The Gospel of the Family

The Gospel of the Family


In this thought-provoking address given to the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Walter Kasper, whom Pope Francis has called "a superb theologian," discusses everything that is beautiful about the family without avoiding its problems. According to Cardinal Kasper, the family functions as a small "domestic church" that can be a privileged route to evangelization. He speaks of this "domestic church" in a broad sense that includes the nuclear family as well as communities, parish groups, and other organizations. Cardinal Kasper considers the rediscovery of the "gospel of the family," the family's place in the order of creation, and the vision of the family in the Book of Genesis and in God's plan. The cardinal then reflects on the structures of sin within the family, including family problems, tensions between men and women, and the suffering of women and mothers. Finally, he concludes with a discussion of the family in the Christian order of redemption, drawing from the gospels and other New Testament texts about the family, such as St. Paul's Letter to the Ephesians. He discusses marriage as a sacrament and its sanctifying grace. The cardinal also mentions the issue of those who have remarried after divorce. He stresses the need to unite pastoral care, the words of Jesus, and an understanding of divine mercy in responding to these Catholics. "Yesterday, before falling asleep, though not to fall asleep, I read, or re-read, Cardinal Kasper's remarks. I would like to thank him, because I found a deep theology, and serene thoughts in theology. It is nice to read serene theology. It did me well and I had an idea, and excuse me if I embarrass Your Eminence, but the idea is this: this is called doing theology while kneeling. Thank you. Thank you." -- Pope Francis

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