Last Saturday, Pope Francis spoke out about the definition of a family saying only in the image of God, only the union between man and woman can be considered one.
The Supreme Pontiff’s remarks came last Saturday whilst speaking to a delegation of Italy’s Forum of Family Associations in Rome on the 25th anniversary of their founding. The group is a network of over five hundred Catholic lay associations that work to influence society on the family in a positive way. Following a prepared speech, Pope Francis chose to give some off-the-cuff remarks about the identity of families in the image of God.
Pope Francis’ comments come ahead of his papal visit to Ireland in August for the World Meeting of Families. He spoke on the various type of families we often talk about today, often using the term in the analogical sense.
“Today, it is hard to say this, we speak of ‘diversified’ families: different types of families. It is true that the word ‘family’ is an analogical word, because we speak of the ‘family’ of stars, ‘family’ of trees, ‘family’ of animals … it is an analogical word.”
In its true sense, however, Pope Francis strongly reiterated the Church’s teachings that only a union of man and woman can be considered a family in the image of God, even if they are non-believers.
“But the human family in the image of God, man and woman, is the only one. It is the only one. A man and woman can be non-believers: but if they love each other and unite in marriage, they are in the image of God even if they don’t believe”
In his post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia published two years ago in 2016, Pope Francis made similar comments that homosexual unions are not a part of God’s plan for the family.
“As for proposals to place unions between homosexual persons on the same level as marriage, there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.”