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Meeting with the Apostolic Nuncio to the European Union

This week in Brussels FAFCE Secretary General, Maria Hildingsson, and the Policy Officer, Nicola Speranza, had a meeting with the Apostolic Nuncio to the European Union, Archbishop Alain Lebeaupin. They had an extensive exchange of views on several issues, such as the challenges for the family today, the integration of immigrants in Europe and the crisis of the European Union.

The Pontifical Council for the Family speaks about our Board Meeting
In its last Newsletter the Pontifical Council for the Family dedicated an article to our Board Meeting. You can find it in English, Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese.

Council of Europe
Surrogacy Report to be debated at the next Social Affairs Committee Meeting, in Paris on the 2nd of June 2016
Last week, during the PACE Session, the Social Affairs Committee had two exchanges of views in order to decide on how continuing to work on the issue of surrogacy. The current Rapporteur, Petra De Sutter (Socialists, Belgium), informed the Committee that she wants to keep this role: according to the interpretation of the rules of procedure given by the Secretary General of the Assembly, Wojciech Sawicki, this means that she remains the only owner of the procedure, until the end of the mandate, on the 3rd of October. Mr Sawicki came at the Committee meeting yesterday with the purpose of clarifying these points of the rules, which were not clear for none of the Members and which can be the object of a subjective interpretation. According to the official interpretation given by the Secretary General, the Rapporteur is now free to resign, but also to work for a new report. In any case, the Rapporteur will always need the approval of the majority of the Committee to complete the procedure or to postpone the deadline of the mandate. The clear risk is that the Rapporteur will seek the approval of the Committee on a compromised version of the rejected report, with a partial acceptance of surrogacy. The important news is that FAFCE is starting to inform the Members of the Committee about the possibility given by the Rules of Procedure of the Assembly (Rule 26,4) to refer the mandate on this dossier to the Assembly, which is enabled to stop the whole procedure before the 3rd of October. We will continue to follow this complex dossier and will keep you informed.

Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia: presentation to Diplomatic Body to the Holy See
More than fifty ambassadors accredited to the Holy See and twenty representatives of non-governmental organizations were among the 110 people present, on Tuesday, 19 April, in Rome, at the presentation of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, promoted by the Working Group of Catholic NGOs at the UN headquarters in Geneva in collaboration with the Pontifical Council for the Family. Archbishop Ivan Jurkovič, Holy See's Permanent Observer to the United Nations in Geneva, intervened with a speech on "The Advocacy Activity at the UN on the Protection of the Family"; presenting the Apostolic Exhortation he also said: "The present practical mistrust over the notion of family results directly from two trends: the first has been the push for so -called "sexual and reproductive rights"; the second is the evolution of practice and law in relation to marriage and family. The ongoing battle for legal recognition of free and same sex unions in UN texts has resulted in making the use of the word family a conflicting term that parties are keen to avoid in policy making. (...) In relation to this new trend, the Holy See Mission to the UN in Geneva regularly promotes the natural definition of the family by recalling in interventions and negotiations that the redefinition of the family is in opposition to unchanging nature and dignity of the human person and that marriage is a lifelong, exclusive relationship between one man and one woman which is open to the creation and care of new human lives". He then referred to Human Rights Council Resolution 29/L25 on the Protection of the Family which also FAFCE promoted at the UN. We invite you to download and read the whole intervention of Mgr. Jurkovic at this link.

Pope Francis' General Audience
On Wednesday 27 April Pope Francis held his Weekly General Audience in Saint Peter's Square in Rome, having a catecheses focused on the parable of the Good Samaritan. Click here for the English digest of his catechesis.


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