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Asian Assembly focuses on family life

The Catholic Bishops of Asia have resolved to help families buffeted by rapidly changing value systems, with pastoral programs that form and empower families.

A special set of reports published by the National Catholic Reporter says that the outline of their plan is in the statement they issued on Monday, at the end of their weeklong plenary assembly in Korea.

The final statement lamented that families "face the impact of the means of social communication and coercive population programs on family values".

The 8th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences included about 250 Asian church leaders, lay, clergy and religious.

The statement cited the spread of HIV/AIDS, illegal drugs, and pornography as factors that have harmed families, especially the youth, whom it described as the "most vulnerable".

"The rise of marital divorce and break-up signals the dwindling cohesion of the family," it said. "Abortion and other attempts to manipulate human life present a severe problem."

The bishops regretted that a "contraceptive mentality" is "undermining genuine conjugal love", and that the oppression of women and children is continuing.

"Values that have served as foundations of the family are vanishing at an alarming rate, one result being the diminishing number of vocations in some countries. We cannot also ignore the complex situation of families with single, separated, or remarried parents and the effects on the children. We unite ourselves with you, Asian families as you courageously struggle with these difficult issues."

Special Report: The Church in Asia (National Catholic Reporter)

Final message of bishops | Final statement of assembly
A culture of life: a mission for both Church and family in Asia ( 25/8/04)
Bishops' Assembly on family nears end ( 23/8/04)
The Holy Family of Nazareth: a role model for refugees and the poor ( 21/8/04)
New Prime Minister Lee promises government funds for couples who want more children ( 26/8/04)
Church in Asia Focuses on Family Life
Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences
Family in Communication: Communication in the Family (Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences, Office of Social Communication, 2004)

27 Aug 2004