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Family and Life

The joys and challenges

Le gioie e le sfide

EN | IT – We the Bishops from Europe and Africa, delegates of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (Ccee) and the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (Secam) have been meeting here in Mumemo, Mozambique. We spent time listening to the joys and challenges of families, testimonies from delegates and other participants; we have been reflecting, praying and trying to discern what the Holy Spirit is saying today to us as Shepherds of the Church in Africa and Europe…

European bishops: why “not” to surrogacy

Vescovi europei: perché no alla maternità surrogata

EN | IT | DE – The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) expresses in favour of rapid and uniform legal standards regarding surrogacy at European and international level, especially to prevent the further spread of commercial surrogacy. All forms of surrogacy represent a serious violation of the human dignity of those who are involved, says a document of the COMECE addressed to the European Parliament.

Surrogacy, human dignity and the best interests of the child

Maternità surrogata, la dignità umana e l’interesse del bambino

EN | IT | FR | DE – “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb” (Jeremiah, 1:5). The prophet would feel rather confused nowadays had he come across surrogacy, a practice whereby a woman (the ‘surrogate mother’) becomes pregnant with the intention of handing over the child to someone else (the ‘intended parent’) after the birth. In the EU, only Greece and the United Kingdom have explicitly legalized surrogacy. However, in about half the EU Member States, diverse judicial arrangements may enable an eventual recognition or establishment of filiation to the ‘intended parents’ in the case where surrogacy procedures take place abroad.

Reflect on the fragility

Riflettere sulle fragilità

EN | IT | FR – The theme of the Synod is the family in the context of evangelization. Not surprisingly, then, the document reflects on the majority of “irregular” situations in the context of the education given to children. But it notes that “irregular” are situations, not people. A person always deserves respect, and when he or she turns to the Church with a request for the spiritual well-being of children this is always an opportunity to establish a pastoral contact.

The value of marriage

Il valore del matrimonio

EN | IT | FR – The Instrumentum laboris of the next Synod of Bishops / 2 – Among the concerns expressed by the Bishops’ Conferences of Europe there is in the first place the diminished popularity of marriage, both religious and civil. Young people still want to cherish for a lifetime, but in fact the number of couples who live ad experimentum, with no registration, neither canonical nor civil, and without any obligation, is growing. This form of communal living is often not intended as only temporary, but the choice is permanent.

A hope for Europe

Una speranza per l'Europa

EN | IT | FR – The Instrumentum laboris of the next Synod of Bishops / 1 – The working paper “The pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelization” summarizes the results of the questionnaire sent last year to the local Churches. Many responses came from Europe, mentioned in the text more often than other continents. Hope seems to be the most important message of this document.

“One of us” doesn’t give up

„Jeden z nas” nie daje za wygraną

EN | PL | IT – Regardless of how the dispute over European democracy will develop, we must say that “One of Us” as a social campaign, was a great success for European citizens and pro-life NGOs. For the first time there has been extensive cooperation among the pro-life movements from all over Europe. The European Federation of Pro-life Movements “One of Us” was founded. The introduction of the theme of the defence of life in the public debate in Europe has carried out a great educational task. The organizers of the initiative are determined not to surrender their weapons, but to continuously monitor the EU financial policy. Other ways are not passable, at least for now.

The rights of the family

I diritti della famiglia

EN | IT – On May 15th, 2014, International Day of the Family, in New York, a group of Elected Legislative representatives from throughout the world launched the “Declaration on the Rights of the Family”. Declaration was prepared by a small group of parliamentarians from diverse parts of the world, embracing representatives from Argentina, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Spain, USA, as well as others, including international law experts, coordinated by Senator Jim Walsh from Ireland. They met in 2012 and agreed to draft a document that would reaffirm the bedrock of human rights on the family, based on marriage between one man and one woman, existing in international law: a theme that is central to the debate, even in our Europe.