The Vatican has confirmed that Pope Francis intends to visit Mexico next year, including a visit to the Our Lady of Guadalupe shrine. No dates were given. It is expected that Francis will also visit his native Argentina for the first time since his March 2013 election. Definitely on his 2016 agenda will be his trip to Krakow, Poland, for World Youth Day in July.
POPE REFLECTS ON BOND BETWEEN CHURCH AND FAMILY “FOR THE COMMON GOOD”
At his weekly general audience, Pope Francis told the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square that, “during the Synod of Bishops, I would like to reflect on some aspects of the profound relationship between the Church and the family, with a view to the common good of society.”
“When families journey along the way of the Lord,” said the Pope, “they offer a fundamental witness to God’s love, and they deserve the full commitment and support of the Church. In the family we learn of the bonds which unite us, of fidelity, sincerity, trust, cooperation and respect, even when difficulties abound. Indeed it is in family life that the most vulnerable of society are cared for. And yet, political and economic life today does not always support the family, and seems to have lost the ability to incorporate the virtues of family life into the common life of society. Here the Church is called to exercise her mission by first examining to what extent she is living as the family of God.”
Francis explained that. “like Saint Peter, the Church is called to be a fisher of men, and so too needs a new type of net. Families are this net. They free us from the sea of loneliness and indifference, so that we can all experience the freedom of being children of God. May the Church go out into the deep, confident that the catch will be great. And may the Synod Fathers, inspired by the Holy Spirit, encourage the Church to cast out her net with confidence and faith in the Word of God.”
In greetings to English-language pilgrims, the Holy Father said, “I ask you to continue to pray for the Synod on the Family, and to recommit your families to Christ. May you always be witnesses to his mercy and love in the world. God bless you all!”
Pope Francis will hold two more Wednesday general audiences during the time of the synod on the family.