The Telegraph
Friday , August 22 , 2014
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Emphasis on family values

The Roman Catholic Church on Thursday stressed on the need for developing “life skills” and inculcating values in the young generation to tackle issues like domestic violence, incest, lack of loyalty amongst married couples etc. and expressed its willingness to train men and women to lead better lives.

Also, the church underlined the importance of the institution of family and family values to create better citizens for tomorrow.

“We have built big structures — schools, buildings, places of prayer. But we have not built a community. And to build up a community, the starting point is the family, which, in this age of commercialisation, is fast disintegrating. We need to re-dedicate ourselves, as priests and servants of God, to protect family and family values,” Cardinal Telesphore P. Toppo told a gathering at St. Albert’s College, Ranchi.

He was speaking at a symposium on “The Role of Family in faith formation”.

Addressing the audience, Father Davis George, director, St. Aloysius Institute of Technology, Jabalpur, said family was the first place where people learnt the meaning of life.

“Today, the family faces toxic pressures from a consumer-driven and media-oriented culture. The tragic death of Robin Williams, the Oscar winning actor who committed suicide earlier this month apparently due to loneliness and depression, is a case in point. The deceased actor was a celebrity but his fame could not save his life,” he added.

George further said the primary task of the church was to proclaim the beauty of love and faith in family, prevent marriages from breaking and avert a society having children and youths with shattered dreams.

Later speaking to The Telegraph, George pointed out that more effective steps were required to protect families, apart from spreading the love of God for men, women and children.

Children are often left alone at home in the care of hired help, as parents go out to work. As a result, the children suffer from loneliness, depression, often turning violent at the slightest pretext. The end result is domestic violence, lack of faith, break up of families and extra-marital affairs, he added.

“Merely bringing people to the church on Sundays is not enough. We need to organise training programmes, marriage encounters, counselling sessions for young people to impart fidelity, communication skills and techniques on how to lead better lives. We need to tell parents to give more time to their children and families,” he said.

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