What Society Really Needs: Families

Vatican Aide Comments on Pope's Stop in Nazareth

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By Mercedes de la Torre



NAZARETH, Israel, MAY 14, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI has shown in Nazareth that what society really needs to stop "dehumanization" is a rediscovery of families, says the delegate administrator of the Holy See's pilgrimage agency.

Father Caesar Atuire, of Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi, the Vatican institution whose mission is to evangelize through pastoral tourism and the ministry of pilgrimage, spoke with ZENIT about the Pope's trip to Nazareth today, the last full day of his pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

The Holy Father celebrated there the largest Mass thus far during his trip, gathering between 40,000 and 50,000 people at the Mount of the Precipice. He dedicated his homily to the theme of families, as the local Church in the Holy Land closes their year of the family. He also blessed the cornerstone for the International Center of the Family to be built there.

"God wanted to enter into the history of humanity as a human being, like each one of us, incarnating himself in the body of a woman and from there, he developed his life in a family context," Father Atuire pointed out.

"A few feet from the Basilica of the Annunciation is also the church of St. Joseph, which is the church that commemorates the place where the Holy Family lived," the priest continued. "We thus understand that human society is not an aggregation, a conglomeration of individuals, but rather a community of families."

Father Atuire contended that "the Pope wanted to highlight the theme of families as a decisive theme for our times, above all when we live in a society in which the family suffers many threats," in which there is a move "to equate to the family other realities that are not the same."