Who takes care of the family?

The family must be recognized as a public good that we must take care of together: public administrations, companies, entities. The Church cannot be alone in this task. 

March 1, 2017-Reading time: 2 minutes

In July 2015, the Pope stated in Ecuador that. "the family is the closest hospital, the first school for children, the essential reference group for young people, the best asylum for the elderly".. The family takes care of everyone, but who takes care of the family? Who takes care of its real needs so that it can continue to perform its functions?

There are many challenges facing society with regard to the family: helping young people to create stable family bonds; helping parents who have been "exiled" from the home to resume the task of educating their children; supporting families in times of difficulty; restoring hope to broken families.

It is necessary to regain confidence in the devalued family institution. In order to face the current situation, it is necessary to undertake organic and organized action to support all families, especially those in difficulty.

The protection of family stability, the care and promotion of children, the visibility of the social contribution of the family and respect for the parental role are some of the key issues. Today, more than ever, the family needs to be itself and it is essential that the different agents -public administration, companies, entities and society as a whole- create the conditions that favor its mission of welcoming, caring for and educating the new generations. This is possibly one of the most urgent challenges at a time when no one doubts that the sustainability of our society relies to a large extent on the family.

The Church should not try to confront the problems of the family alone, but should use her moral authority to put the whole of society, beginning with the public authorities, to work in favor of the institution of the family. The family must be recognized as a public good to be cared for by all of us. No one is exempt from protecting the family from their own sphere of responsibility: the Church, the public administration, the business world, schools, universities, etc. Let us all take care of the family, too many things depend on it.

The authorMontserrat Gas Aixendri

Professor at the Faculty of Law of the International University of Catalonia and director of the Institute for Advanced Family Studies. She directs the Chair on Intergenerational Solidarity in the Family (IsFamily Santander Chair) and the Childcare and Family Policies Chair of the Joaquim Molins Figueras Foundation. She is also Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Law at UIC Barcelona.

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