DAILY CATHOLIC     MONDAY     October 26, 1998     vol. 9, no. 209

from a CATHOLIC perspective

To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO


          VATICAN CITY (CWNews.com) - Pope John Paul II invited the politicians and European legislators now meeting in Rome at the initiative of the Pontifical Council for the Family, "to recognize and strengthen the matrimonial institution" by adequate legislation.

          "It is essential that those who make the destinies of nations recognize and strengthen the matrimonial institution; indeed, marriage has specific legal rights and duties on behalf of the couple, one with respect to the other and with regard to the children, and the role of the families in society, which they are perennially assured is of primary importance," said the Pope.

          He insisted on educational and social factors. "The family supports the socialization of young people and contributes to stemming the phenomena of violence, by the transmission of values as well as the experience of fraternity and the solidarity which makes it possible to live out each day."

          The Pontiff distinguished the benefits and duties of traditional marriage from those of society in general and other forms of union. "In the search for legitimate solutions for modern society, it cannot be put on the same plane as simple associations or unions, and those cannot profit from the particular rights related exclusively to protection of the marital promise and the family, based on marriage, as a community of life and stable love, fruit of the total and faithful gift of the couple, open to life," he said.

          He launches a call to the legislators in this area. "From the point of view of the responsibilities of civil society, it is important that they be able to create the conditions necessary to the specific nature of marriage, its stability and the openness to the gift of life. Indeed, while respecting the legitimate freedoms of people, legalizing other forms of relations between people, making them equivalent to marriage, is a serious decision which can only damage the marital and family institution."

          "In the long run, it would be detrimental to have laws founded, not on principles of natural law, but on the arbitrary will of the person giving the same legal status to various forms of common life, creating great confusion."

          He stressed that choices must be founded on moral and anthropological values and not on he technical progress "which is not in itself not a criterion of morality nor a criterion of legality." He called on the history of this century as a witness. "During this century," warned the pope, "we could observe on several occasions in Europe that, when values are denied, public decisions can only oppress Man and the people."

Articles provided through Catholic World News Service.
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October 26, 1998       volume 9, no. 209


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