Wednesday, September 23, 2015

World Congress of Families Welcomes Pope Francis and The World Meeting of Families

World Congress of Families Welcomes Pope Francis and The World Meeting of Families
Pope Francis reminds us of the eternal perspective regarding all that is good about life, family, and permanent things, "The union of man and woman in marriage [is] a unique, natural, fundamental and beautiful good for persons, communities, and whole societies." Yet, the Pope also warns us that, "The family is threatened by growing efforts on the part of some to redefine the very institution of marriage, by relativism, by the culture of the ephemeral, by a lack of openness to life."

Contact: Larry Jacobs, Managing Director, World Congress of Families, 815-997-7106, larry@worldcongress.orgThe Howard Center For Family, Religion and Society and The Family In America: A Journal of Public Policy815-964-5819

ROCKFORD, Ill., Sept. 23, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ -- The World Congress of Families (WCF) extends a warm greeting to Pope Francis on his first visit to America.  We applaud the Pope and the Catholic Church's moral perspective on the important questions of humanity and their endorsement of WCF's mission of goodwill to affirm the natural family as the only fundamental and sustainable unit of society and ordered liberty consistent with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the truths of faith, reason, and natural law.

WCF agrees with the message of Pope Francis that, "The family is important, and it is necessary for the survival of humanity. Without the family, the cultural survival of the human race would be at risk." Furthermore, the Pope says that "The family is the foundation of co-existence and a remedy against social fragmentation.  Children have a right to grow up in a family with a father and a mother capable of creating a suitable environment for the child's development and emotional maturity."

WCF Managing Director, Larry Jacobs, commented, "We welcome Pope Francis's message to America.  The Pope has consistently emphasized that we can't separate and solve the cultural causes of divorce, poverty, abortion, disease, sex-trafficking, starvation, pollution, pornography, consumerism, co-habitation, euthanasia and greed, without first respecting the dignity and sanctity of the natural family and the life of every person from conception to natural death.  In other words, we can't systematically address poverty and climate change without reversing the moral and cultural damage of the "sexual revolution. This is authentic human rights and social justice, rightly understood."

Pope Francis put it this way to world religious leaders gathered at the Vatican for the Humanum conference, "We know that today marriage and the family are in crisis.  This revolution in manners and morals has often flown the flag of freedom," he added, "but in fact it has brought spiritual and material devastation to countless human beings, especially the poorest and most vulnerable."  The crisis in the family has produced an ecological crisis, for social environments like natural environments, need protection. And although the human race has come to understand the need to address conditions that menace our natural environments, we have been slower to recognize that our fragile social environments are under threat as well, slower in our culture, and also in our Catholic Church. It is therefore essential that we foster a new human ecology."

Pope Francis describes this human ecology in his encyclical letter, Laudato Si, "Praise be to you, my Lord," on the theme of "care for our common home."  In this letter on culture, which is more about social issues than about climate change policy as mistaken by the mass media, the Pope writes, "I would stress the great importance of the family, which is the place in which life-the gift of God-can be properly welcomed and protected against the many attacks to which it is exposed, and can develop in accordance with what constitutes authentic human growth. In the face of the so-called culture of death, the family is the heart of the culture of life.  In the family we first learn how to show love and respect for life; we are taught the proper use of things, order and cleanliness, respect for the local ecosystem and care for all creatures."  Furthermore the Pope writes head on against the throwaway culture of death and the tragedy of abortion in the encyclical letter, "Concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion. How can we genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings, however troublesome or inconvenient they may be, if we fail to protect a human embryo, even when its presence is uncomfortable and creates difficulties?"

Furthermore Pope Francis is clear of the definition of marriage and the natural family, "Mistrust and skepticism has led our culture to disregard the marriage covenant between a man and a woman, that covenant which deepens communion and safeguards the dignity of their uniqueness. When the stable and fruitful covenant between a man and a woman is devalued by society, it is a loss for everyone, especially the young."  In a final warning not to change or politicize the family, the Pope warns all of us, "Do not fall into the trap of being swayed by political notion. Family is an anthropological fact - a socially and culturally related fact. We cannot qualify it based on ideological notions or concepts important only at one time in history. We can't think of conservative or progressive notions."

In addition to welcoming the Pope Francis, the World Congress of Families extends warm greetings to everyone participating in the World Meeting of Families (WMOF) in Philadelphia, especially to the hosts and organizers, including Archbishop Charles Chaput and Archbishop Vicenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family.  Since 1994, every three years, we have stood in solidarity with our Catholic brothers and sisters in promoting and participating in the World Meeting of Families and have been praying for great success this year as well.   Many WCF leaders are among the over 18,000 people attending from over 100 countries.  This year's WMOF with the theme, "Love Is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive" began Tuesday and lasts through Sunday.  Visit for more information and a listing of great events.

The World Meeting of Famlies (WMOF -  

    The World Meeting of Families was conceived by Saint Pope John Paul II in 1992 to look at strengthening the sacred bonds of the family unit across the globe. The first WMOF took place in Rome in 1994, the International year of the family.  Every three years since 1994, families from all over the world are invited by the Holy Father to attend this global gathering. At the conference, families share their thoughts, dialogue and prayers, working together to grow as individuals and family units. Families can participate in discussion groups on the Christian family's role in the church and society, led by many distinguished speakers.
The World Congress of Families (WCF -

    The World Congress of Families, located in the heartland of America (Rockford, Illinois), is an international human rights non-governmental and non-religious organization (NGO) with special consultative status at the United Nations (UN).  The WCF consists of a global inter-faith network of pro-life and pro-family organizations, scholars, leaders and people of goodwill from more than 80 countries that seek to affirm and advocate for the natural family as the only fundamental and sustainable unit of ordered liberty and civil society (as found in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948).  The WCF coalition was co-founded in 1995 by Dr. Allan Carlson to dialogue and promote family, faith, and freedom among Western and Eastern cultures and civilizations following the collapse of the Soviet Union.  To date, there have been over 50 WCF regional conferences on five continents and seven official World Congresses of Families - Prague (1997), Geneva (1999), Mexico City (2004), Warsaw (2007), Amsterdam (2009), Madrid (2012) and Sydney (2013). World Congress of Families IX will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah, October 27-30, 2015 (   Previous Catholic leaders from the Vatican and the Pontifical Council for the Family that have spoken at WCF conferences include Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, Cardinal Renato Martino, Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, Cardinal Raymond Burke, and Archbishop Vicenzo Paglia.