Pope Benedict XVI embraces Cardinal Carlo Caffarra of Bologna, Italy, during a visit to the church of St. Catherine of Alexandria in June 2012. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters)
On the Feast of the Holy Family, December 29, 2013, the Archbishop of Bologna, Cardinal Carlo Caffarra delivered a homily defending
the family against attacks and from laws "issued on the basis of fashionable trends". The following translation is by Italian journalist and CWR contributor Alessandra Nucci:
"May God keep us from fearing decrees or laws that are issued on the spur of fashionable trends"
…The Gospel shows us what the situation of the family is even today.
The family is the place where the power of this world clashes with the voice of God.
where does this confrontation take place? First of all, in the heart
and conscience of every man and every woman. It is here that the voice
of God rings out; it is in the heart that God's divine project for
marriage and the family is written.
But on the other hand
powerful lobbies which are quite often in control of the means of
producing consensus endeavor to distract men and women from listening to
the voice of God speaking to their consciences; from reading that
divine law that is inscribed in the human heart. […]
clash does not take place only within the hearts and minds. It also
takes place on a public level, in the places where laws and made and
decisions are taken; as an ideology, a plan of action and where behavior
takes shape; as a public delegitimization of any and all dissent from
Dear brothers an sisters, dear spouses and
parents, how did Joseph defend his family? Simply by obeying God's plan.
He had no other tool at his disposal.
And what about today, dear
friends? "The Church, by following Christ, is seeking the truth, which
does not always coincide with majority opinion. The Church listens to
conscience and not to power and in this way it defends the poor and
despised" [Bl. John Paul II, Ap Exh. Familiaris consortio 5].
dear brothers and sisters, lies your strength: in your docility to the
voice of God as it rings out in your conscience. How does it ring forth?
By giving you the light of some original evidence. I would like to
state them here.
The first: marriage is between a man and a woman.
children have a right to be with a man and a women who are their father
and mother; and therefore can not be replaced by two adults of the same
sex who are not father and mother but “act” as father and mother.
us pray, especially today, that the Lord may always keep an upright
conscience within us; so that we may never set aside a healthy
sensitivity to right and wrong. And may God save us from fearing decrees
or laws that are issued on the basis of fashionable trends. (…)
Here is the original Italian of Cardinal Caffarra's homily.