the summer break is a great opportunity to summarize the numerous activities and events of our Federation in the past months. As always, the family as the prism for looking at the challenges of our communities was at the centre of all these actions.
The crucial event was the bi-annual Board meeting of FAFCE members and associated organizations in Murcia, Spain. For the first time in the history of FAFCE, its Board Meeting took place in Spain. It was hosted by the Catholic University Saint Anthony of Murcia (UCAM) and the focus was on the question of family associations and their contribution to the common good. In this sense, we are happy for the possibility to have a follow-up event, hosted by the Diocese of Teramo (Italy), on the 21st of October, right before our next Board Meeting, in Brussels, on 24-26 October, this year.
The gathering in Murcia started with an International Congress, on the 2nd of May, devoted to Family networks: “Antidote to loneliness” and continued on the 3rd and 4th of May, with an exchange of views on the current issues raised by the consequences of the gender theory and online presentation on the consequences of online pornography consumption. This event represented an important step forward in the direction of the development of networks and family associations at the service of the common good, in Europe and beyond. This is not a short-term commitment and requires to work together, with other partners and allies, as we will do later this year, in cooperation with the Catholic Church and all the sectors of the civil society. The Family Global Compact, promoted by the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, goes precisely in this direction. In the same vein, I am grateful to be involved in the organisation of the Jubilee of Families, scheduled for 30 May and 1st June 2025, during the Jubilee year, in Rome.
The service to the common good, indeed, is stronger when we stay together: this was very concrete at our Board Meeting in Spain, as new observer delegates, sent respectively from the Bishops’ Conferences of the Nordic Countries and of Albania, took part in the FAFCE Board Meeting for the first time.
During its works, our Board also adopted a Resolution on “The crisis of loneliness in times of digital transition: family networks as agents of change”: this resolution creates a bridge between what we see as one of the hidden pandemics of our continent, the loneliness, and the question of the digital transition, a recurring topic in the European agenda, where the families’ perspective cannot be ignored.
The war and the disruption of social cohesion in Europe can be very troubling, but we keep hope and courage to go on with our mission, also thanks to your fundamental support. Last week, we celebrated the feast of St. Benedict, patron saint of Europe: may he intercede for our policymakers and legislators, so that – in exercising democracy – they let themselves be inspired by the communities and families of Europe, working for true unity and social cohesion, without fomenting divisions or wanting to impose their own vision. In a crucial moment for the European continent, which experiences war at its heart, FAFCE, as Pope Francis recalled us last year, “is rightly responsible also for bearing witness to unity and working for peace – may it be peace in abundance – at this time in history when, sadly, it is under grave threat, and where there is great need to focus on what unites rather than on what divides”.