Be kind to your mother-in-law, the victim of ‘cliches’, urges Pope

 Be kind to your mother-in-law, the victim of ‘cliches’, urges Pope

Pope Francis offers advice to ease family tensions, telling daughters-in-law to ‘make them happy’ and mothers-in-law to ‘be careful how you express yourselves’.


Pope Francis has urged Catholics to honour the elderly and take care of family bonds, also taking the opportunity to return to the thorny subject of mothers-in-law.

Devoting his general audience in St Peter’s Square on Wednesday to the relationship between generations, the Argentine pontiff made a long digression on the “mythical character” of the mother-in-law and said they were often the victim of “cliches”.

He added: “I’m not saying we see her as the devil, but she is always presented in a pejorative way. But the mother-in-law is the mother of your husband and the mother of your wife.”

Equally, he urged daughters-in-law to take care of their relationships with their mothers-in-law. “… they gave birth to your spouse,” he said. “At least make them happy.”

The pope also had advice for mothers-in-law themselves. “I tell you, be careful how you express yourselves,” he said.

The 85-year-old pope added: “We say to ourselves ‘the further away your mother-in-law is, the better’. But no – she’s a mother, she’s an elderly person. One of the most beautiful things for a woman is to have grandchildren. When her children have children, it brings her to life again.”

It is not his first foray on the subject. In 2015, Francis told a crowd of thousands in the US: “Families quarrel and sometimes plates can fly and children bring headaches, and I won’t speak about mother-in-laws.”

 

 Be kind to your mother-in-law, the victim of ‘cliches’, urges Pope
Be kind to your mother-in-law, the victim of ‘cliches’, urges Pope

 


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