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   Dit is een werkvertaling

"Trouw aan het onderricht van Christus kijken wij naar de werkelijkheid van het gezin vandaag in heel zijn complexiteit, met zijn licht- en schaduwzijden. ... De antropologisch-culturele verandering beïnvloedt vandaag alle aspecten van het leven en vraagt om een analytische en gedifferentieerde benadering." Bisschoppensynodes, 3e Buitengewone Algemene Bisschoppensynode, Relatio Synodi - Familiesynode 2014 (18 okt 2014), 5


Bisschoppenconferentie van Spanje, Huwelijk en gezin, Matrimonio y familia (6 juli 1979), 3.16.23


Het is ook evident dat

"de belangrijkste richting van de antropologisch-culturele verandering"

ertoe leiden dat

"het individu, (in persoonlijk als in het gezinsleven), minder dan in het verleden wordt ondersteund door de maatschappelijke structuren." Bisschoppensynodes, Relatio Finalis - Synode 2015 (24 okt 2015), 5

Aan de andere kant

"moet men evenzeer het groeiende gevaar in overweging nemen dat wordt vertegenwoordigd door een tot het uiterste gedreven individualisme, dat de familiebanden aantast en uiteindelijk iedere component van het gezin beschouwt als een eiland, en hierbij laat men in sommige gevallen het idee van een subject prevaleren dat zichzelf vormt naar eigen verlangens die als iets absoluuts worden beschouwd." Bisschoppensynodes, 3e Buitengewone Algemene Bisschoppensynode, Relatio Synodi - Familiesynode 2014 (18 okt 2014), 5 "De spanningen die door een extreme individualistische cultuur van bezit en genot worden veroorzaakt, brengen binnen het gezin een dynamiek van onverdraagzaamheid en agressiviteit teweeg." Bisschoppensynodes, Relatio Finalis - Synode 2015 (24 okt 2015), 8



As Christians, we can hardly stop advocating marriage simply to avoid countering contemporary sensibilities, or out of a desire to be fashionable or a sense of helplessness in the face of human and moral failings. We would be depriving the world of values that we can and must offer. It is true that there is no sense in simply decrying present-day evils, as if this could change things. Nor it is helpful to try to impose rules by sheer authority. What we need is a more responsible and generous effort to present the reasons and motivations for choosing marriage and the family, and in this way to help men and women better to respond to the grace that God offers them. 

We also need to be humble and realistic, acknowledging that at times the way we present our Christian beliefs and treat other people has helped contribute to today’s problematic situation. We need a healthy dose of self-criticism. Then too, we often present marriage in such a way that its unitive meaning, its call to grow in love and its ideal of mutual assistance are overshadowed by an almost exclusive insistence on the duty of procreation. Nor have we always provided solid guidance to young married couples, understanding their timetables, their way of thinking and their concrete concerns. At times we have also proposed a far too abstract and almost artificial theological ideal of marriage, far removed from the concrete situations and practical possibilities of real families. This excessive idealization, especially when we have failed to inspire trust in God’s grace, has not helped to make marriage more desirable and attractive, but quite the opposite. 


We must be grateful that most people do value family relationships that are permanent and marked by mutual respect. They appreciate the Church’s efforts to offer guidance and counselling in areas related to growth in love, overcoming conflict and raising children. Many are touched by the power of grace experienced in sacramental Reconciliation and in the Eucharist, grace that helps them face the challenges of marriage and the family. In some countries, especially in various parts of Africa, secularism has not weakened certain traditional values, and marriages forge a strong bond between two wider families, with clearly defined structures for dealing with problems and conflicts. Nowadays we are grateful too for the witness of marriages that have not only proved lasting, but also fruitful and loving. All these factors can inspire a positive and welcoming pastoral approach capable of helping couples to grow in appreciation of the demands of the Gospel. Yet we have often been on the defensive, wasting pastoral energy on denouncing a decadent world without being proactive in proposing ways of finding true happiness. Many people feel that the Church’s message on marriage and the family does not clearly reflect the preaching and attitudes of Jesus, who set forth a demanding ideal yet never failed to show compassion and closeness to the frailty of individuals like the Samaritan woman or the woman caught in adultery.

This is hardly to suggest that we cease warning against a cultural decline that fails to promote love or self-giving. The consultation that took place prior to the last two Synods pointed to the various symptoms of a “culture of the ephemeral”. Here I think, for example, of the speed with which people move from one affective relationship to another. They believe, along the lines of social networks, that love can be connected or disconnected at the whim of the consumer, and the relationship quickly “blocked”. I think too of the fears associated with permanent commitment, the obsession with free time, and those relationships that weigh costs and benefits for the sake of remedying loneliness, providing protection, or offering some service. We treat affective relationships the way we treat material objects and the environment: everything is disposable; everyone uses and throws away, takes and breaks, exploits and squeezes to the last drop. Then, goodbye. Narcissism makes people incapable of looking beyond themselves, beyond their own desires and needs. Yet sooner or later, those who use others end up being used themselves, manipulated and discarded by that same mind-set. It is also worth noting that breakups often occur among older adults who seek a kind of “independence” and reject the ideal of growing old together, looking after and supporting one another.


Over vreugde van de liefde
Soort: Paus Franciscus - Postsynodale Apostolische Exhortatie
Auteur: Paus Franciscus
Datum: 19 maart 2016
Copyrights: © 2016, Libreria Editrice Vaticana / Stg. InterKerk / summacatholica.blogspot.nl / SRKK
Werkvert.: Dr. Jörgen Vijgen;
© 2016 'Theologie van het Lichaam' en 'De kracht van het gezin': Betsaida, 's-Hertogenbosch 2016;
Trefwoordenlijst: redactie
Bewerkt: 10 oktober 2018

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