Monday 30th May 2016

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

The International Day of Families

May 28, 2014 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By MOST REV. VINCENZO PAGLIA

NEW YORK (ZENIT) — The president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, gave the following address on the occasion of the 2014 International Day of Families at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, May 15, 2014.

+    +    +

The Family At The Heart
Of Human Development

It is a great honor and a pleasure to address you in this Event being conducted in conjunction with the celebration of 2014 International Day of Families organized by the Division for Social Policy and Development of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to mark the 20th anniversary of the International Year of the Family, which was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1994 to raise awareness of the importance of families, promote knowledge of socioeconomic and demographic trends affecting families, and stimulate efforts to respond to challenges faced by families.
I offer my sincere thanks to His Excellency, the Most Rev. Francis A. Chullikatt, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, for all he has done to make our meeting today possible.
As we read in the Declaration of the Civil Society on the Occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the International Year of the Family, “…as basic and essential building blocks of societies, families have a crucial role in social development, bear the primary responsibility for the nurturing, protection, education, and socialization of children, as well as instilling values of citizenship and belonging in the society, and provide material and non-material care and support to its members.”
In that context, I am in agreement with Resolution 2012/10 adopted by ECOSOC that stresses the need “for undertaking concerted actions to strengthen family-centered policies and programs as part of an integrated, comprehensive approach to development”; and that invites states, civil society organizations, and academic institutions “to continue providing information on their activities in support of the objectives of and preparations for the twentieth anniversary.”
While, however, I am in full agreement with the theme of the International Day of Families, that is, “Families Matter for the Achievement of Development Goals,” my message today is that the family not only “matters,” it is rather at the very heart of human development, indispensable and irreplaceable, and at the same time beautiful and welcoming. Truly, it is a precious resource, an incomparable font of life for the affective, spiritual, other-serving, and generative aspects of our human existence.
The Catholic Church is an enthusiastic participant in the initiatives that the United Nations undertakes to enable each people, within itself, and all peoples, as a world community, to develop as a family where the members, while maintaining their own individuality, live together in harmony and peace.
The fact that with me today on the dais are representatives of the three great Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, each harking back to one great Patriarch, Father in Faith and Prophet, shows that diversity does not make us foreigners to each other, or worse yet enemies, but rather offers us a chance to develop all the richness and harmony of which the human family is capable.
Moreover, the decision of the United Nations to ask all governments and all Civil Society Organizations to rediscover the central place of the family in society and human development is not only timely, it is inspired. The family — if I may say so from the very beginning of my presentation — is the right road to travel on the journey to human development, so allow me to offer some reflections that have led me to that conclusion.

1) There Is Nothing Quite
Like The Family

First, the family is a unique social phenomenon in that it combines in a lasting fashion two kinds of relations characterized by radical differences, one being male and female, and the other being parent and child. Unlike the individualism, with its ideals of autonomy and independence, that rules society today, and unlike procedural and abstract concepts based on a “quantitative” notion of equality and rights, in the family we find both “elemental and formational interdependence” as well as “asymmetrical reciprocity.”
That is, we find a difference between members that is qualitative and irreducible but that is protected and accompanied by ties that bind and by reciprocity.
Next, in today’s world, where choices are always and only temporary, the family is the locus of strong relationships that deeply affect, for good or ill, the lives of its members. In the family “otherness” loses its connotation of that instability that it now has in most social milieus, and not just digital ones.
Change channel, friends, political party? No problem! When we look only for someone who is like us, we avoid any confrontation with “otherness,” and life becomes one big hall of mirrors, one big echo chamber. In the family, however, the “other” cannot be ignored. The family — male/female and parent/child — is a unique social structure, a very special school of education in “otherness.” In that sense, it is not only a resource, it is as well a flowing spring that empowers social interaction between us and those who are different from us, but without swallowing up our differences.
Parenthood itself, understood as openness to the transcendence of the child, in fact implies “otherness” and non-preferential love. The individual child, happily and at least to date, is not selected. And the child does not select its mother and father.

2) The Family At The Heart
Of Development

History shows it is the family that has made possible what we commonly call development. In cultures where the two formational aspects of the family — “male/female” and “parent/child” — have not been integrated with each other, development has been more difficult. For example, in countries where a man’s responsibility for his children is not a structural element of society, the process of social development is adversely affected, particularly with respect to women and children.
On the other hand, think of the role that the family plays in the education of children, in the creation of family economic resources, in the starting of family businesses, and in mutual assistance (particularly intergenerational) among family members. The family, by making possible a delicate but stable community of life among different persons, has been able to foster and protect the sensitive relations between individuals and diverse social realities, thus allowing for the harmonious development of society as a whole.
It was not by chance that families, open to joining with other families, were responsible for the formation of cities as alliances between families, and subsequently for the notion of citizenship, which is based on the recognition of the value of every single individual.
In this regard, Cicero, a great thinker in ancient Rome said that “the family is at the beginning of the city and is, as it were, the seedbed of the republic.” We can summarize this point by saying that without the capacity for self-organization found in the family, the development of society as we know it would scarcely have been possible.

