FAFCE

Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe

Press Release | 30 years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child: our Common responsibility

 

 Brussels, 20 November 2019


On the thirtieth anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), FAFCE recalls the importance of caring for our children, with a special attention on their well-being through an adequate education. In a context of human rights inflation, it is important to recall what children rights cover.


Children’s Rights are Human Rights
Human rights concern every human person, children included. A child has a right to life, to have a mother and a father, who have the responsibility to care for him. Indeed, as our President, Vincenzo Bassi, pointed out, “since most children do not have yet the capacity to exercise their rights, it is the parent responsibility to care for them”. It is therefore impossible to distinguish children rights from family rights, as a child is directly dependent on his parents. For example, child poverty is family poverty. The difference between those two different “rights”- human rights and children rights - is only theorical. In practice, children rights are the family’s responsibility to care for the upbringing of their child, as the first and essential level of community.


Education and Parents’ Responsibility
Consequently, education is first a parent’s responsibility, as recalled by the Article 18 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child: “Parents or, as the case may be, legal guardians, have the primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of the child.” Parents have the primary right to educate their child according to their religious and moral beliefs, including dimensions of human love and related matters concerning the nature of sexuality, marriage and the family.


Recognizing the role of the family to better respect the best interest of the child
In a context of demographic deficit and aging population, children are the future of Europe. Today’s society has the duty to build a safe environment for them to grow in. States and international institutions need to recognize the role of the family and its contribution to the common good. When celebrating children’s rights we cannot avoid to recall our common responsibility for our future.

 

Press Release | FAFCE Board: Call for a European Natality Pact

 Brussels, 10 October 2019

FAFCE Members gathered this week in Brussels, where they adopted a new Resolution for a European Natality Pact (here) and renewed the Bureau, by electing Vincenzo Bassi (Forum delle Famiglie, Italy) as new President and confirming Cornel Barbut (Association of Catholic Families 'Vladimir Ghika', Romania) as Vice-President and Alfred Trendl (Katholischer Familienverband, Austria) as Treasurer. Antoine Renard, outgoing President, was warmly thanked by his generous and fruitful service and has been nominated as Honorary President of FAFCE.

He declared: "We are happy to hand over to our Italian friends the responsability of the FAFCE Presidency, after now 10 years". Antoine Renard took the FAFCE Presidency in 2009, on behalf of the National Confederation of Catholic Families Associations in France (CNAFC). "At this Board Meeting - he said - we saw how our Federation is first and foremost a community where we confront our ideas together, we dialogue, putting into practice ourselves what we ask to the European institutions: to never dissociate subsidiarity and solidarity".

After his election, Vincenzo Bassi declared: "We continue the great work done in all these years, developing it and seizing the great window of opportunities opened with a  portfolio on demography in the new European Commission. The demographic issue is an urgent question for all Countries in Europe and for their development. Our ultimate goal is that everybody, States, societies and EU and international institutions, recognize the role of the family, at the service of the whole society".

FAFCE Board Resolution | Call for a European Natality Pact

 
 

Brussels, 9 October 2019 

The new European Parliament is starting its legislative activities and the Members of the College of the European Commission have started to present their concrete programs. During the last European Elections period FAFCE ran the Vote for the Family Campaign, with a Manifesto titled “Stronger Families for Flourishing Societies”. But we also wrote that manifestos are not enough. We need to commit ourselves, as families, and all the EU policymakers to rebuild relationships and community in Europe.

Recalling FAFCE’s 20th Anniversary Declaration - Families’ are Europe’s Treasure and building block for the future (Rome, 31 May 2017), calling on the Governments of the European States to promote and create family policies at the national level and to promote family friendly EU policies, whilst respecting the principle of subsidiarity;

Recalling its Board Resolution for a Demographic Spring (Vienna, 13 April 2018), asking to put the family at the centre of national policies, so that the demographic winter could become a demographic spring and to shape the future of Europe;

Recalling its Board Resolution on Rebuilding Europe Restarting from the Family (Malta, 15 May 2019), inviting all European families to be protagonists of innovative family policies, considering the family as the generative nucleus which gives life to all sectors of the society, in relation to education, economy and employment;

Considering that Parents, or legal guardians, have the primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of the child (Convention on the Rights of the Child, Art. 18.1) and that the family is the hub for social inclusion and the guarantee of freedom;

our Board, gathered in Brussels, invites all the European decision-makers, to establish an European Natality Pact, ensuring that there are no obstacles in public policies, interfering with the personal commitment of parents and with their wish to develop their family, starting from the following points:

  1. to seriously consider the concrete and legitimate desire of young people to form a family and the fact that this desire is too often prevented by cultural and economic reasons;
  2. to work for a society where families get a fair financial recognition for their service and contribution to society, to ensure that families have supporting infrastructures and enough time together, so that they can realize their desire for children;
  3. when implementing the new Directive on Family-work balance, to take into account specificities of every Member State and to adapt it in order to grant a real freedom of choice for parents. Breastfeeding should be ensured and the bonds of mothers and fathers with their children should be duly recognized;
  4. To encourage the governments to improve their family and demographic policies, which must be considered as social and economic investments for the future of Europe.
 

