Family institution under attack, says Vatican document

A new Vatican document says gay rights couples, feminists and couples who use natural family planning to have only one or two children are threatening the traditional model of the family.

Catholic News Service reports that the document, "Family and Human Procreation," was released yesterday in Italian and was issued to mark the 25th anniversary of the Council's establishment.

"Never before has the natural institution of matrimony and family been victim of such violent attacks," said the document, signed by Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, Council President.

The Cardinal said "radical currents" are not simply promoting acceptance of new models of the family, but actually are proposing them as positive alternatives to the family based on the marriage of a man and a woman open to having children.

"Couples formed by homosexuals claim the same rights reserved to a husband and wife; they even claim the right to adoption," he said. "Women who live in a lesbian union claim analogous rights, calling for laws that give them access" to artificial insemination and fertilisation.

While the equal dignity of men and women must be affirmed, the document said, feminism has contributed to the problem by trying to "free women from masculine oppression and from the family."

The document called for greater church efforts to educate married couples in responsible parenthood, which is not simply refusing to use artificial means of birth control.

When for the good of the entire family it is best to avoid having another child, couples can abstain from sexual intercourse during fertile periods to avoid a pregnancy, it said.

However, using natural family planning to have only one or a maximum of two children "is nothing other than a kind of series of brief parentheses within an entire conjugal life willingly made sterile," it said.

Vatican criticizes couples in marriages 'willingly made sterile' (Catholic News Service 6/6/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Pontifical Council for the Family
Fifth World Meeting of Families
Harvest Pilgrimates | World Meeting of the Holy Father with Families
Bishops' Committee for the Family and for Life (recently renamed Bishops Commission for Pastoral Life)
Letter of His Holiness Benedict XVI to the participants in the Fifth World Meeting of Families

Bishops urging parishes to join World Meeting of Families celebration (CathNews 31/5/06)
Pope to travel to Spain for July Families meeting (CathNews 17/5/06)
Bishops announce delegates to World Meeting of Families (CathNews 24/3/06)

Civil union partnerships: Vatican -destabilise the family (AGI Onlnie 6/6/06)
Document on the family and human procreation (Vatican Information Service 6/6/06 - temporary url)
Gay marriage is "eclipse of God" -Vatican (Reuters 6/6/06)
Cardinal says marriage amendment an opportunity not to be squandered (Catholic News Service 5/6/06)
Pope says youth need to know church does not stifle a couple's love (Catholic News Service 6/6/06)
New Vatican document reiterates marriage as the only appropriate place for human procreation (Catholic News Agency 6/6/06)
New Vatican summary of teachings on sexuality (Catholic World News 6/6/06)
Vatican Issues Sweeping Condemnations (The Guardian/Associated Press 6/6/06)

7 Jun 2006