Church in Asia Focuses on Family Life

Conclusion of Plenary Assembly of Federation of Episcopates

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DAEJON, South Korea, AUG. 24, 2004 (ZENIT.orgAvvenire).- The plenary assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences concluded with a strong appeal to defend and promote family values.

«The Asian Family Towards a Culture of Life» was the theme of the FABC assembly that gathered 189 delegates and envoys, including 92 bishops, including six cardinals, and some 100 priests, religious and lay people. The assembly ended Monday.

The meeting of the Asian Church was also attended by two Vatican representatives: Cardinal Stephen Fumio Hamao, president of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers; and Archbishop Robert Sarah, secretary of the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

In his opening address Archbishop Sarah told the Asian pastors that «the family must be considered the starting point of every human and Christian experience.»

«Precisely in homes, in families, we learn to talk about God, about Christ, and about the Spirit. Without families, the faith and moral values have no roots,» the prelate said.

The archbishop also stressed the importance of preserving the traditional values of marriage and the family, starting with the experiences and cultures of the peoples of Africa and Asia. In fact, it is a heritage that is going through an acute crisis in the West, he said.

In industrialized countries, in fact, «lawmakers ignore how essential the unity of the family is for the well-being of society,» noted Archbishop Sarah. A working document at the assembly urged bishops to promote the family through «the birth of a culture of life.»

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