Bishops gathered in Rome this morning for the Vatican synod on the family and heard a remarkable testimony from a Catholic woman from the African country of Côte d’Ivoire, whose husband of 52 years is a Muslim.
“For us, as a mixed couple,” said Jeannette Touré, the theme of pastoral challenges for the family “is all the more important.” We ask ourselves–a Muslim man and a Catholic woman who have loved each other for a little over 52 years–she continued, “how can we be witnesses of the Gospel to our children, to those around us, to our friends, to our different religious communities?”
“Our contribution to this issue is our witness of life: 52 years of living together in tolerance and mutual respect of our beliefs,” she said.
The Tourés baptized their five children in the Catholic Church and have raised them as Catholic Christians. We have also handed on “our values of respect for each other in our differences” and we have “given them the faith,” Mrs. Touré said.
The woman publicly thanked her husband for agreeing to raise their children Catholic, and thanked her children as well for being “bearers of the Good News to those around them.”
The family, Touré said, and especially the African family “has a duty to bear witness to the faith to those around it.” Our choices and decisions have to help those around us “to better understand, accept and love God,” she said.