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Protect Families: Archbishop Paglia

Krakow, Poland, 14 September 2013: In contemporary culture ‘children are considered an obstacle to individual happiness and personal development", while in the Bible it is said: ‘It is not good that the man remains alone’. The contemporary culture does not cease to declare in every situation: "It's good to be alone", said Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family. He was speaking at the 13th International Conference dedicated to ‘the Catholic Church's role in the process of European integration’ with the theme "The family in contemporary Europe” held in in an Krakow, Poland, on 13 and 14 September.

Despite the cultural ‘hostility’, said the President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, "the family remains in the first place in the list of the wishes of the people’. In Italy, almost 80 percent of the young people of marriageable age say they prefer cohabitation to marriage. In France, 77 percent of young people, mostly between 18 and 24 years old , express a desire to form a family with the same person for a lifetime. In Poland, 85 percent of respondents in social surveys say they cannot imagine happiness without the family. The dream of a family is linked to a vision of the future, explained Archbishop Paglia. As John Paul II said, "the loss of Christian memory is accompanied by a kind of fear of the future." As a result, family loses its attractiveness and value of the testimony of the union of love until death.

Added to this is the weight of the economic crisis and the difficulties that they face every day in families. Policies are needed to support and protect the family as "the fundamental cell" and "resource of the Society", as defined in various documents prepared by the Pontifical Council for the Family, reminded the Archbishop. "The stability of family relationships is a valuable asset, but when it is in trouble, all members of the family are at risk." In particular, pointed out Archbishop Paglia, "harmonious growth of children and their positive socialization is at risk."

From social studies, said the Archbishop, it is clear that "divorce, as well as the birth outside of marriage, increases the risk of poverty for children and women." And then, "the family experiences the natural solidarity between generations more frequently and more deeply than other forms of cohabitation. Children living with their natural parents live in a better mental well-being and develop greater confidence and hope in life than children living in other contexts."

"Families are an unparalleled resource for the world of work, more than that they derive benefits from the world of work." The family is also " the primary source of social capital, where the latter consists mainly of relationships of trust, cooperation and reciprocity, that families build internally and externally." Above all, "the family is the primary learning of love and gratitude, especially to the weakest members ." So, it is "the first instrument of humanization of the people and social life", asserted Archbishop Paglia.
Source: VR Sedoc


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