Pontifical Council for the Family


Pontifical Council for the Family

The Pontifical Council for the Family is part of the Curia of the Roman Catholic Church. It was established by Pope John Paul II on May 9, 1981 with the Motu Proprio "Familia a Deo Instituta" and substituted for the Committee for the Family of Pope Paul VI, which had been established in 1973. The Council "promotes the pastoral care of families, protects their rights and dignity in the Church and in civil society, so that they may ever be more able to fulfill their duties." [ [http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_constitutions/documents/hf_jp-ii_apc_19880628_pastor-bonus-roman-curia_en.html Apostolic Constitution "Pastor Bonus"] , art. 139.]

The Council "works for a deeper understanding of the Church’s teaching"; "encourages studies in the spirituality of marriage and the family"; [ [http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_constitutions/documents/hf_jp-ii_apc_19880628_pastor-bonus-roman-curia_en.html Apostolic Constitution "Pastor Bonus"] , art. 141 — § 1.] works "to ensure the accurate recognition of the human and social conditions of the family institution everywhere"; [ [http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_constitutions/documents/hf_jp-ii_apc_19880628_pastor-bonus-roman-curia_en.html Apostolic Constitution "Pastor Bonus"] , art. 141 — § 2.] and "strives to ensure that the rights of the family be acknowledged and defended even in the social and political realm" and "supports and coordinates initiatives to protect human life from the first moment of conception and to encourage responsible procreation." [ [http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_constitutions/documents/hf_jp-ii_apc_19880628_pastor-bonus-roman-curia_en.html Apostolic Constitution "Pastor Bonus"] , art. 141 — § 3.] More particularly, the Council "promotes and coordinates pastoral efforts related to the issue of responsible procreation, and encourages, sustains and coordinates initiatives in defense of human life in all stages of its existence, from conception to natural death." [ [http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/family/documents/rc_pc_family_pro_20051996_en.html The Pontifical Council for the Family] .]

Among the significant documents issued by the Council are [http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/family/documents/rc_pc_family_doc_08121995_human-sexuality_en.html "The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality"] (1995) providing guidelines for education within the family; [http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/family/documents/rc_pc_family_doc_12021997_vademecum_en.html "Vademecum for Confessors Concerning Some Aspects of the Morality of Conjugal Life"] (1997) reaffirming the illicit nature of contraceptive acts; and [http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/family/documents/rc_pc_family_doc_29041998_fecondita_en.html "Declaration on the Decrease of Fertility in the World"] (1998) observing declining demographic trends.

The president of the council was Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo, until his death on April 19, 2008. The presidency of the council will remain vacant until his replacement is appointed by the pope. The council's secretary is Bishop Karl Josef Romer. There is also an under-secretary. In addition to its advisory board of bishops, members of the Council include laypeople, especially married laypeople "from all over the world." [ [http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_constitutions/documents/hf_jp-ii_apc_19880628_pastor-bonus-roman-curia_en.html Apostolic Constitution "Pastor Bonus"] , art. 140.] The Council has a Presidential Committee with 15 cardinals, 12 archbishops and bishops, 19 married couples, 39 consultors, and a staff of 10. The Council's consultors include laypeople such as moral theologian Janet E. Smith, [ [http://www.aodonline.org/SHMS/Faculty+5819/Janet+Smith+9260/Dr.+Janet+Smith+-+Welcome.htm Sacred Heart Major Seminary Biography of Janet E. Smith] .] Christendom College President Timothy T. O'Donnell, [ [http://www.christendom.edu/news/archives/archives03/odonnell.shtml "Pope Appoints O'Donnell as Consultor to Pontifical Councel] , Christendom College News and Events, January 8, 2003.] Carl A. Anderson, the Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus; José Luis Mendoza, president of the Catholic University of St. Anthony [http://www.ucam.edu/index1024.htm] , of Murcia, Spain, and father of 14, [ [http://www.zenit.org/english/visualizza.phtml?sid=62372 "Church's Stance Doesn't Stifle Sexuality, Says University Chief,"] , Zenit News Agency, November 22, 2004.] and Jerry Coniker, co-founder of the Apostolate for Family Consecration and Catholic Familyland. [ [http://www.zenit.org/english/visualizza.phtml?sid=58703 "Familyland Co-Founder Named Consultor for Pontifical Council"] , Zenit News Agency, September 19, 2004.]

The Council has published the quarterly Review [http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/family/documents/rc_pc_family_doc_20031217_review-FV_it.html "Familia et Vita"] since 1994. It organizes the World Meetings of Families, convened in Rome in 1994, in Rio de Janeiro in 1997, Rome again in 2000, Manila, The Philippines, in 2003, Valencia, Spain, in 2006, and scheduled for Mexico City, Mexico, in 2009.

The Council is based in the Palazzo San Calisto, in Piazza San Calisto, Rome. On 6 May 2006 Cardinals Carlo Caffarra and Nicolas Cheong Jin-Suk were named members of the Congregation. [ [http://www.zenit.org/english/visualizza.phtml?sid=88640 "New Cardinals Get Curial Assignments"] , Zenit News Agency, May 7, 2006.]

On June 6, 2006, the Council published a document entitled "Family and Human Procreation" [ [http://www.zenit.org/english/visualizza.phtml?sid=90448 Document Deals With "Family and Procreation" Echoes Teachings of "Humanae Vitae"] , Zenit News Agency, June 6, 2006.] noting that "Never before has the natural institution of marriage and the family been the victim of such violent attacks."

Presidents of the Pontifical Council for the Family

*Maurice Cardinal Roy (11 Jan 1973 - 16 Dec 1976)
*Edouard Cardinal Gagnon (1974 - 8 Nov 1990)
*Alfonso Cardinal López Trujillo (8 Nov 1990 - 19 Apr 2008)
*Ennio Cardinal Antonelli (since 7 Jun 2008)

References

External links

* [http://www.priestsforlife.org/magisterium/PCF/pcfintrobrochure.html Priests for Life overview of the Pontifcal Council for the Family]
* [http://www.gcatholic.com/dioceses/romancuria/d17.htm Giga-Catholic Information]


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