Vatican City, 8 April 2015 (VIS) – During today's Wednesday general audience in St. Peter's Square, the Holy Father continued with his cycle of catechesis on the family, completing his reflection on children, “the most beautiful fruit of the blessing that the Creator has bestowed on man and woman”. This week he focused on the “stories of passion” that many children sadly experience. “Many children, from the very beginning, are rejected, abandoned, robbed of their childhood and their future. One might even dare say, almost as a justification, that it was a mistake to bring them into the world. This is shameful! Please, let us not punish them for our own errors! Children are never a mistake!”
“Those who have the task of governing and educating – indeed, I would say, all adults – are responsible for children, and everyone must do what he can to change this situation. I refer to the passion of children. Every marginalised, abandoned child, living on the streets by begging or by any other expedient, without schooling, without medical care, is a cry lifted up to God and an accusation against the system we have constructed. … However, none of these children are forgotten by the Father in Heaven. None of their tears are in vain. And our responsibility must not be forgotten either, the social responsibility of persons and countries”.
Francis recalled how Jesus urged the apostles to let the children come to Him, and remarked that “thanks to God, children with serious difficulties very often find extraordinary parents, willing to make any sacrifice and to spare no act of generosity”. However, he added, “these parents should not be left alone! We must accompany them in their efforts, but also offer them moments of shared joy and carefree pleasure, so that they are not entirely consumed by the routines of therapy”. The Pope also mentioned that often children suffer the consequences of lives damaged by precarious or underpaid employment, unreasonable working hours, immature relationships and irresponsible separations. “Often they experience violence that they are not able to overcome, and before the eyes of adults are forced to grow accustomed to degradation”.
The Holy Father emphasised that the well-being of children must always be taken seriously, and noted that now, as in the past, the Church offers her maternity in the service of children and families. “Imagine a society that decided, once and for all, to establish the principle that … where the children who come into this world are concerned, no sacrifice on the part of adults may be judged as too costly or too great, so as to avoid any child believing himself to be a mistake, without value, or being abandoned to the wounds inflicted by life”. He concluded, “May the Lord judge our life by listening to what the angels of children bring to Him, those angels that always see the face of the Father in heaven. Let us always ask ourselves, what do they tell God about us, these children's angels?”