It is all about the global survey on Pastoral Challenges he had ordered trough the Bishops of the world last October (We had raised this issue with our Ernakulam Bishops last Dec.13th) in preparation for the Extraordinary Synod to be held in Rome during coming October this year.
This is a two year marathon preparation to be concluded only with the ordinary synod in October 2015. Paving the way to that final step would be World Meet of Families to be held in September, in Philadelphia, USA, one month prior to the concluding 2015 October Synod.
Many countries have already sent in their survey results to the Vatican and we have published them in these pages. We are still to hear about the steps being taken in India, unless something is being done secretly and not open to public view, as it happened at the Palai meet of the CBCI.
May be it is for that reason Francis Pappa has sent this open letter to World's Families directly, instead of sending it through Bishops to be read in parishes as and when they please. This letter is made available by CCRI (Catholic Church Reform International) about which also a report was published earlier. With this letter Francis is coming right into the families of each one of us to speak us directly, not through any intermediaries. Listen to him.
On 25 February 2014 pope Francis wrote:
With this letter, I wish, as it were, to come into your homes to speak about an event which will take place at the Vatican this coming October. It is the Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which is being convened to discuss the theme of "pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelisation".
Indeed, in our day the Church is called to proclaim the Gospel by confronting the new and urgent pastoral needs facing the family. This important meeting will involve all the People of God - bishops, priests, consecrated men and women, and lay faithful of the particular Churches of the entire world - all of whom are actively participating in preparations for the meeting through practical suggestions and the crucial support of prayer. Such support on your part, dear families, is especially significant and more necessary than ever. This Synodal Assembly is dedicated in a special way to you, to your vocation and mission in the Church and in society; to the challenges of marriage, of family life, of the education of children; and the role of the family in the life of the Church.
I ask you, therefore, to pray intensely to the Holy Spirit, so that the Spirit may illumine the Synodal Fathers and guide them in their important task. As you know, this Extraordinary Synodal Assembly will be followed a year later by the Ordinary Assembly, which will also have the family as its theme.
In that context, there will also be the World Meeting of Families due to take place in Philadelphia in September 2015. May we all, then, pray together so that through these events the Church will undertake a true journey of discernment and adopt the necessary pastoral means to help families face their present challenges with the light and strength that comes from the Gospel.