Pope Francis speech at Meeting of Families

Pope Francis

Publication Date: September 27, 2015

Philadelphia, 2015

“You know what God loves most?” he asked the crowd, hushed and enraptured on a moonlit night. “To knock on the door of families and to find the families who love each other – families who bring up their children to grow and to move forward. Who create, who develop a society of truth, goodness and beauty.”

 “A child once asked me – and you know that kids ask difficult questions – he asked me, ‘Father, what did God do before he created the world?’”

 “Before creating the world, God loved,” said Francis, developing a theme of the family, which he called “the most beautiful thing that God made”.

The 78-year-old, a former bouncer who reportedly had three girlfriends before becoming a priest, described the family as “a factory of hope”, each one with “divine citizenship”. He then cracked: “Some of you might say, ‘Of course, Father, you speak like that because you’re not married!’”

He leavened somber reflections – that many families “carry a cross”, suffer indignities and separate – with similar wit. “Families face many difficulties,” he said. “Families fight. And sometimes plates fly, and sometimes kids get knocked on the head. And let’s not even talk about mothers-in-law.”

 “We cannot call any society healthy when it does not leave real room for family life,” the original speech reads. “We cannot think that a society has a future when it fails to pass laws capable of protecting families and ensuring their basic needs, especially those of families just starting out.”

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