Without the family
· Archbishop Paglia to the UN ·
The Family doesn't just “matter”, it stands “at the very heart of human development”. Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, addressed the UN on Thursday, 15 May, at their headquarters in New York, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the International Year of the Family, which convened in 1994.
Accompanied on the dais are representatives of the three great Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Archbishop Paglia laid emphasis on the fact that “the Catholic Church is an enthusiastic participant in the initiatives that the United Nations undertakes to enable each people, within itself, and all peoples, as a world community, to develop as a family where the members, while maintaining their own individuality, live together in harmony and peace.” Moreover, he added, the UN's decision to “to ask all governments and all Civil Society Organizations to rediscover the central place of the family in society and human development is not only timely, it is inspired”. It is, he said, within the familial institution where, in a balanced way, roles are defined and the qualitative differences between members are recognized.
The Archbishop centred his reflection on the family as the singular social phenomenon which is “a very special school of education in 'otherness' and in love for another”. The family, he finished, “by making possible a delicate but stable community of life among different persons, has been able to foster and protect the sensitive relations between individuals and diverse social realities, thus allowing for the harmonious development of society as a whole.”
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