World Congress of Families IV
Warsaw, May 11-13, 2007
We the participants of the World Congress of Families IV commit ourselves to protect the Truth about the family, recalling its natural essence as a community of love and life, one bearing inalienable rights as it is written in the Charter of the Family Rights 1
The natural family, creation of God, is the fundamental human community, based on the life long marriage between a man and a woman, in which new individuals are conceived, born, and raised.2
“The future of humanity passes by way of the family3
and “there is no more efficient way for the rebirth of the society than its rebirth through healthy families”4
that are faithful to their conjugal and parental vocations.
Such families bring to the world today:
Faithfulness to the Divine Truth versus relativism;
Real love, being the complete and impartial gift of oneself versus hedonism;
Faithfulness in love throughout life versus lack of responsibility toward those closest to us;
Respect for the life of every human being from conception to natural death versus discrimination against and extermination of the weakest;
Joyful responsibility for every child-to-be, versus fear of the child expressed in the contraceptive mentality;
A moral community in which young generations can grow versus false ideologies propagating demoralization;
And, last but not least, the “springtime” of a civilization of love and life versus “demographic winter.”
We are thankful for all religious communities which affirm these truths. Meeting in Warsaw, the capital of Poland, the motherland of Pope John Paul II, we especially thank God for this Pope’s teachings about the Divine Intention towards marriage and family, love within families, and the protection of life, and for his prayers and suffering offered toward those ends.
And we thank his successor, Pope Benedict XVI, who continues to witness to the Truth about life and the family.
We thank all of those who serve the family and protect it.
We thank every caring family as a real sign of hope in the modern world.
We thank all spouses, fathers, and mothers who keep on loving and caring for each child.
We therefore call for:
Churches and other Religious Communities to proclaim the truth about life, marriage, and the family, affirming the latter as the first community of faith and the school of all vocations.
We call for all governing and political bodies to mainstream the family in public policy as a fundamental and inalienable social good, in order to serve their own nations. We call on them to protect every human being from conception to natural death, to stress the upbringing of children as the fundamental right of parents, to protect young people against demoralization, and to promote economic solutions that provide dignified living conditions to all families. Let the sequel to this call be to proclaim the year 2008 - the Year of the Family.
We call for all academics of good will to place their knowledge at the service of the family.
We ask health professionals to uphold freedom of conscience and to faithfully safeguard human life, especially when it is weakest and most threatened.
We ask journalists to serve the truth, to remain objective, to reveal the real threats and needs of the family, and to offer young people positive values which build sustainable human development.
We ask young people to seek wisdom, to choose life, to preserve their hearts and body, and to grow with a focus on truth and faithful love.
We ask all people of good will to be at one with families and to help them restore hope and bring concrete assistance when difficulties occur. Let us pour special friendship on parents who love their children.
And finally, we who are gathered at the World Congress of Families IV call upon all families in the world to: “Be not afraid!” Let us be as one! Let us be the sign of hope! Let us encourage each other and bring happiness and joy!
Let us inspire hope in all human beings, enabling them to contribute to the “springtime” of Europe and of the world: we commit ourselves to this beautiful task.
1. Charter of the Rights of the Family, presented by the Holy See to all persons,institutions and authorities concerned
with the mission of the family in today's world October 22, 1983
2. The family “is the first and fundamental structure for “human ecology,” in which man receives his first formative ideas about truth and goodness, and learns what it means to love and to be loved.” The family is also the “sanctuary of life,” the place in which life—the gift of God—can be properly welcomed and protected against the many attacks to which it is exposed, and can develop in accordance with what constitutes authentic human growth. In the face of the so-called culture of death, the family is the heart of the culture of life”—(Centesimus annus, 39).
3. (Familiaris consortio, 86).
4. Speech of the Pope JP II in Szczecin, 11 VI 1987.