Vatican City, 5 December 2014 (VIS) – “The future of humanity depends upon the family, and it is therefore necessary to allow it to play its role”, writes the Pope in his message to the participants in the Festival of the Family, taking place in Riva del Garda, Italy, on the theme “The Life and Work Ecosystem”. “But”, he adds, “it is not enough to reiterate the importance of the family and to affirm its rights: it is necessary to consider how the tasks of the family and of society can be structured in real terms, especially with regard to the relationship between professional life and family life”.
The family has its own mission, in the service of its members, its development, and life; it has rights and therefore needs support and guarantees to be able to exercise them. On the other hand, the family also has a duty to society; it must offer its collaboration in the service of the community. It is a privileged environment for the harmonious practice of solidarity and subsidiarity, or rather a synergy between public and private, enterprise and families. Precisely on account of the effort and responsibility required to raise and educate children, families need appropriate assistance from public agencies and companies, in the context of mutual collaboration. The worrying demographic trend requires an extraordinary and courageous strategy, on the part of all interested parties, in favour of families. This may also give rise to an economic recovery for the country. In this regard, the crisis of unemployment, especially amongst the young, must be addressed and resolved”.
The Pope goes on to speak about policy in relation to families, the social and legal status of the family in general, the assistance that should be offered to those who are materially or morally disadvantaged, and the attention that should be given to female work. “We must ensure that women are not, for economic reasons, compelled to undertake too heavy a burden or accept excessive working hours, which are then added to all their responsibilities in housekeeping and raising children. But above all, it is necessary to recognise that women's work, at all levels of family life, also constitutes an unparalleled contribution to the family and the future of society”.