abandonment of the children, libertinage, growth of the violence in the family and juvenile delinquency) and the spiritual crisis (sectarianism, fanaticism and religious proselytism). As for the present situation of the family crisis, we think we should turn to good account the resources needed for getting out of crisis, in order to live with hope.First of all, we should see that happiness is the gift of God, while today’s crisis of the family can be overcome with the help and blessing of God, the Creator, who said: Have many children, so that your descendants will live all over the earth and bring it under their control (Genesis 1:28). In spite of the many sins and dangers fallen on the humankind, yet the family was the most stable institution in the history. Moreover, the blessing of the family by Jesus Christ, our Lord, at the wedding in Cana Galilee, when He turned the water into wine, asked by the Mother of God – the icon of the prayerful Church – is a strong basis of the Christian hope for us. Christ, the One who changed the water into wine can change the crisis into new hope, can bring about joy when poverty and sadness threaten. We must pray Christ, tell Him what really the family misses today and tell the Christian family in crisis to ask for the help of Christ and of the Mother of God in the very organisation of the conjugal life. The wonder made at Cana Galilee shows us the happiness as a gift of God which brings about communion and joy in the family and society, not as a right of the human that must acquired in a selfish individualist way. Secondly, we must support the efforts of the Church to defend the natural traditional universal family, and resist when faced with new patterns of family, in which the normal man-woman relationship is considered outdated. Thirdly, the co-operation between State and Church should be increased in all the social educational cultural fields of activity concerning the family, because the Christian matrix of Europe cannot be taken out of the structure of the European man, even if the man ignores it. This is why the Romanian Patriarchate has always sustained the maintenance of the religion class in the school curriculum, because people lose the true meaning of life if they have no faith. The virtues and values presented during the classes of religious education are necessary for keeping the spiritual good health in the family and society. The religious education teaches the child and young man the love for God and people, faith, hope, solidarity, justice, as well as gratitude towards parents and benefactors, generosity and diligence, holiness of life, eternal value of the human being, the meaning of existence, the common welfare and the beauty of the generous soul. It provides the child with an Orthodox view on life, namely with a way of understanding the world and life, of working out cognitive reasoning and moral judgement. So, the religious education reduces the negative effects of the contemporary crisis of identity and orientation, proposing vivid examples of kindness and holiness, providing the children and young people landmarks for the life in the family and society. In conclusion, our fatherly urge is the following: to cultivate more the holy relationship present between the life of the family and that of the Church, between the education of the child and the dignity of the human being, created according to the image of the divine Persons. Therefore, we cannot reduce the family only to its biological, juridical, sociological or economical aspect, because it is more than all these together and transcends them all. The family has the vocation to be collaboration of the man with God in the world, in order to get the eternal life, for the glory of the Holy Trinity and the welfare of humankind. † DanielPatriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church
Category: News and events
Added: May 21, 2010
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