On Thursday the 5th of November, our President, His Excellency, the Most Rev. Vincenzo Paglia, spoke on the family and human development at the Budapest Demographic Forum, entitled “Families in the Focus”. Immediately after he delivered a special Message from His Holiness, Pope Francis, His Excellency then gave his formal address to all participants, including eminent civic and ecclesiastical authorities, such as the Right Honorable, Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungry, parliamentarians from various European countries, the European Union and the Council of Europe, and representatives from Ecclesial Communions and Churches, including His Eminence, Cardinal Péter Erdő, Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest. Similarly, on Friday the 6th of November, Msgr. Carlos Simon Vazquez, our Undersecretary, also delivered a lecture to such distinguished participants on the subject of the family as a resource for society.
His Excellency recalled Vatican II’s vision of the family, as a “school of deeper humanity” (GS, n.52), pointing out that, as the natural institution of the family constitutes the most unique place for the maximum human empowerment of each person within our society, the question of promoting family mainstreaming policies translates into the best investment for the regeneration of human and social capital. At the heart of multiple social problems, said our President, lies the exaltation of the individual, whose rights often prevail over those of the family. But His Excellency underlined: wherever the family becomes weakened, so too, is society undermined. Moreover, both our President and Undersecretary declared that the family is not a burden for the individual, but the place where each person is offered the best potential for human development and self-realization. The family is the most privileged resourceful reality that empowers its members to mature and advance in life, enabling them to offer, in turn, productive service and loving care to family members and citizens alike.
Speaking of the empirical research promoted by our Council, and conducted in Argentina, Brasil, Chile, USA, Spain, Italy, Poland, and Mexico, His Excellency and Msgr. Simon Vazquez pointed out that families composed of married parents and, at least, two children, proved to be preeminently productive for human and social well-being. Contrarily, they declared, the scientific research clearly illustrated that people who came from a different family background tended not to enjoy the same level of emotional and material stability. With significantly better chances of avoiding scholastic failure, psychological or physical illness, as well as social-policies dependency, the family unit - affirmed our President and Undersecretary - comprised of married parents and children, needs greater promotion in culture, law and social policies, so as to encourage citizens to choose this domestic form of life for their higher material and human good, as well as the common good of society at large.