Vatican City (Fides Service) – From 11 to 14 of June the Presidents of European Bishops Conferences’ Commissions for the Family and Life attended a meeting promoted by the Pontifical Council for the Family. This is the fourth such meeting which brings together Bishops’ Commissions, representatives of various institutions and experts to discuss situations, suggestions and also projects undertaken by the different national Commissions for the Family and Life. Each president gives in fact a report on the situation on “family and life” in his respective country. There are new challenges particularly in parliaments which demand increasing commitment also in view of the ever larger European community.
The meeting, on the theme "Challenges and opportunities at the beginning of the 3rd Millennium", was opened by Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family who spoke about “the situation of the family and life in their world” focussing on the international situation which acts as a backdrop for the political and social situation in Europe. In a statement on the Meeting, the Pontifical Council said that the European continent is the most critical, because for a long time secularisation has had a negative influence on the family, already very fragile due to domestic and external problems. Fortunately there are many movements and associations working for the family. Particularly important, efforts by various local Churches which in recent years have increased in quality and intensity, following the Teachings of Pope John Paul II. A second aspect concerns family-society relations, particularly with regard to legislation in some countries which can only be described as evil and have no respect for the rights of the individual, the family, or for life itself from the moment of conception to its natural end. Often parliaments are badly informed and the language they use is nearly always ambiguous, not coherent with the most advanced scientific research. In fact in order to clarify basic scientific information from the anthropological, physiological, sexual and procreation point of the view the Pontifical Council for the Family has drafted a Lexicon explaining 78 ambiguous terms; the Lexicon is for the moment only in Italian but the Council plans to provide various other language editions. SL (Fides Service 13/6/2003 EM lines 24 Words: 331)