Press Release | Rebuilding Europe Restarting from the Family

 
 

FAFCE Board Resolution
Mdina, Malta, International Day of the Family, 15 May 2019
 
 
The European Elections are a unique occasion for all families to make their voice heard and to affirm that the family is the first starting point for rebuilding relationships and community in Europe. For that reason, FAFCE ran the Vote for the Family Campaign, with a Manifesto titled “Stronger Families for Flourishing Societies”, which has been proposed to the candidates to the European Elections. The names of the signatories are published from today on http://voteforfamily2019.eu.

Recalling its Board Resolution for a Demographic Spring (Vienna, 13 April 2018), asking to put the family at the centre of national policies, so that the demographic winter could become a demographic spring and to shape the future of Europe;
 

Recalling its 20th Anniversary Declaration - Families’ are Europe’s Treasure and building block for the future (Rome, 31 May 2017), calling on the Governments of the European States to promote and create family policies at the national level and promote family friendly EU policies, whilst respecting the principle of subsidiarity;

Considering that families should grow in awareness of being "protagonists" of what is known as "family politics" and to assume responsibility for transformation of the society (Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio 44, 22 November 1981);

Considering that the family capital is called to impregnate the economic, social and political relationships of the European continent (Speech of Pope Francis to FAFCE, 1st of June 2017);

Considering the COMECE Bishops’ Statement in view of the 2019 European Elections(12 February 2019), stating that the issue of demography has to regain central stage. The subject concerns natality as well as ageing;

our Board, gathered in Malta, one of the very few European Countries still protecting the human dignity of pre-born children, invites with great hope all European families:

 
1. To check the names of the candidates who signed the FAFCE manifesto who have committed themselves to systematically recognize the fundamental role of the family as the basic unit of society and its importance in the development of children.
 
2. To make their voice heard during the upcoming European Elections and to vote in their respective Countries in accordance to their well-formed conscience.
 
3. To make it their own responsibility to become actors of the family policy locally, by taking part in family associations and by raising awareness about the demographic Spring at all levels.
 
4. To be protagonists of innovative family policies, considering the family as the generative nucleus which gives life to all sectors of the society, in relation to education, economy and employment.
 
5. To make their contribution to the European public debate, reminding that the only society capable of a future is the one which respects the human dignity of the person and the family, which takes care of the poor and of the environment.

Happy Easter from FAFCE

Brussels, 20th April 2019

 

2019 04 19 -Angel of the Resurrection Notre-Dame Paris May 2009

Dear friends,

With this message I would like to send you the best wishes for the Easter, from the entire Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe (FAFCE). The events of recent times have deeply affected the spirits of many in Europe, far beyond practicing Christians, and these have in a way prepared us for the celebration of the Resurrection of Our Lord.


The Cathedral of Notre-Dame of Paris, burned for causes still unknown at the beginning of the holy week, shed light on our Christian roots, living roots from which we are called to work for the rebirth of our continent.


The ashes on the Ile de la Cité remind us of the spiritual ashes of Europe. It is urgent to overcome any kind of conformism and distorted secularism. As stated by the Archbishop of Paris, Mgr. Michel Aupetit, "This cathedral was built in the name of Christ. It is a sum of stones inhabited by a spirit. It is not a functional building. Some sculptures are in places you cannot see, it's good for something bigger and more beautiful!".


How to disregard this reality in a Europe in search of meaning? How can one look at the prevailing ignorance of the problems of the family, the poor, the unborn? Catholic Family Associations across Europe are working to bring about a reality-based response. They are not a lobby and do not represent special interests. Catholic Family Associations remind everyone of the fundamental role of the family for the common good.


That is why we are working on the current campaign for the European elections with a manifesto that our members are proposing to all candidates, calling for a natality pact, as we have had the opportunity to announce it in the past months (click here to read it in several languages). The reasons for the current demographic decline cannot be reduced to mere economic and financial analyzes we must admit that the birth rate of our countries reveals a cultural void and an acute form of despair.


On 14 and 15 May, the FAFCE Board will meet in Malta for its spring meeting: from here, ten days before the European elections, we will launch an appeal to all families in Europe and will make known the names of the candidates who will have signed our manifesto (published on http://voteforfamily2019.eu/?language=en).


We can only continue to do this work thanks to the support of the members of our Federation and the generosity of many of you. Expressing our gratitude, we allow ourselves to renew our request for economic support: consider your contribution, small or large, as a contribution to the reconstruction of our continent, for the future of our children.

We especially thank you for your support in prayer, because in the face of spiritual ashes we first need spiritual tools. May the Easter festivities give us zeal to accomplish the mission entrusted to us.


Happy Easter,
Antoine Renard
President

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