In just a few months, the family will take center stage in the Vatican, when the Synod on the Family kicks off in the month of October.
The Church in Latin America is getting ready for this gathering with a meeting in Panama, where the strengths and challenges families face in Latin America will be discussed. From August 4th to the 9th more than 350 experts from 22 countries will come together for the first Latin American Pastoral Congress on the Family.
During a recent visit to Rome, CELAM Bishops talked about some of the major concerns affecting families in that part of the world.
MSGR. CARLOS AGUIAR (May 2014)
"We talked about the topics CELAM is looking into, including how we plan to contribute to the Synod on the Family and also the effects massive immigration has on the family. It's a universal issue that unfortunately, we have to address quickly.”
So it's no surprise that it's precisely the issue of immigration and its impact on the family, that's being discussed in this Panama meeting. The issue isn't new, but the Pope did express his concern when he met with Mexican Bishops in the Vatican. The situation is complicated, especially since basically all Latin American migrants make their way through Mexico first, in the hopes of making it to the U.S.
MSGR. JOSÉ FRANCISCO ROBLES ORTEGA
President, Mexican Episcopal Conference
"The Pope is well aware that when it comes to immediate attention and protection of rights, the Church has taken the lead. Even the government has recognized all the centers we have throughout the country.”
The theme of the meeting is "My Family and I, Serve the Lord.' In addition to addressing the problems faced by families in Latin America, it also plans to promote the role of the family in society.