VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 10, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II appointed seven married couples as members of the Pontifical Council for the Family, as well as six consultors, including a co-founder of Catholic Familyland in Ohio.
The Vatican press office announced that the new consultors of the council are:
— American Jerry Coniker, co-founder with his now-deceased wife, Gwen, of the Apostolate for Family Consecration, as well as of Catholic Familyland in southern Ohio, and more recently Familyland Television Network. John Paul II appointed Jerry and Gwen Coniker members of this pontifical council in 1999.
— John Michael Klink, adviser to the Holy See’s mission to the United Nations for many years and participant in numerous international conferences. He has U.S. and Irish citizenship.
— Spaniard José Luis Mendoza, founder and president of the Catholic University of St. Anthony of Murcia, Spain, father of 14, and member of the Neocatechumenal Way.
— Polish psychiatrist Wanda Poltawska. Cardinal Karol Wojtyla asked Padre Pio of Pietrelcina for prayers for this friend of his, who was suffering from cancer of the throat, and who was cured. Today she is a professor of pastoral medicine at the Pontifical Academy of Krakow.
— Madrid parish priest Santiago Martín, author of some 20 books, a press and television journalist, and founder of the Franciscans of Mary.
— Andrzej Poltawski, considered one of the leading experts in phenomenology. The philosopher was influenced in his thought by Ingarden, Henri Ey and Karol Wojtyla.
The Pope also named several married couples as members of the Pontifical Council for the Family. They are:
— Alberto and Ana Friso, Italians, central vice directors of New Families, an initiative that arose within the Focolare Movement.
— Richard and Patricia Lahood of the United States;
— Simao Cirineu dos Santos and Ana Maria Duarte dos Santos of Brazil;
— Guillermo Aduriz Salgado and Graciela Berro Quartino of Argentina;
— Enrique Gomez Serrano and Marta Olavarrieta of Mexico;
— André Belzile and Guylaine Morin of Canada;
— Bienvenu Pitta and Nelly Mayimbi of Congo;
— Stefano Stampacchia and Oriana Maria Bianchi Stampacchia of Italy.
At the same time, the Pope named as a member of the council’s executive committee Bishop Josef Clemens, secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, who for years was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s secretary.
As established in the 1988 apostolic constitution “Pastor Bonus,” the Pontifical Council for the Family “promotes the pastoral care of families and foments their rights and dignity in the Church and in civil society, so that they will be able to fulfill their function ever more effectively.”
The council’s president, Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo, is assisted by an executive committee, composed of bishops, as well as by a council which in the main includes lay people.