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Call to promote family values

TAEJON, South Korea (CNS): A Vatican representative to a meeting of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences has urged participants to defend and promote traditional family values.

“The family must be considered as a starting point of any human and Christian experience,” said Archbishop Robert Sarah, who is secretary of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.

Archbishop Sarah made his remarks on August 17 at the opening Mass of the bishops’ plenary assembly in Taejon, South Korea. The assembly’s theme was “The Asian Family Toward a Culture of Life”.

Archbishop Sarah, an African from Guinea, said the modern Western concept of marriage and family life was headed toward a crisis, with legislators increasingly ignoring “the traditional family unit as essential to the well-being of society”.

The prelate also spoke of inculturation, calling it “a process of relating the Gospel to life, to a given culture and to that of the human history”.

The Vatican official said inculturation is not merely religious folklore and that it cannot be limited only to the use of local languages, symbols, religious rites, instruments, music and dancing in the liturgy.

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