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Pope during general audience reflects on how family members sometimes hurt each other

2015-06-24

In his weekly catechesis, Pope Francis reflected on conflict within families. He specifically dealt with how fighting among parents can also hurt children.

The Pope said that when a spouse is wounded, a child shares their pain because they are born of their flesh. He added that the bond between two spouses is critical to ensuring that the family has a healthy and sustainable foundation.

SUMMARY OF POPE'S CATECHESIS IN ENGLISH:

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

We know well that every family on occasion suffers moments when one family member offends another. Through our words, actions, or omissions, instead of expressing love for our spouse or children, we can sometimes diminish or demean that love. Hiding these hurts only deepens such wounds, leading to anger and friction between loved ones. If these wounds are particularly deep, they can even lead a spouse to search for understanding elsewhere, to the detriment of the family, especially children.

Being one flesh, any wounds that spouses suffer are shared by their children, born of their flesh.  When we remember how Jesus warned adults not to scandalize little ones (cf. Mt 18:6), we better understand the vital responsibility to maintain and protect the bond of marriage which is the foundation of the human family. We thank God that although these wounds may lead some to separation, even then many men and women remain true to their conjugal bond, sustained by faith and by love for their children.

For those who enter into so-called irregular situations, we must reflect on how best to help and accompany them in their lives. Let us ask the Lord for a strong faith to see with his eyes the reality of family life, and for a deep love to approach all families with his merciful heart.     

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