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ANGELUS OF 21 SEPTEMBER 1980

Marriage and the family

After the summer recess, the Sunday meetings for the recitation of the Angelus resumed in St Peter's Square on 21 September, 1980. The Holy Father delivered the following address.

1. I wish to greet you all, Romans and Pilgrims, gathered in St. Peter's Square. In the course of the last two months, the place of our meetings for the Angelus has been Castel Gandolfo. So, greeting those present, I wish at the same time to thank all those who so willingly and in such large numbers, met for our Sunday prayer at the place of the Pope's summer residence. This cordial and really familiar community was always a source of joy and spiritual solace for me. May the Lord reward the citizens of Castel Gandolfo and all the guests who followed upon one another during the holidays. Resuming today the Sunday prayer in Rome from today on, I am happy to recall to you in the first place, dear brothers and sisters, these words of Jesus Christ: "Where two or three are gathered in my name there am I in the midst of them" (Mt 18:20).

Today we pray particularly that Christ Jesus may be in the midst of the Synod of Bishops, which is beginning its work next Friday, 26 September. The theme of the ordinary session of the Synod concerns, as is known, the tasks of the Christian family in the modern world. Keeping in mind the peculiar character of this subject, it seemed right and opportune that, in addition to the bishops, the theologians and the pastors of souls, there should participate in this session laymen as well, and in particular, representatives of families, that is, Christian married couples.

The tasks of the Christian family spring from its participation in the mission of the people of God. And they are such fundamental tasks -- as regards both the Church and society, the nation and the state -- that no other institution can replace or supplant the family. So let us address our prayer to Christ the Good Shepherd invoking him to give the Synod the grace of true witness and penetrating discernment into this question, which already comes up in the course of the week just begun.

3. The Church wishes to serve marriage and the family as a special community of love and life. This service is necessary. It is necessary, in proportion to the tasks of the family, but also in accordance with the threats to it. A week ago I spoke, in my visit to honour St. Catherine of Siena, of the. social problem of responsibility for life, such an important one, and I did so because we can never lose awareness that this problem is above all a problem of moral responsibility. It is a problem of every conscience and at the same time of all consciences. For the Church is also ready to do her utmost to serve every family and the whole of society in this connection. She does not want to judge anyone but cannot fail to bear witness to truth. The Church knows that every attempt against the life of the child in the mother's womb is a great disorder of conscience. It is it great misfortune. It is a great sorrow. The Church therefore, wishes above all to help, she wishes to serve.

1. I wish to greet you all, Romans and Pilgrims, gathered in St. Peter's Square. In the course of the last two months, the place of our meetings for the Angelus has been Castel Gandolfo. So, greeting those present, I wish at the same time to thank all those who so willingly and in such large numbers, met for our Sunday prayer at the place of the Pope's summer residence. This cordial and really familiar community was always a source of joy and spiritual solace for me. May the Lord reward the citizens of Castel Gandolfo and all the guests who followed upon one another during the holidays. Resuming today the Sunday prayer in Rome from today on, I am happy to recall to you in the first place, dear brothers and sisters, these words of Jesus Christ: "Where two or three are gathered in my name there am I in the midst of them" (Mt 18:20).

Today we pray particularly that Christ Jesus may be in the midst of the Synod of Bishops, which is beginning its work next Friday, 26 September. The theme of the ordinary session of the Synod concerns, as is known, the tasks of the Christian family in the modern world. Keeping in mind the peculiar character of this subject, it seemed right and opportune that, in addition to the bishops, the theologians and the pastors of souls, there should participate in this session laymen as well, and in particular, representatives of families, that is, Christian married couples.

The tasks of the Christian family spring from its participation in the mission of the people of God. And they are such fundamental tasks -- as regards both the Church and society, the nation and the state -- that no other institution can replace or supplant the family. So let us address our prayer to Christ the Good Shepherd invoking him to give the Synod the grace of true witness and penetrating discernment into this question, which already comes up in the course of the week just begun.

3. The Church wishes to serve marriage and the family as a special community of love and life. This service is necessary. It is necessary, in proportion to the tasks of the family, but also in accordance with the threats to it. A week ago I spoke, in my visit to honour St. Catherine of Siena, of the. social problem of responsibility for life, such an important one, and I did so because we can never lose awareness that this problem is above all a problem of moral responsibility. It is a problem of every conscience and at the same time of all consciences. For the Church is also ready to do her utmost to serve every family and the whole of society in this connection. She does not want to judge anyone but cannot fail to bear witness to truth. The Church knows that every attempt against the life of the child in the mother's womb is a great disorder of conscience. It is it great misfortune. It is a great sorrow. The Church therefore, wishes above all to help, she wishes to serve.

Teachings of the Magisterium on Abortion

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