Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe

Press Release | FAFCE Board gathered in Brussels to promote the Family, ecosystem for cultural life

Brussels, 12 November 2018


The Members of the Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe (FAFCE) gathered last week in Brussels, on 6 and 7 November, for their biannual board meeting. In this framework, a high-level conference took place in the European Parliament, hosted by MEPs Anna Záborská (EPP, Slovakia) and Luigi Morgano (S&D, Italy), in cooperation with the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Union (COMECE), on the occasion of the European Year for Cultural Heritage, focused on the Family: The Ecosystem of Cultural Life in Europe. This conference took place under the high patronages of the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC).

The President of the EESC, Luca Jahier, gave an opening speech, stating that "the family is an important cradle for promoting culture. Being aware of it will ensure that the positive elements of our European cultural heritage are transmitted by parents to their children". The President of COMECE, Archbishop of Luxembourg, Jean-Claude Hollerich, SJ, intervened bringing his recent experience from the Synod on Young People (Vatican City, 3-28 October 2018), referring to the the dreams of young people to form a family and their fears about all the challenges they have to face. The Undersecretary of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, Gabriella Gambino, brought a message from the Prefect, Cardinal Kevin Farrell, and had an inspiring intervention on the Family, as Place of Cultural Transmission. "One of the biggest challenges we face today," she said, "is precisely that of explaining to our children that a family based on a faithful and indissoluble marriage is really our only chance to build a society founded on truth and the common good". Franco Nembrini, author and educator, gave his personal and rich experience of his contacts with young people, underlining the treasure of the common European Christian heritage in building the future. Fr. Olivier Poquillon, OP, COMECE Secretary General, contributed with his final remarks underling his hope that the family could be at the heart of the debates so that the human person can be at the heart of our societies. The Vice-President of FAFCE, Algirdas Petronis, referred to the commitment of Catholic Family Associations for promoting the primary role of parents as the first educators of their children and for asking family friendly policies all over Europe. In this framework he announced the launch of an European Manifesto which will be proposed to all the candidates to the next European Elections (23-26 May 2019). Antoine Renard, President of FAFCE, closed the conference, underling that Europe needs trust, starting to promote a new cultural life from the most basic unit of society: "Politicians need to trust families and the families will trust them". 

The Board meeting of FAFCE followed that inspiring conference, to discuss about the strategy and the future actions of the Federation.

For the first time a member from Slovenia participated in the Board : the Iskreni Institute. The Italian Federation of Kindergardens (Federazione Italiana delle Scuole Materne - FISM) was accepted as a full member of FAFCE. Invited guests also attended this Board meeting from Latvia, The Netherlands and Ukraine.

The FAFCE Board elected the new Bureau for the upcoming three years:

- Antoine Renard (Confédération nationale des Associations familiales catholiques - CNAFC, France) was confirmed as President.

Cornel Barbut (Vladimir Ghika Catholic Family Association, Romania) and Vincenzo Bassi (Forum delle Associazioni familiari, Italy) were elected as Vice-Presidents.

Alfred Trendl (Katholischer Familienverband Österreich - KFÖ, Austria), was elected as Treasurer.

FAFCE will now focus on the upcoming European elections, asking the candidates to commit themselves to put the dignity of the family at the centre of European public policies.


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