Vatican celebrates grandparents

 The presence and witness of grandparents in families, is the theme of the 18th plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Family which began yesterday. More than 300 people are participate in the three-day event. Yesterday morning, Archbishop Fernando Filoni, substitute of the Secretariat of State, addressed the gathering on the subject of the role of the elderly in the Church and in society. Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone SDB and Cardinal George Pell, archbishop of Sydney, Australia, will preside at the first two Eucharistic celebrations. Among the lay participants who have been invited to bear witness to the role of grandparents in modern society are the Italian politicians Marcello Pera and Giulio Andreotti, as well as a large number of experts from five continents. Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture will talk about grandparents as they appear in the Bible, whereas "the figure of grandparents in immigrant families" will be the subject of the contribution from Archbishop Agostino Marchetto, secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples. For his part, Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, archbishop of Bologna, Italy, will speak on Pope Paul VI's Encyclical "Humanae vitae" forty years after its publication. Finally, Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, archbishop of Mexico, will inform the gathering on preparations for the 6th World Meeting of Families, which is due be held in Mexico City in 2009. Source: VIS

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