434. We believe that “the family is the image of God, who in his innermost mystery is not aloneness but a family.”(Puebla 582) Our families have their origin, their perfect model, their most beautiful motivation and their ultimate destiny in the communion of love of the three Divine Persons.
The perfection of the Trinity is not at all in question. But I would wonder if so many believers have stalled in their life’s imitation of Christ, how they would view their families as suggestive of what is, for many, a difficult theological concept.
435. Inasmuch as the family is the value most cherished by our peoples, we believe that concern for it should be undertaken as one of the thrusts running through all of the Church’s evangelizing activity. In every diocese there must be an “intense and vigorous”(Introductory Address 5) family ministry to proclaim the gospel of the family, promote the culture of life, and work to assure that the rights of the family are recognized and respected.
Family ministry emerged here and there in the 80s, but in parishes. Diocesan efforts come and go as new bishops are assigned. A chancery’s priorities don’t always spell effort at the parish level, where the most significant impact can often be made.
For deeper examination, an English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.