Family Is Facing "Dehumanizing Threats," Says Pope

Appeals to Heads of Government and Politicians to Come to Its Defense

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 13, 2003 ( John Paul II said the family is being subjected to «dehumanizing threats» and he appealed to heads of government and politicians to support the fundamental cell of society.

Otherwise, «there is a risk of paying a high social cost,» which will fall, especially, on «future generations, victims of a harmful and confused mentality, as well as styles of life that are not worthy of man,» the Pope added.

The Holy Father presented his analysis and proposal today when he met with participants in the congress of the presidents of European bishops’ commissions for the family and life, organized in Rome by the Pontifical Council for the Family.

«Today the very identity of the family is subjected to dehumanizing threats,» the Pope said at the start of his address, in response to the greeting addressed to him by Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo, president of the pontifical council.

«Fallacious alternatives are arising everywhere in the world that do not recognize the family as a precious and necessary good for the social fabric,» the Holy Father continued.

Mentalities are spreading that favor «divorce, contraception, abortion, denying in fact the authentic sentiment of love and attempting, in the last analysis, against human life, by not recognizing the human being’s full right to life,» he added.

According to the Pope, a root of the problem is the «worrying fragility, which is ever greater when one is not prepared to assume one’s responsibilities, in an attitude of total mutual self-giving and authentic love.»

Notwithstanding «the attacks against the family and human life,» he said, «there are numerous families that continue to be faithful, despite the difficulties, to their human and Christian vocation.»

These families «react in face of the attacks of a certain contemporary hedonist and materialist culture, and are organizing themselves to offer together a response full of hope,» as reflected in the growth of pro-life movements.

For this reason, the Holy Father renewed his invitation «to leaders of nations and lawmakers to fully assume their commitment in defense of the family and to favor the culture of life.»

As a guideline, the Pope suggested they apply the «Charter of the Rights of the Family,» which the Holy See published 20 years ago.

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