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FAFCE Weekly news 30.10.2015


IX World Congress of Families
FAFCE Secretary General, Maria Hildingsson, was invited this week to speak at the IX World Congress of Families, which took place from 27 to 30 October in Salt Lake City (USA). She spoke about “The Family in Europe – Past, Present, Future”. An article will be published on that. For the moment, you can click here for more information on the World Congress of Families.  

Article on the EU Family Values Award
We published an article on the EU Family Values Award received last week. You can read it at this link. The German and French translation will be published soon.

From our Members     

Italy: transcriptions of "same-sex marriages" made by mayors are illegal
"Truth, common sense and legal certainty in the end prevailed": this was the first comment made by Forum delle Associazioni Familiari, our Italian Member, following the ruling of the Council of State, Italy's highest administrative Court, which confirmed that "same-sex marriages" contracted abroad cannot be transcripted by local authorities in civil registers. This quarrel started last year, when several mayors (in Rome, Bologna and other cities) started to "celebrate same-sex marriages" in their municipalities of couples "married" abroad, in order to provoke a reaction of the Government. The Interior Minister, Angelino Alfano, commented the ruling stating : "Last year my circular banning the transcription of gay marriages contracted abroad drew controversy, sometimes even violent aggression and a hail of appeals. Now the Council of State has borne me out entirely: marriage between two people of the same sex is not contemplated under Italian law, therefore the transcriptions made by local mayors are illegal and monitoring is the competence of the prefect. Very good". Click here to read the full Forum's press release andhere to read the ruling of the Council of State (both in Italian).

European Parliament                                                                       

Strasbourg Plenary Session
The Second Part of the October Plenary Session of the European Parliament took place next week in Strasbourg. You may consult the agenda, clicking on this link

Intergroup Fighting Against Poverty in Defence of Human Rights to mark the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
A Public Meeting of the Intergroup Fighting Against Poverty in Defence of Human Rights to mark the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty took place on 21 October, last week, in Brussels.
 Hosted by Sylvie Goulard (ALDE, France), with Mario Monti (past Italian Prime Minister) as keynote speaker and with the participation of the Movement of ATD Quart Monde, the meeting was focused on the impact of globalisation in building a sustainable future. You may find a full report of this meeting on this website (also available in French).

Relaunch of the Human Dignity Working Group
On Wednesday 28 October, during the Plenary Session in Strasbourg, twelve Members of the European Parliament from six different political groups relaunched theParliamentary Working Group on Human Dignity. 
The group, first established in 2009 by Prof. Dr. Hans-Gert Pöttering MEP (EPP, Germany), then President of the European Parliament, will work to put human dignity on the forefront of EU policy making again. The group is now chaired by Bas Belder, MEP (ECR, The Netherlands). Its Vice-Chairs are: Alojz Peterle, MEP, Past Prime Minister, (EPP, Slovenia, signatory of the FAFCE Manifesto), Luigi Morgano, MEP (S&D, also signatory of the FAFCE Manifesto), Marian Harkin (ALDE, Ireland), Daniela Aiuto (EFDD, Italy), Diane Dodds (United Kingdom, NI). Click here to find online the press release on the website of the EPP Vice-Chair, Alojz Peterle. Click here to read an article on the European Post and here for a statement of the European Christian Political Movement (ECPM). FAFCE will follow very closely the activity of this Working Group.  
Council of the European Union

Adoption of the Gender Action Plan 2016-2020 
On 26 October 2015, the Council of the European Union, in a gather of the Members States' Ministers of Foreign Affairs and their representatives, adopted the Conclusions on the Gender Action Plan 2016-2020. Jointly drafted by the European Commission and the European External Action Service, this document will serve as a point of reference of the EU External Action and its Member States in order to help third Countries, especially developing Countries, in order to improve equality between men and women, also in the view of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). FAFCE notes a change of language in the document, which reveals an ideological agenda: indeed, the expression "equality between men and women", enshrined in the Treaties, is almost completely substituted by the more ambiguous "gender parity". In addition, among the objectives of the Action Plan, we also find "empowering women to have control over their sexual and reproductive life", a phrasing which may be interpreted also as a statement in favour of the legalisation of abortion. You may click here to download the full document.

Interreligious General Audience
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the promulgation of the conciliar declaration "Nostra Aetate", His Holiness Francis hold an interreligious General Audience in St. Peter’s Square in Rome on Wednesday, with the participation of different religious leaders from all over the world. The Pope highlighted especially the "significant advances made in relations between Christians and Jews, and in those between Christians and Muslims". Click here for the full English digest of the Pope’s discourse.
Synod on the Family
Last Sunday, the Holy Mass presided over by Pope Francis marked the end the XIV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which was focused on "The Mission and Vocation of the Family in the Church and Contemporary World". In his homily the Pope clarified what this synod was about, starting from saying that "It was about urging everyone to appreciate the importance of the institution of the family and of marriage between a man and a woman, based on unity and indissolubility, and valuing it as the fundamental basis of society and human life". After quoting Blessed Paul VI, Saint John Paul II and Benedict XVI, Francis concluded: "For the Church to conclude the Synod means to return to our true “journeying together” in bringing to every part of the world, to every diocese, to every community and every situation, the light of the Gospel, the embrace of the Church and the support of God’s mercy!" You may find the whole text of this homily clicking here. The translations of the Final Report of the Synod have not been published yet, but you can find the original at this link, in Italian. You may also find others official news on the Holy See Press Office's Communications Channel.

COMECE: Christians and Climate Change: we can do more than we realise
COMECE bishops hold this week their autumn plenary assembly in Paris, "as a sign of their great engagement with the climate change issue". In fact, the negotiations of the UN Climate Summit COP 21 will take place in this city at the end of the year. You may click here to read the latest press release of COMECE. 

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