Contemporary anthropological and cultural changes, the Pope continues, require “a diversified and analytical approach” which cannot be “limited to pastoral and missionary practices” of the past. Instead, he says, we must be able to interpret our faith in a context in which individuals are less supported than before as they deal with the complex realities of family life. Faithful to the teachings of Christ, the Pope continues, it is important to explore these “lights and shadows of family life” with realism, wisdom and love.
Like its predecessor, the new institute will continue to work as part of the Pontifical Lateran University. It will also be closely connected to the Holy See through the Congregation for Catholic Education, the Pontifical Academy for Life and the new Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life.
The institute, which comes into effect immediately, will offer students courses leading to a diploma, a license and a doctorate in marriage and family sciences.
In an interview with Vatican Radio’s Italian edition, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the institute’s grand chancellor, said the “great insight” of John Paul II “asks to be enlarged and enriched,” adding that it “finds its realization” in the text of Amoris Laetitia.
“Pope Francis asks that the reality of families in their concreteness… can be protagonists of a renewal in the Church and in society,” Archbishop Paglia added.
He said he wished to “underline” this “anthropological aspect” which “has been instituted through a new Chair called Gaudium et Spes whose task is to investigate, propose, dialogue with all the human sciences, because the family today rediscovers its vocation not in the abstract.”