Pope warns against family’s dwindling importance

San Cristobal (Mexico), Feb 16 (IANS/AKI) The importance of the family is being undermined by modern ideologies and needs to be protected, Pope Francis said during a five-day visit to Mexico.

“Today we see how on different fronts the family is weakened and questioned,” Francis told families at a mass held on Monday in a packed soccer stadium in Tuxtla Gutierrez, capital of the Mexican state Chiapas.

“It (family) is regarded as a model which has done its time, but which has no place in our societies. These, claiming to be modern, increasingly favour a model based on isolation,” the pontiff said.

Francis admitted that living in family was not always easy and could cause its members pain and stress.

“But, as I have often said referring to the Church, I prefer a wounded family that makes daily efforts to put love into play, to a society that is sick from isolationism and habitually afraid of love.

“I prefer a family that makes repeated efforts to begin again, to a society that is narcissistic and obsessed with luxury and comfort. I prefer a family with tired faces from generous giving, to faces with makeup that know nothing of tenderness and compassion.”

The family is often seen as a social safety net in Mexico although official statistics show people are marrying less, divorcing more and increasingly living in non-traditional families.

During his trip to Mexico, which ends on Thursday, Francis has deplored crime, the evil of drugs, forced emigration and the condition of the country’s often impoverished and exploited indigenous populations.

Mexico is the world’s second most populous Catholic nation after Brazil.

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