26 April 2018
Dicastery

Challenges of the Family in the 21st century

The Secretary, Fr. Awi Mello, to the jurists gathered at San Calisto: “Justice necessary in the family’s internal and external relations”

“I hope that these days of reflection among jurists of the highest international level may constitute the basis for creating the context of justice, both within family relationships and outside the family, necessary for the protection and defense of the original and deep bonds that structure every human being’s identity instead of supporting individual self-referential desires, which tend to destroy bonds and create solitude within our societies.” Fr. Alexandre Awi Mello, our Dicastery’s Secretary, addressed this wish to the jurists gathered at San Calisto for the first Italian-Portuguese-Brazilian International Congress, which dealt with the theme “Challenges of the Family in the 21st Century”

“Today, there are dimensions of the family—said Fr. Awi—that are insistently overwhelmed by the social and legal transformations taking place” while, “on many fronts affecting the family, a kind of ‘free finding of rights’—both by the legislator and by court judges—with juridical, reductive, and procedural reasoning that disanchors decisions concerning the family from the ‘principles of law’ in order to adhere as much as possible to new ethical sensibilities and new social needs. The possibility of having the judges intervene to overcome what are perceived as limits imposed by legislation and to reinterpret constitutional values and principles that make individual requests and wishes prevail—that the system as a whole would not admit—is, nevertheless, proving to be a dangerous factor of legal uncertainty and social instability.”

Finally, the Secretary underlined that “a man comes into the world as a son,” and “each of us can feel loved by a Father, in that family where our roots and our human and Christian identity are fixed.”