UN youth meeting reminded of primary role of parents

A high-level meeting
with youth
at the United Nations early this week was reminded of the vital
role of the family in ensuring that young people grow up in a spirit of
dialogue and mutual understanding.

The Vatican’s permanent observer at the UN, Archbishop
Francis Chullikatt, said:

Each and every young person should be able to be brought up
in an environment in which he or she is able to grow and learn, that is, in a
community and society characterized by peace and harmony, free from all
violence and discord. Each and every child, for the full and harmonious
development of his or her personality, should grow up in a family environment,
in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding (cf., Convention on the
Rights of the Child, Preamble). It is precisely this environment which will
promote good and responsible citizenship that is essential to the common good
of humanity.

The family is where young people first learn moral
responsibility and respect for others. The family has an important role to play
in educating children to develop all their faculties and in training them to
acquire ethical and spiritual values and to be deeply attached to peace,
liberty and the dignity and equality of all men and women. The family, founded
on the marriage between one man and one woman, is the natural and fundamental
group unit of society and must be guaranteed protection by society and the
State (cf., Universal
Declaration of Human Rights
, Art. 16,3; International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,
Art. 23,1).

The event appears to have been marked by some controversy over one of staples of UN meetings -- sexual and reproductive health issues. Archbishop
Chullikatt issued a reminder about this too:

Parents -- mother and father together -- have the primary responsibility for
the upbringing and development of their children to help them become virtuous
citizens and leaders. Parents cannot withdraw from this essential role. States
are called, in conformity with international instruments, to respect the
responsibilities, rights and duties of parents in this regard (cf., CRC,
Articles 5 and 18,1). Youth policies, programmes, action plans and commitments
approved by Member States must respect fully the role of parents regarding
their children's wellbeing and their education, including in the area of human
sexuality and so-called "sexual and reproductive health", that should
not include abortion.

Read more at http://www.zenit.org/article-33172?l=english


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