Shortly after becoming pope, John Paul I spoke to a group of American bishops and urged them to uphold the dignity of marriage and the family.
During his 33-day papacy, John Paul I led an active schedule, receiving visitors and giving speeches to various groups. This included a group of American bishops on their visit to Rome.
He gave a very direct speech to these bishops, focusing on the dignity of marriage and the family.
Let us never grow tired of proclaiming the family as a community of love: conjugal love unites the couple and is procreative of new life; it mirrors the divine love, is communicated, and in the words of “Gaudium et Spes,” is actually a sharing in the covenant of love of Christ and his Church. We were all given the great grace of being born into such a community of love; it will be easy for us to uphold its value.
John Paul I pointed out the importance of proclaiming the indissolubility of marriage, combating the culture of divorce that was beginning to take shape in the United States.
In particular, the indissolubility of Christian marriage is important; although it is a difficult part of our message, we must proclaim it faithfully as part of God’s word, part of the mystery of faith. At the same time we are close to our people in their problems and difficulties. They must always know that we love them.
Furthermore, he encouraged parents to be the primary educators of their children, especially in matters of the faith.
And then we must encourage parents in their role as educators of their children – the first catechists and the best ones. What a great task and challenge they have: to teach children the love of God, to make it something real for them.
John Paul I firmly believed that holy families can in turn influence the world: “By the loving witness of their lives, families can bring Christ’s Gospel to others.”
Even though he didn’t have a long papacy, John Paul I used his time well and did what he could to support the family.