The members of the European Federation of Catholic Family Associations – FAFCE will gather in Rome for three days next week to celebrate the 20th anniversary of FAFCE. The highlight of the celebration will be a private audience with His Holiness Pope Francis on 1st June, the International Day of Parents.
Founded in 1997, FAFCE today represents catholic family associations from 14 European countries. The organisation has a participatory status with the Council of Europe and as such is a member of the Conference of International NGOs of the Council of Europe. FAFCE is also part of the Fundamental Rights Platform of the EU.
“This anniversary is an occasion to celebrate 20 years of action to promote the family in Europe and in particular at the European Institutions. Progressively our organisation has developed from a gathering of a few family associations after the end of the cold war into the federation founded in 1997 that is renowned for its action in favour of the family and family friendly policies. We owe a lot to the initiators of this great pan-European adventure”, says Antoine Renard who has presided FAFCE since 2009. The various celebratory events will be shared through social media, including contributions from the national organisations represented by FAFCE.
As Europe is facing huge challenges the role, place and rights of the family are more important than ever in the political and social landscape. FAFCE wants to contribute to Society through proposals that favour family friendly European policies whilst respecting national competences in the area of family law. An example of this was the “Vote for Family 2014” campaign launched by FAFCE ahead of the European elections in 2014. Dozens of Members of the European Parliament signed the campaign manifesto, including the current President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani.
Mr Renard also recalls that “FAFCEs’ action is based on the social teaching of the Catholic Church. Our action is fuelled and nourished by our faith as well. Therefore we met in Fatima last year, ahead of the 100th anniversary of the apparitions to let our work be inspired by the message of Our Lady of Fatima. In connection with our 20th anniversary FAFCE will be consecrated to Virgin Mary on the feast of the Visitation, prior to having the joy to meet with His Holiness Pope Francis. The family is a masterpiece of the Creation, we hope to find inspiration to pursue our action in this spirit and present family relationships as a model of social construction for Europe and for the world”.
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