Cardinal Farrell to Exaudi: God Loves & Cares for All Families, Without Distinction

Ahead of WMOF 2022 in Rome, Vatican Prefect Reminds Church’s Closeness to All

The Pope with Cardinal Farrell (C) Vatican Media

The Church’s desire is to reach all people and families with the love of Christ for them, without distinction, says Cardinal Kevin Farrell.

The Prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Family, Laity and Life told this to Exaudi’s Deborah Castellano Lubov at the Sept. 30 Vatican Press Conference on the upcoming World Meeting of Families.

10th World Meeting of Families

Pope Francis has chosen “Family love: a vocation and a path to holiness” as the theme for the 10th World Meeting of Families, which will take place in Rome June 22-26, 2022. The meeting, being organized by the Diocese of Rome and the Dicastery, was initially scheduled for the fifth anniversary of Amoris Laetitia and the fourth anniversary of Gaudete et Exsultate—in 2021—but, due to the pandemic, was postponed to 2022.

Speaking at the conference along with Cardinal Farrell were Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, Vicar General of Pope Francis for the diocese of Rome; Professor Gabriella Gambino, under-secretary of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life; Msgr. Walter Insero, director of the Communications Office of the diocese of Rome; and Giovanni and Elisabetta Scifoni, family representing the diocese of Rome.

L'Immagine ufficiale del X Incontro Mondiale delle Famiglie

The conference was attended by Msgr. Marco Frisina, composer of the hymn for the Tenth World Day of Families, and Fr. Marko Ivan Rupnik, who painted the image that provides the visual symbol of the event.

We Pray for Everyone, for God Loves Them

Noting how the World Meeting’s prayer addresses those families facing difficulties, Exaudi‘s Editorial Director asked the Prefect of the Dicastery, who also is the Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church, how he sees the Church’s closeness and concern for these individuals.

“Certainly, every time we pray and any Christian prays, we pray for the whole community at large,” Cardinal Farrell responded.

“We pray for everyone,” he said, stressing, “we don’t make distinctions between one person or another person, or between one family situation and another family situation. We pray for all people, and I would hope that all people around the world would feel that they are part of the one human family.”

Whether a Christian family or non Christian family, we are all one family, the Cardinal suggested, acknowledging each one has its own different and particular circumstances.

“We and they need to know, and people need to know, that the Church and all prayer in the Church and for all people, is open to everybody. We pray for everybody,” he underscored.

Accordingly, he continued, “we would hope to bring the message to the people around the world, that God loves them and God cares for them.”

Must Express Love of God, as Families Do Exceptionally

That love of God for all people, he said, “must be expressed also by those of us who are here and living every day of our lives doing what we do whether professionally, humanly, or whatever it may be.”

“We must express that love of God,” he said, pointing out: “Families do this in an exceptional way and we would hope to encourage that.”

To Reach Families at Every Corner of the Earth

“When I look back at the last World Meeting of Families, and the two I experienced, one, in Philadelphia, and the other, in Dublin, Ireland. In Philadelphia, we probably registered maybe 20,000 people; in Dublin, perhaps 34,000 people.”

The Holy Father, Cardinal Farrell stated, “was deeply concerned that we were not arriving at the actual families and that we were touching only a few people” through the meeting experience.

The Irish-born American prelate lamented how it has become increasingly difficult to travel and much more expensive than it was three years ago, and therefore, with such added limitations, they must find other ways to reach the families.

Cardinal Farrell applauded the work of the Diocese of Rome‘s Communications Director, Don Walter Insero, who has with the organizers, worked to make modern means of communication make the message of the World Meeting of Families arrive to every corner of the Earth.

In this way, the Vatican dicastery leader said, “we hope to use all the modern means of communication to bring the message of love and the message of how important families are.”

Desire, to Reach All People With Love of Christ

Pope Francis, when he wrote his latest encyclical Fratelli Tutti–the Cardinal reflected–suggests that Fratelli Tutti is lived out at its highest level in a family.

“You live it in a family, a couple lives it together. We need to show that to the whole world, and so that’s the extent of what our desire is.”

“Our desire,” Cardinal Farrell concluded, “is to reach all people, no matter who they are, what they are and what circumstances they may live, with the message of Christ, one of love and care and understanding.”


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