Brussels, the 23th of October 2023

FAFCE celebrates the 40th anniversary of the promulgation of the Charter of the Rights of the Family, presented by the Holy See on 22 October 1983, “to all persons, institutions and authorities concerned with the mission of the family in today’s world”.

FAFCE’s President, Vincenzo Bassi, declares: “The Charter remains a precious instrument, not only for all policy makers of good will, but also for civil society organisations, that need to find new strengths, new words and new strategies to propose the same good news of the family. The Charter is also a fundamental document on which family associations can base their raison d’etre, to implement a real subsidiarity and to allow to the family to exercise its social and political function in the construction of society“.

Art. 8 of the Charter is devoted to Family Associations, stating that: “Families have the right to form associations with other families and institutions, in order to fulfill the family’s role suitably and effectively, as well as to protect the rights, foster the good and represent the interests of the family”.

On October 22, we also remember St. John Paul II, who during all his pontificate constantly emphasized the irreplaceable value of the family, constantly stressing that, like in Familiaris Consortio, the “future of humanity passes by way of the family” (n. 86).

“The Charter of the Rights of the Family in particular, addressed primarily to Governments, offers all those who are invested with responsibility regarding the common good a model and a reference point for the elaboration of a sound legislation for family policies”. These were the words of Pope Benedict XVI in 2008, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of “Charter of the Rights of the Family”.

Pope Francis, devoting the first synod of his pontificate to the family, reminds us the central role of the family, continously encouraging the work of FAFCE and its development: “In your daily efforts to assist families, you provide a twofold service: you make their voice heard in the European institutions and you work to form networks of families across the continent. This mission is in full harmony with the synodal path on which we have embarked, in order to make the Church ever more a family of families“. 

This week FAFCE Board Members will gather in Brussels for their 2023 Autumn Board Meeting. The three-day gathering includes a high-level seminar on the demographic toolbox, with the participation of the Vice-President of the European Commission, Dubravka Suica. They will also have a meeting with the President of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE), Bishop Mariano Crociata, who will also celebrate a Holy Mass with FAFCE Board Members, in an important moment of communion in this synodal time.