Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pope encourages Philippine bishops to promote sanctity of marriage

by Thaddeus Baklinski

MANILA, Mon Feb 21, 2011 (LifeSIteNews.com) - Pope Benedict XVI has called on the bishops of the Philippines to strengthen the sacrament of matrimony, especially among young Filipino couples.

In Friday’s address to bishops from the Philippines, delivered during their “ad limina” visit, the Holy Father remarked: “While the Philippines continues to face many challenges in the area of economic development, we must recognize that these obstacles to a life of happiness and fulfillment are not the only stumbling blocks that must be addressed by the Church.”

“Filipino culture is also confronted with the more subtle questions inherent to the secularism, materialism, and consumerism of our times,” the pope said.

Noting that the “the glamor of this world” will not satisfy the natural desire for happiness, the pope encouraged the bishops to remind young people that “only true friendship with God will break the bonds of loneliness from which our fragile humanity suffers.”

In the Philippines, the pope continued, faith “plays a very important role in the lives of many young people, a fact that is due in large part to the patient work of the local Church to reach out to youth at all levels.”

The pope further exhorted the bishops to show young people “the importance of the sacraments as instruments of God’s grace and assistance.”

“This is particularly true of the sacrament of matrimony, which sanctifies married life from its beginning, so that God’s presence may sustain young couples in their struggles,” Benedict XVI said.

The full text of Pope Benedict XVI’s address to the bishops of the Philippines is available here.

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