Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson addressed the Sixth World Meeting of Families in Mexico City Jan. 16, offering an analysis of Family and Solidarity, drawing upon the teachings of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI.
Anderson pointed out that the notion of solidarity, which Benedict noted was developed initially among the early socialists, is actually a Christian virtue, according to John Paul.
Today, however, solidarity and the unity of the human race is often divorced from God and the Christian idea of love, Anderson said. Christians recognize the family as the place where this idea is grounded, a place where human love and interdependence are made apparent first in a relationship with those who gave us life.
Unfortunately, Anderson continued, for many children today being from a parent no longer means being with a parent, and thus no longer means having a parent present being for that child. Likewise, parenthood is separated from marriage, when being with a spouse is separated from the openness of a child being from the couple.
Without solidarity within the family, there can be no solidarity beyond the family. Without an understanding and protection of the family, there can be no easy understanding of the human family that is society, the Christian family that is the Church, or the family of families that is the parish, Anderson said.
World Meetings of Families were begun by Pope John Paul II in 1994, and the first one was held in Rome. Since then, they have been held every three years, the most recent having taken place in Spain in 2006. They are sponsored by the Vatican and conducted under the auspices of the Pontifical Council for the Family, of which Anderson is a member.