Misunderstood "Rights" a Threat to Families, Says Pope

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 9, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II said the family is threatened by an erroneous understanding of rights, and he appealed for social and financial help for this primary institution.

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«The central role of the family is threatened today, according to the opinion of many people, by a misunderstood sense of rights,» the Pope said today when receiving the letters of credence of Giuseppe Balboni Acqua, the new Italian ambassador to the Holy See.

It is «the task of those in power to promote laws that favor its vitality,» the Holy Father said. «The family expects aid of a social and financial nature that is necessary for the development of its mission.»

The family is «called to carry out an important educational function, forming mature and enriched persons by moral and spiritual values, who will be able to live as good citizens,» he added.

«It is important that the state give aid to the family, without ever suffocating the freedom of the parents’ educational choice, based on their inalienable rights and efforts, to consolidate the family nucleus,» the Holy Father concluded.

For years, the Pope and Italian bishops have appealed for public aid for Italian private schools, which are among the least subsidized in Europe.

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