Before starting off his weekly general audience, Pope Francis made his way through St. Peter's Square, blessing pilgrims along the way. More than 50,000 people attended the audience under gloomy skies that eventually turned sunny.
In light of the current Synod of Bishops on the Family, which has brought in roughly 250 bishops from across the world, the Pope highlighted that many government and economic models are not welcoming to the family or its values.
"The family is not given its adequate weight, or its rightful support in political and economic organizations in our contemporary society.”
He went on to add that these civic and economic models and dry, harsh and anonymous. What men, women and society as a whole need, he explained, is a 'strong injection of family spirit.'
For it's within the family, that the most vulnerable are cared for, said the Pope. The family is irreplaceable and it's within that unit, that children foster a sense of being and of indispensable values.
"The family introduces our needed bond of loyalty, sincerity, trust, cooperation and respect. It encourages us to visualize a world of harmony and to believe in trust, even in difficult relationships.”
Wednesday marks the third day of discussions for the Synod on the Family, where bishops are looking into how the Church can improve its pastoral care and address some of the challenges modern day families face. Reflecting on the family, the Pope referenced how Jesus calls on St. Peter to be a fishermen of souls.
"It's not a net that catches prisoners. On the contrary, it frees people from the troubled waters of abandonment and indifference that burden so many people in solitude and indifference.”
The Synod of Bishops will conclude on October 25th and all those taking part—from bishops to experts, will participate in meetings every day. That's why at the end of his audience, the Pope asked all Christians to keep the Synod on the Family in their prayers.