FAFCE

Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe

Press Release | 15 May 2015 - International Day of Families - The Family at the centre of the Common Good

Brussels, 15 May 2015

 

Friday 15 May is the International Day of Families, proclaimed for the first time by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993. A year ago, a few days ahead of the European Elections, we celebrated the 20th Anniversary of the International Year of the Family at the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels and we underlined that “This anniversary is also an excellent occasion to recall that families that are the foundation and the future of Society need to be supported, promoted and protected in Europe and across the world”.

Read more: Press Release | 15 May 2015 - International Day of Families - The Family at the centre of the...

Support, promote and protect the family

World Meeting of Families, Milan 2012

 Antoine Renard, FAFCE President

Founded to serve families in the light of the social teaching of the Catholic Church, and having done so for years as part of FAFCE in the context of European integration, our associations must always strive to find their rightful place in the threefold need to support, promote and protect the family.

Read more: Support, promote and protect the family

Slovakia stands up in defense of Marriage

After the successful referendum held in Croatia in 2013, which amended the Constitution with a provision defining marriage as beingthe union between a man and a woman, we expect to see the same thing happen in Slovakia in 2014. In fact, the Slovak organisation Alliance for Family promoted a petition that mobilized more than 400.000 citizens, requiring a binding referendum on this issue. It will take place on 7 February and will cover other sensitive issues as well as the definition of marriage: the children’s right to be raised by a father and a mother and the freedom of parents to choose how their children are educated on sexuality and euthanasia. A very complex referendum that the Constitutional Court ruled as legitimate, despite the doubts of the President, who consulted the highest Court of the Country.  These are the three questions:

Do you agree that only a bond between one man and one woman can be called marriage?

Do you agree that same-sex couples or groups should not be allowed to adopt and raise children?

Do you agree that schools cannot require children to participate in education pertaining to sexual behavior or euthanasia if their parents don’t agree?

Slovakia’s Constitution was already amended last year to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, but the promoters of the referendum declare that the real purpose of the referendum is to protect children: “The rights of children are more important than the rights of adults.” To be legally binding, the turnout for the referendum must be more than 50 percent.

Pope Francis to large families: “capable of being present and visible in society and in politics".

Marking the Feast of the Holy Family, the Italian Association of Large Families celebrated its 10th anniversary with Pope Francis on Sunday 28 December. After a presentation by Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, and of the past and current Presidents of the Italian Association of Large Families, Pope Francis addressed more than 7000 people, belonging to an Italian association for large families and representatives from various European countries (Spain, France, Germany, Hungary…).

He encouraged them very strongly, saying that “In a world often marked by selfishness, the large family is a school of solidarity and sharing; and this attitude then becomes a benefit for the whole society.” Pope Francis also expressed his gratitude to the numerous parents present in the Paul VI Audience Hall in the Vatican, for the “example of love towards life, that you preserve from conception to natural end, despite all the difficulties and burdens of life, and that unfortunately, the public institutions do not always help you.”

In this vein, he namely  welcomed “a network of family associations capable of being present and visible in society and in politics”, citing the paragraph 44 of the Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, in which Saint John Paul II stated that “families should be the first to take steps to see that the laws and institutions of the State not only do not offend but support and positively defend the rights and duties of the family. Along these lines, families should grow in awareness of being "protagonists" of what is known as "family politics" and assume responsibility for transforming society; otherwise families will be the first victims of the evils that they have done no more than note with indifference.” This was an event that, beyond encouraging many large families in Italy and in the world, confirmed the importance of working and cooperating in favour of families on our continent.

Maternity and paternity leave in the EU

European Parliament Infographic on Maternity and paternity leave in the EU

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