Vatican City (Fides Service) – “In Europe today the institution of the family suffers from concerning fragility which is even greater when its members are not prepared to assume their responsibilities with attitudes of total reciprocal giving and authentic love. It is necessary at the same time however to recognise that many Christian families offer consoling witness in the Church and in society: they live reciprocal giving of self with conjugal and family love in an admirable manner overcoming difficulties and adversities”. Pope John Paul II said this on 13 June when he received in audience the participants at a Meeting of President of European Bishops Conferences’ Commissions for the Family and for Life promoted by the Pontifical Council for the Family.
The Holy Father stressed that in European societies today tendencies often emerge that oppose and threaten the family (mentalities in favour of divorce, contraception and abortion which fail to recognise the full right to life of every human being), and that consequently “family pastoral today is a priority task”. Thank God there are signs of a new move to defend the family: “I refer here to certain legislative interventions, as well as opportune incentives to stop the advance of a demographic winter, mostly felt in Europe. Pro family and pro life Movements are growing; they are consolidated and they constitute a new social conscience. Yes, the resources of the family are innumerable!
Recalling the tenth anniversary of the Charter of Family Rights issued by the Holy See, the Pope renewed his call to “leaders of nations and legislators to fully assume their commitments to protect the family and to foster a culture of life”, expressing the wish that “this important document may continue to offer valid support and orientation to all who, in various capacities, have social and political duties and responsibilities”. SL (Fides Service 13/6/2003 EM lines 23 Words: 310)