WARSAW, Poland, June 5, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) –– The Vatican’s Secretary of State has urged Poles to trust Divine Providence and welcome the “children whom God wants to give you.”
Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who was in Poland to mark its twenty-five years of freedom from communist rule, challenged the nation’s people to embrace St. John Paul II’s teachings on the family.
In remarks reported by the Polish Catholic weekly Niedziela, the cardinal said: “Courage! God does not take away anything, but fills us with grace if we trust him. I encourage you to entrust yourselves to Divine Providence and not be afraid of accepting [the] children whom God wants to give to you.”
“Let your nation still give birth to new saints. They will decide about the fate of your homeland! They are also needed by the Church and the world,” he said.
Parolin’s comments were reminiscent of strong words from Pope Francis in a homily he delivered on Monday to fifteen couples celebrating wedding anniversaries. The pope said that the practice of rejecting fertility by choice for the sake of comfort is something that “Jesus does not like.”
“Marriages, in which the spouses do not want children, in which the spouses want to remain without fertility. This culture of well-being from ten years ago convinced us: ‘It’s better not to have children! It’s better! You can go explore the world, go on holiday, you can have a villa in the countryside, you can be care-free,” the pope said. “It is not fruitful, it does not do what Jesus does with his Church: He makes His Church fruitful.”
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Parolin’s visit to Poland also commemorated twenty-five years of renewed diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Poland. He used the occasion to urge the faithful to remember the example and teaching of two great figures of the 20th century: St. John Paul II and Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński. Wyszyński served as primate of Poland from 1948 to 1981.
Parolin’s remarks come at a time when Poland faces significant demographic problems. Although it is one of the most Catholic countries in the world, Poland has one of the lowest fertility rates in the world – 1.33 children born per woman, according to the CIA World Factbook.
The cardinal referred to the occasion as “the 25th anniversary of the revival of your Homeland,” and linked this renewal to the family specifically. “Dear friends, dear families, do not be afraid of holiness! How important it is today for the Christian families to be holy. Let them be a place, where one can experience God’s love to all people. I am aware that in Poland there are many testimonies of holy families, faithful to Christ and Church,” he said.
The cardinal added that he “is aware of difficulties which are faced by families, which want to open up to life and remain faithful to the marital covenant till the end. The last word does not belong to those who proclaim the end of the traditional family, but to Divine Providence which realizes its plans through the family.”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches in paragraph 1652 that, “By its very nature the institution of marriage and married love is ordered to the procreation and education of the offspring and it is in them that it finds its crowning glory.”
It also states in paragraph 1653 that “the fundamental task of marriage and family is to be at the service of life.”
In paragraph 2373, the Catechism states: “Sacred Scripture and the Church's traditional practice see in large families a sign of God's blessing and the parents' generosity.”