THE continuing strength of many traditional families around the world and the longing of many people to have such a family demonstrate that “despite past or even current challenges, the family, in fact, is the fundamental unit of human society”, the Vatican observer to United Nations agencies in Geneva said.
Addressing the UN Human Rights Council on June 24, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi said the family “continually exhibits a vigour much greater than that of the many forces that have tried to eliminate it as a relic of the past or an obstacle to the emancipation of the individual or to the creation of a freer, egalitarian and happy society”.
Speaking just two days before the Vatican was to release the working document for October’s extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family, the archbishop emphasised how important traditional families were for the development of the individual and for community development efforts.
Debates about “the nature and definition of the family” at the Human Rights Council and other UN agencies often gave the impression that “the family is more of a problem than a resource to society”, the archbishop said.
Yet “most people find unique protection, nurture and dynamic energy from their membership in a strong and healthy family founded upon marriage between a man and a woman”.