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Cardinal Vela Chiriboga: Good preparation for marriage is key for the future of the family

Ecuadorian Cardinal Raúl Eduardo Chiriboga  lost his right to vote in a future conclave on January 1st, 2014, when he turned 80. Few months before he took part in the conclave that elected Pope Francis, whom he had met in 2007, when writing the Aparecida document. The prelate explains that having a Latin American Pope will help Latin America embrace more vividly the Catholic faith; more so, every Latin American Catholic will feel more confident to give testimony. CARD. VELA CHIRIBOGA Archbishop Emeritus of Quito (Ecuador) "What is my testimony, as a good Catholic? To see that, God chose a Latin American brother to look after His Church. The same Latin America that follows the Lord devoutly and now fixes its eyes on Europe, as once Europe reached out to the Americas. FLASH. So we're not just proud of having a Latin American Pope: we're proud because we can say that Latin America is living more deeply the Catholic faith.â?   However, Cardinal Vela Chiriboga thinks the Catholic Church faces huge challenges, and not just in Latin America. The main one is that people no longer know their own faith.  CARD. VELA CHIRIBOGA Archbishop Emeritus of Quito (Ecuador) "Pope Benedict XVI once said something that keeps beating deep within my heart. Five years ago he said that the great challenge of the Catholic Church today on a global scale is what he called the 'religious illiteracy.' And this is true, not just in Ecuador or Latin America, but in the whole world.â? The family is also one of the main concerns of the Catholic Church. Cardinal Vera Chiriboga came to Rome to help prepare the next Synod on the Family. He thinks that good preparation for marriage is more important than ever. CARD. VELA CHIRIBOGA Archbishop Emeritus of Quito (Ecuador) "Preparing for marriage shoudn't be seen as part of the routine that couples have to go through to finally get married. I think we should carefully  examine these 'marriage prep classes,' so that they give couples a deep formation and take all the time that is necessary. The life of two people are at stake.â? When in Rome, Cardinal Vela Chiriboga stays at the Vatican's Casa Santa Marta. He says this residence is full of human warmth, and assures he just feels at home there. Maybe because he can speak Spanish everyday at dinner... with the Pope. AC/RCA CTV VM -BN Up:JRB #World