3) Changes In The
Configuration Of
The Family Over Time

Over time, the family has organized itself in very diverse ways, but always within its two formational dimensions, “male/female” and “parent/child,” each of which has had its limits and problems.
We can see that only over the course of centuries has the family learned to respect individual freedom and create the conditions necessary for a more effective mutual respect. In a certain way the family has “purified” itself little by little. In particular, family relations have over time been freed from the idea of “possession” and from a facile acceptance of the models of inequality accepted without thinking in certain cultural milieus.
It is enough to mention how the relationships between men and women and parents and children have profoundly changed over time, and have allowed families to become more able to progress in their own development.
Nevertheless, these changes, which evidence real human development, are in no way an abrogation of certain characteristics that have always been identified with the family and with respect for the dignity of every individual.
The first, as Pope Francis pointed out in his address to the leadership of the United Nations in Rome last May 9, is that human life is sacred and inviolable from conception to its natural ending, and the second is that protection of the family is an essential element of any sustainable economic or social development, particularly as regards societal opposition to an “economy of exclusion,” a “throwaway culture” and a “culture of death.”
On the other hand, we cannot overlook the risk of “familyism, “ that is, the inability to think of a larger group and the tendency to favor, even in matters not affecting the family, the members of the family nucleus. This tendency has been the cause of numerous “amoral” abuses, where the good of the smaller family group prevails over that of the larger community.
Maintaining intra familial warmth and affection without compromising the public good and the “universalism” necessary in an advanced society has been and still today is, at least in certain areas, a difficult challenge.
Proof of this is found in the oscillation between persistent forms of regressive “familyism” on the one hand and the affirmation of a radical individualism on the other that, by destroying the family reverses the progress of humanization, heedless of the long-term consequences of so doing.

4) The Family
Regenerates Society

It is true that in recent decades the family is in crisis, and the increase in divorce rates, the increase in out-of-wedlock births, the multiplication of one-parent families, and the decrease in the number of marriages are only the most evident results of that crisis. Some are even asking whether the moment has come to abolish the family altogether.
This crisis is the result of two factors: hyper-individualism and “hyper-technological” culture, both of which are putting great pressure on this (and others) fragile institution, and risk destroying it. The negative consequences of this crisis for society are evident: from demographic anomalies to failed socialization and education, from the abandonment of the elderly to the spread of affective disturbances that lead to violence.
But the crisis that the family is going through now could also be an opportunity for growth. It all depends on us, and we should be decidedly more attentive to the deepest desires of today’s men and women.
In fact, in spite of today’s hostile cultural environment, a clear majority of persons want a family at the center of their life, and it would be mistake to think the family can be done away with. If anything, we should foster a renewal of family models, a family more understanding of itself, more respectful of the ties that bind it to its surroundings, more attentive to the quality of its internal relationships, more concerned for, and more able to live in harmony with, other families.
We could even say that if on the one hand there are fewer families, on the other hand there is more “family” in a qualitative sense, and for that matter there is no better place than the family for the complete humanization of those born into this world. We have to be much more cautious than we have been about weakening this fundamental unity that is not only the bearing wall of social life but that can also help us avoid the inhuman consequences of a society that has become hyper-individualistic and hyper-technological.
The family remains — thanks paradoxically to its defects and limits — the locus the mystery of life and of history. Its vocation is to be the special place where the individual is protected in his individuality and society is protected against fragmentation. It is this unique character that renders it truly a patrimony for all humanity.

5) The Catholic Church And The Synod On The Family

The Catholic Church, for its part, never ceases to support and assist the family. Pope Francis — aware of the indispensability and dynamism of the family — has called a synod which in two sessions will examine the role of the family today and the challenges it faces. The Pope’s clear intention is to put the family at the center of the Church and of all human reflection.
There will be no question of ideological debates but rather of a consideration of the reality of the family today and of its mission in contemporary society. The synod intends to discuss family questions and take decisions that will empower Catholic families to become active participants in a society-wide ferment that will move all peoples to a culture of solidarity.
In this context we might even say that there is a necessary link between “the family” and the “family of peoples”: that is, the prospect of peaceful life together among different peoples — something that is learned in the family and extends to the city, the nation, and the whole family of nations.
+ + +

(© 2014 Innovative Media Inc.)

