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Loving families are central to bringing joy, mercy to world, pope says


  • This is a promotional image for World Meeting of Families to be held Aug. 21-26, 2018, in Dublin. The theme of the meeting is "The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World." (CNS illustration/World Meeting of Families)
  • Cardinal Kevin J. Farrell, prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, right, and Irish Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin present the theme chosen for the 2018 World Meeting of Families at a Vatican news conference. (CNS photo/Robert Duncan)
  • Cardinal Kevin J. Farrell, prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, answers questions at a Vatican news conference on the 2018 World Meeting of Families, which will be held in Dublin. (CNS photo/Robert Duncan)
  • Irish Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin answers questions at a Vatican news conference on the theme chosen for the 2018 World Meeting of Families, which his archdiocese will host. (CNS photo/Robert Duncan)

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VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis urges families to discover God's love and be generous, forgiving, patient, helpful and respectful.

Family life will be better if people use the words "please," "thank you," and "I'm sorry" every day, he said, and the world will be a better place if the church reaches out to the imperfect and the wounded.

The pope's reflection was part of a letter to Cardinal Kevin Farrell, prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, which is helping plan the World Meeting of Families in Dublin, Aug. 21-26, 2018. The Vatican released the text of the pope's letter March 30.

When asked about the pope's plans to attend the event next year, Cardinal Farrell told reporters at a Vatican news conference, "We hope. I can't say absolutely" since it depends on the pope's schedule, but the pope has expressed his desire to go.

The letter was meant to help Catholic families and parishes around the world prepare for the gathering, which will focus on the theme, "The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World." The pope said he hoped the event would help families reflect on and share his apostolic exhortation, "Amoris Laetitia."

"Does the Gospel continue to be a joy for the world? And also, does the family continue to be good news for today's world?" the pope asked.

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