MANILA, May 21, 2014 — The Bishop emeritus of Novaliches describes the deeply intertwined connection between the Christian family and the Church, saying that the Church is strong when the family is strong.
“As the Christian family goes, so goes the Church. If the Christian family is strong, the Church will be strong. If the Christian family is weak, the Church will be weak,” said Bishop Teodoro Bacani, Jr. in his exhortation during the recently-concluded Asian Conference on the Family (ACF).
He also underscored the vital role played by the human family as the basic unit of society “where different generations come together and help one another to grow in human wisdom and to harmonize the rights of individuals with other demands of social life.”
“We, in the Church, should especially protect and foster the Christian family because it is the basic unit of the Church, the domestic Church, the Church in the home,” Bacani said last May 16 at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Manila.
Bacani also urged government leaders and lawmakers to take into consideration the rights of the family whenever they formulate policies and legislations for the improvement of the country.
“We urge governments to consider seriously the Charter on the Rights of the Family in the formulation of policies affecting the family,” he said. “We pledge ourselves to encourage dialogue with our respective governments on matters affecting the family.”
He called on the lay faithful, church and government leaders to protect the human family by safeguarding the right to life, protecting the sanctity of marriage, and battling influences of liberal and moral relativism.
‘Tsunami of evils’
The bishop lambasted social institutions that “promote contraception, abortion, sterilization, coercive population control, divorce, same-sex marriages and euthanasia” because they “destroy families which they are duty-bound to protect and foster.”
As a response to the “tsunami of evils” hounding the human family, Bacani stressed that the “family exists prior to the State,” urging the faithful not to “allow the State to encroach upon the inherent and inalienable rights of families.”
Bacani also urged the public to respect human life “from conception to natural death” and resist the “culture of death” prevalent in many Asian countries “where the demographic question is often used as an argument for the need to introduce abortion and artificial population control programs.” (Jennifer Orillaza)