Pope Francis Warns Families of "..the scourge of pornography, which is now spread everywhere through the Internet: it must be denounced as a permanent attack..."

Clementina room
Friday, June 10, 2022
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning and welcome!
I thank the President for his greeting and his introduction. This meeting is a jubilee one: you are celebrating 25 years, and it is good to celebrate and give thanks. Unfortunately, at this moment Europe, and I would say especially families in Europe, are experiencing a moment that is tragic for many and dramatic for all because of the war in Ukraine. I agree with your statement: “Mothers and fathers, regardless of their nationality, do not want war. The family is the school of peace ”(FAFCE Presidency Council, 6 May 2022). Families and family networks have been and are at the forefront of welcoming refugees, especially in Lithuania, Poland and Hungary.
In your daily commitment to families, you perform a twofold service: bring their voice to the European institutions and work to form networks of families across Europe. This mission is in full harmony with the synodal path we are experiencing, to ensure that the Church becomes more of a family of families.
I thank you for the seminar that you have organized in collaboration with the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, focused on witnessing the beauty of the family. Anticipating the World Meeting of Families by a few days, he draws attention to the shortage of births in Europe and especially in Italy. This demographic winter is severe; please be careful! It is very serious. There is a very close link between this generative poverty and the sense of the beauty of the family: "The witness of the social dignity of marriage will become persuasive precisely in this way, the way of witness that attracts" (Catechesis, April 29, 2015).
By renewing the exhortation I addressed to you five years ago (1 June 2017), I encourage you to continue your work to encourage the creation and consolidation of family networks. It is a precious service, because there is a need for places, meetings, communities where couples and families feel welcomed, accompanied, never alone. It is urgent that the local Churches, in Europe and beyond, open up to the action of the laity and families who accompany families.
We live - this is clear - not only an era of change, but a change of era. Your work takes place in this change, which can sometimes lead to the risk of becoming discouraged. But, with the grace of God, we are called to work with hope and trust, in effective communion with the Church. In this regard, recent examples are the Memorandum of Understanding signed last year by your Federation with the Council of European Bishops' Conferences and for cooperation with the Commission of the Episcopates of the European Union, in whose offices in Brussels it is your general secretariat is located.
The challenges are great and they are all connected to each other. For example, "we cannot speak of sustainable development without solidarity between generations" (Enc. Laudato si ', 159), and this solidarity presupposes a balance; but it is precisely this balance that is lacking in our Europe today. An aging Europe that is not generative is a Europe that cannot afford to talk about sustainability and is increasingly struggling to be in solidarity. For this reason, you often stress that family policies should not be considered as instruments of state power, but are founded primarily in the interest of the families themselves. States have the task of eliminating obstacles to the generativity of families and of recognizing that the family is a common good to be rewarded, with natural positive consequences for all.
Furthermore, as a recent Resolution of yours recalls, “having children must never be considered a lack of responsibility towards creation or its natural resources. The concept of "ecological footprint" cannot be applied to children, as they are an indispensable resource for the future. Instead, consumerism and individualism must be addressed, looking at families as the best example of resource optimization "(FAFCE, Families for sustainable and integral development, 26 October 2021).
We are also talking about the scourge of pornography, which is now spread everywhere through the Internet: it must be denounced as a permanent attack on the dignity of men and women. It is a question not only of protecting children - an urgent task of the authorities and of all of us - but also of declaring pornography as a threat to public health. "It would be a serious illusion to think that a society in which the abnormal consumption of sex in the network is rampant among adults is then capable of effectively protecting minors" (Speech to the participants in the Congress "Child Dignity in the Digital World", October 6, 2017) . Networks of families, in cooperation with schools and local communities, are essential to prevent, to fight this scourge, healing the wounds of those in the vortex of addiction.
The dignity of men and women is also threatened by the inhuman and increasingly widespread practice of the "rented womb", in which women, almost always poor, are exploited, and children are treated as commodities.
Your Federation also has its own responsibility in giving witness to unity and working for a peace that is the great peace, in this historical moment in which, unfortunately, there are many threats and it is necessary to focus on what unites and not on what divides. . In this regard, I am grateful to you because in the last five years your Federation has welcomed ten new family organizations and four new European countries, including Ukraine.
Finally - and this is perhaps the challenge behind all the others - the pandemic has highlighted another, more hidden pandemic, of which little is said: the pandemic of loneliness. If many families have rediscovered themselves as domestic Churches, it is also true that too many families have experienced loneliness, and their relationship with the Sacraments has often become purely virtual. Family networks are an antidote to loneliness. In fact, by their very nature, they are called not to leave anyone behind, in communion with the pastors and local Churches.
"The mutual love between man and woman is a reflection of the absolute and unfailing love with which God loves the human being, destined to be fruitful and to be fulfilled in the common work of social order and the care of creation" ( To participants in the Plenary of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, April 29, 2022). The family founded on marriage is therefore at the center. It is the first cell of our communities and must be recognized as such, in its generative, unique and indispensable function. Not because it is an ideal and perfect entity, not because it is an ideological model, but because it represents the natural place of first relationships and generation: "When the family welcomes and goes out to meet others, especially the poor and abandoned, it is a symbol , witness, participation in the motherhood of the Church "(Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, 324).
Dear brothers and sisters, go forward in your service! Make sure that the organization is all about service, as "light" as possible and ready to respond to the needs of the Gospel. The Lord bless you and Our Lady keep you. I bless you all from my heart, and I ask you to please pray for me. Thank you!
Source: Vatican.va - Image Screenshot