Pope Francis kicked off the first consistory of his pontificate. He arrived early, at 9:12AM. After greeting each other, the cardinals set in for a long and intense work day. Their main topic of discussion is one of the Church's main concerns: the state of families today.
"Today, the family is looked down upon and mistreated. We are called to acknowledge how beautiful, true and good it is to start a family, to be a family today; and how indispensable the family is for the life of the world and for the future of humanity.”
The Pope asked cardinals to ensure that the Church accompanies all couples. But, he also explained how the work from the Extraordinary Consistory will help them do it.
"We will seek to deepen the theology of the family and discern the pastoral practices which our present situation requires. May we do so thoughtfully and without falling into 'casuistry,' because this would inevitably diminish the quality of our work. An with an intelligent, brave pastoral approach that is full of love.”
Cardinal Walter Kasper led the first reflection of the day, titled "the Gospel of the family.” But he also talked about the situations priests face on a daily basis, which the cardinals will discuss.
CARD. WALTER KASPER
"A mother who had re-married had prepared her son, in the best way possible, for his First Communion, better than any other mothers still in their first marriage. The parish priest told me: 'The day of the First Communion I have to tell the son that he can take part in the Eucharist, but his mother can't.' How is this possible? Since the mother and father didn't work out. This is a concrete example. The mother wants to live out her faith, and she educated her son in the faith. She's sorry her first marriage ended. Is forgiveness possible in this case?”
More than 150 cardinals gathered from all across the globe, at the Vatican's New Synod Hall. On Friday, they will do it all over again, using this time to exchange their thoughts on this important topic.