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The family is not an ideology

· Pope Francis recalls that children have the right to be raised by a father and a mother ·

The family “has a strength with it” and cannot be qualified with “ideological concepts”, such as a “conservative” or “progressive”. Pope Francis recalled this on Monday, 17 November in the Synod Hall when he met with the participants in a conference on the complementarity of man and woman. The conference was sponsored by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Underlining that the family is the “first school” where we learn the “art of living together” and “the principal place in which we begin to 'breathe' values and ideals”, the Pope expressed his awareness that families can “give rise to tensions: between egoism and altruism, between reason and passion, between immediate desires and long-term goals”. However, he said, it is also true that they “provide the environment in which these tensions are resolved”. Furthermore, he called for the promotion of “a new human ecology”, insisting on the “fundamental pillars that govern a nation”. At the base of these pillars is the family, he said, that solid guarantee “against social fragmentation”. At the audience, Pope Francis also announced that he will visit Philadelphia in September 2015 for the eighth World Meeting of Families.

The family was also at the center of his address consigned to the bishops of Zambia on their “ad limina” visit only a few hours before. At their meeting, the Holy Father wished to highlight that “when family life is endangered, then the life of faith is also put at risk”.

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