Share Button

2016 The Wanderer Printing Co.

34% of “Pro-Choice” Women Who See This Viral Video Turn Against Abortion

A new four-minute viral video is causing over a third — 34 percent — of “pro-choice” women surveyed to view abortion “less favorably.” And 28 percent of pro-choice women who watched the video stated there should be more restrictions on…Continue Reading

‘Biblically wrong’: Oklahoma lawmakers urge Obama’s impeachment over transgender bathrooms

Lawmakers in Oklahoma have introduced legislation calling for President Barack Obama to be impeached because of his administration’s support for transgender bathrooms. Another bill calls for a declaration of emergency in the state. In a measure called Senate Concurrent Resolution…Continue Reading

Oklahoma legislature passes bill making it a felony to perform abortions

Lawmakers in Oklahoma approved a bill Thursday that would make performing abortions a felony and revoke the medical licenses of most physicians who assist in such procedures. This sweeping measure, which opponents described as unconstitutional and unprecedented, now heads to…Continue Reading

Unanimous Win for Little Sisters of the Poor at Supreme Court

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Today the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the government cannot fine the Little Sisters of the Poor.  The Supreme Court vacated the lower court rulings against the Little Sisters, accepting the government’s admission that it could meet…Continue Reading

Conservatives outraged over Obama transgender directive to public schools

The Obama administration’s directive Friday that every public school provide transgender access — or face the loss of federal funds — drew swift and strong condemnation from conservatives, with one public official blasting it as presidential “blackmail.” The administration’s directive…Continue Reading

Pro-Life Leaders Decry Scandals, Urge Catholic Colleges to Reject Culture of Death

Concerned by recent high-profile events at Catholic colleges featuring pro-abortion leaders — including Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards, Bill Clinton, Wendy Davis and Vice President Joe Biden — 31 Catholic and pro-life leaders joined a statement urging Catholic colleges to “stand firm…Continue Reading

ACLU launches campaign to strip Catholic hospitals of federal funds

NEW YORK, May 9, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Catholic hospitals across the U.S. are “withholding emergency care” and denying “essential health services,” the ACLU is alleging in a new campaign. They also inflict harm on “transgender and gender-non-conforming patients” “when seeking…Continue Reading

Harvard Law Professor Says Pro-Life Christians Should be Treated Like Nazis

Every day, it seems, the United States is becoming a more hostile environment for people with pro-life and conservative positions. Abortion activists constantly challenge pro-life laws, stall abortion industry investigations, force religious objectors to pay for abortions and attack life-affirming…Continue Reading

Obama plans new push for transgender rights in schools

The divisive and politically combustible issue of bathroom access for transgender individuals is about to become further inflamed, as the Obama administration is expected in coming weeks to aggressively reinforce its position that transgender student rights are fully protected under…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke: Notre Dame is Wrong

Notre Dame’s Great Scandal: Honoring Vice President Biden By Thomas McKenna, President of Catholic Action for Faith and Family: The University of Notre Dame has announced that they intend to confer the Laetare Medal, an honor given to Catholics “in…Continue Reading

DoJ to North Carolina: You Have Until Monday to Reverse Bathroom Bill

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory received a letter from the Department of Justice that gives him until Monday to reverse his state’s controversial bathroom bill, reports The Hill. The DoJ said the law is in violation of the federal Civil…Continue Reading

Lavender Graduations Harmful to Students at Catholic Colleges

At least eight Catholic colleges across the country are hosting “lavender graduations” this spring — many of them as part of an annual campus tradition — to celebrate and honor students with same-sex attraction (SSA) or who identify as lesbian,…Continue Reading

Newsmax

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Enter Comments Below

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .

Commentary

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .      

Today . . .

">Ronald Reagan . . . Memorial Day Address

Planned Parenthood sponsors bill to make it illegal to record and post undercover footage

A bill making its way through the California State Assembly, sponsored by Planned Parenthood, seeks to make it a crime to publish conversations with certain health care providers, notably those associated with abortion facilities. California has already squashed the rights of pro-life pregnancy centers, demanding they offer abortion as an option to their clients, despite their pro-life mission. Now, Planned Parenthood and CA Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez think it’s a fine idea to prosecute someone from posting a “photo…Continue Reading

South Carolina governor signs ban on abortion for babies who feel pain

CHARLESTON, May 26, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – South Carolina has joined 13 other states that forbid abortions to be performed on unborn children capable of feeling pain. As expected, Governor Nikki Haley, a Republican, signed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act on Wednesday. The law restricts abortion to the first 19 weeks of pregnancy. “South Carolina took a courageous stand to protect women’s health and safety in limiting abortion at a point at which the risks…Continue Reading

Pope Francis: Perseverance in prayer needed, but not “magic wand”

pope908

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday said “prayer is not a magic wand.” He was speaking during his weekly General Audience in St. Peter’s Square. The Pope was discussing the Parable of the Unjust Judge – also known as the Parable of the Persistent Widow – from the Gospel of Luke. In the parable, the persistence of a widow forces the unjust judge to grant her request for justice, “so that she will not eventually…Continue Reading

