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Great social capital

· In front of a million people in Guayaquil the Pope calls for support and attention for the family ·

The family was at the centre of the Pope's second day in Ecuador. Speaking to a vast crowd of people who had gathered in Los Samanes Park in Guayaquil for Mass on 6 July, he said that “the family constitutes the best 'social capital'”. He also recalled the family's irreplaceable role in society.

Launching an appeal to support families and guarantee them aid and services, he continued with the hope that they may not be a “type of alms, but rather a genuine 'social debt' … which contributes to the common good”. For the Pope, the family is a key place to defend life; it is school for young ones, a reference point for young people, a welcoming place for the elderly. It is, he said, a “domestic Church” where we learn to love and serve and where tenderness and mercy are spread.

On this subject, Francis referred to the Extraordinary Jubilee which will open on 8 December and the Synod of Bishops to be held in October. The Holy Father invited everyone to develop true spiritual discernment so as to identify concrete solutions to the challenges the family is called to confront.

The homily at Mass in Guayaquil

The greeting to the faithful of Quito

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St. Peter’s Square

Dec. 12, 2017

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