3-January-2013 -- EWTNews Feature |

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Support of family is not offensive, says Chilean archbishop

Defenders of the family should not be deterred by concerns that their views are offensive to some, said a Chilean archbishop on the Feast of the Holy Family.

"We should not feel that we are offending anyone by proclaiming that the family is a union of one man and one woman meant to love each other in a love that is fruitful," said Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati, president of the Chilean Bishops' Conference.

In a Dec. 30 Mass that drew hundreds to the Cathedral of Santiago, the archbishop pointed to polls in the country showing that family is the most important value to Chileans.

He urged Catholics to be people "of reason sustained by faith, which has no fear of proclaiming the essential and irreplaceable value of the family." Stressing that "freedom always has to be at the service of truth and love," he warned that no person, custom or law should obstruct or curtail the good of the family.

"Knowledge of the Gospel, knowledge of the Christian life, has diminished enormously," Archbishop Ezzati said, lamenting that parents have failed to live as witnesses and hand on the faith to their children, while society has offered false messages of freedom and happiness.

"Without God, family life is a fragile thread that can break at either end and at any time," he explained, adding that when families are united to God, they become "a strong rope" that cannot be broken by any challenge or difficulty.

Noting that law does not necessarily express truth, the archbishop observed that many different unions are called families.

However, he said, "we are called to defend the family as God willed it and as our reason sees it, as the union between one man and one woman, ordained toward reciprocal love and fruitfulness of life."

"Confusion about the family or attempts to confuse the meaning of family is not good for Chile," Archbishop Ezzati cautioned.

While Christians should "have an open heart to all realities," they must also have the courage "to call these realities what they are, and to say to that the family is what it is and not what some people want it to be," he said.

The archbishop offered prayers that Chile would protect the family from being harmed or obscured and that all people would come to see that defending the family is "a sign of civilization, a sign of great culture."

Read more: http://www.ewtnnews.com/catholic-news/Americas.php?id=6782#ixzz2H2tk4xyX

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