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Title: Agenda Familie
Subtitle: Gemeinde und Verbände sind gefordert
Author(s): HARTMANN, Richard
Journal: Marriage, Families & Spirituality
Volume: 12    Issue: 2   Date: 2006   
Pages: 214-226
DOI: 10.2143/INT.12.2.2018330

Abstract :
To say that concern for family life is an important theme for Church activity belabours the obvious. Nevertheless, the author of this essay doubts very much whether the necessary close attention has been paid to the diversity of this form of life. In a broad overview he brings together the current socially relevant data to furnish a background for the manifold possibilities of Church activity as well as challenges to this in communities and organisations on the local level. Since the description of what it means to be “family” is diverse, what families need in the Church, how they are encountered, and how they themselves can shape their own space, is also clearly diverse. Whether the Church is friendly toward families is shown, for example, in the types of catechesis found on the community level. To organise this just through children’s groups, catechetical groups and parent evenings without touching upon topics relevant to families is not enough. Communities should be thinking in a new way about what points of contact there are to help build up family units. There is also a new light cast on the potential for support through a communally oriented network for families. Family shows itself above all as a form of real life in which community and Church themselves can learn something new for their own self-understandings. The Church itself stands in tension between the opportunity and the burden of freedom. She experiences how important solidarity is in our mobile society and how much this becomes a new criterion for our self-formation. Communities such as the Church who live without an interest in diversity and new beginnings begin to decline. Thus, even they need a new courage toward a broad spirit of tolerance.

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