Catholic College Presidents Hopeful for Resolution in HHS Mandate Challenge

The presidents of two Catholic colleges involved in the U.S.Supreme Court challenges to the HHS mandate applauded the Court’s recent decision to vacate all lower court rulings and expressed their hope that a positive resolution for religious freedom would soon be reached. “I am pleased that Supreme Court has offered us a way forward which doesn’t require us to participate in the provision of the services which

Excluded From Arizona House . . . Racial Healing Meet Has To Find Another Location, Loses Audience

By DEXTER DUGGAN MESA, Ariz. — The chairman of an Arizona Tea Party group introduced a representative of Black Lives Matter Arizona at a racial-healing conference here, saying, “Black lives matter, and of course we agree that all lives matter,” but blacks are unique in U.S. history as “a people who have endured chattel slavery.”…Continue Reading

Havana: The Potemkin Village Of The 21st Century

By ALBERTO MARTINEZ PIEDRA According to the media, it is often heard that many Americans are interested in traveling to Cuba because, as relations between the jewel of the Caribbean and the United States warm, they “want to see the island before it changes.” And they make this statement with a certain degree of optimism.…Continue Reading

Rocky Homilies

By DEACON JAMES H. TONER (Editor’s Note: Deacon James H. Toner, Ph.D., serves at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Greensboro, N.C.) + + + The Holy Father’s admonition in Amoris Laetitia that priests must understand that the moral law should not be thrown at people as if it were so many stones (n.…Continue Reading

Restoring The Sacred… A Procession To The Ends Of The Earth

By JAMES MONTI Several weeks ago, after attending the Easter Vigil at a nearby seminary, and the emptied chapel had fallen silent, I began to hear the sound of the sacring bell being rung in the sacristy. Puzzled by this, I wondered whether the seminarians were perhaps trying to repair the bell. But then from…Continue Reading

Is Scarborough Shoal Worth A War?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN If China begins to reclaim and militarize Scarborough Shoal, says Philippines President Benigno S. Aquino III, America must fight. Should we back down, says Aquino, the United States will lose “its moral ascendancy, and also the confidence of one of its allies.” And what is Scarborough Shoal? A cluster of rocks…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World… Look To Our Father In Heaven

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Everyone has made a wrong decision at some point in his or her life, and everyone can speak about the suffering or pain caused by bad decisions. What, on the other hand, about the suffering or pain that is caused by doing the right thing? How often can we say that we suffered personally and…Continue Reading

The Marvel Of The Catholic Church Miracles And The Saints

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 2 “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand’.” “Heal the sick, raise the dead, and cleanse the lepers, cast out demons” (Matt. 10:7-8). It is evident that our Lord Jesus Christ gave to His disciples the power to perform miracles, and many of them did just that. Not…Continue Reading

The Church’s Liturgy — Who Celebrates?

By DON FIER There is an ancient Latin saying in the Church that eloquently expresses what her members believe of the efficacy of the sacraments and their relationship to faith: lex orandi, lex credendi (“the law of prayer is the law of faith”). Each of the seven sacraments, as we saw last week, can be classified in various categories. Yet…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. My husband and I are wondering when to say the “Amen” after the Lord’s prayer is prayed during Mass. I believe “Amen” should be said after we say “deliver us from evil.” — J.W., Georgia. A. Although it is correct to say “Amen” at the end of the Our Father while saying it outside of Mass, for example, while…Continue Reading

God’s Prophet

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Tenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: 1 Kings 17:17-24 Gal. 1:11-14a, 15a, c, 16a, 17, 19 Luke 7:11-17 In the first reading today we hear about the death of the son of a widow with whom the Prophet Elijah stayed when he was passing through that region. The woman had been very good to…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Augustine Of Canterbury

By CAROLE BRESLIN A Celtic cross erected in 1884 marks the spot in Ebbsfleet, Thanet, East Kent, where St. Augustine of Canterbury is said to have landed in 597. While some form of Christianity in England may be traced back to the times of the Roman occupation, it did not become a strong presence until the arrival of St. Augustine,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Crispin Of Viterbo

By CAROLE BRESLIN In March 1986, Pope John Paul II visited the Basilica of Our Lady of the Vine (Oak) located in Tuscany, Italy, to proclaim our Lady patroness of the Diocese of Viterbo. The tradition of visiting the image of Our Lady of the Oak began 600 years ago in 1417 when Mastro Baptist Magnano Iuzzante commissioned an image…Continue Reading

COMPLETE 3 PART Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Insights On The State Of The Church In The Aftermath Of The Ordinary Synod On The Family

Cburke3

By DON FIER Part 1 (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, recently traveled from Rome to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., a magnificent place of worship which he founded and dedicated. (His Eminence graciously granted an extensive interview to The Wanderer during which he…Continue Reading