Thursday, 8 May 2003

Toluca (Fides Service) – The 2nd Continental Meeting of National Family Pastoral Commissions with the theme “For a culture of life starting with family pastoral” is taking place 5-9 May in Toluca Mexico. The meeting is promoted by CELAM Council of Latin American Bishops’ Conferences, with the collaboration of the Family Pastoral Commission of the Mexican Bishops’ Conference.
The meeting, attended by several bishops and 17 delegates from Bishops’ Conferences in America, has the following objectives: elaborate plans and lines of pastoral activity for renewed announcement of the Gospel of Life and the Family in a globalised culture; outline a pedagogical-methodological proposal of accompaniment which family pastoral must consider in view of facing the challenges of the present day culture; promote formation and development of the different areas of research in National Family Pastoral Commissions on the themes of respect for the dignity of human life; promote exchange of experience and material relative to the culture of life etc.
After the first days of reflection the participants highlighted some of the threats to life: “absence of God in the life of humanity generates serious moral deterioration which leads to the dulling of conscience so that people no longer distinguish clearly between good and evil; inadequate distribution of resources which condemns millions of human beings to poverty, hunger; the scandalous arms trade; ecological unbalance; criminal diffusion of drugs and models of homosexual practices which, besides being morally unacceptable, are a threat to health; contraception and abortion which in many cases have their roots in a hedonistic mentality…”
With time “threats against life do not diminish, indeed they assume alarming dimensions, at times due to their diffusion in the media…the use of contraception, sterilisation, abortion and euthanasia are presented as signs of progress and conquest of liberty while options for life as enemies of freedom and progress”.
“While the inviolable rights of the human person are proclaimed and the value of life is publicly affirmed, the right to life is practically denied, especially at the most significant moments of human existence, birth and death”. This is why the meeting, besides analysing reality, proposes also a series of reflections in the light of the Gospel of marriage, family and life, to reach concrete proposals to help families announce, celebrate and serve this Gospel”.RZ (Fides Service 6/5/2003 EM lines 33 Words: 434)