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Asian conference on family looks at situations, rights of families in Asia


The Asian Conference on the Family (ACF) will be held in Manila on May 13-16, 2014 under the auspices of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in collaboration with the Pontifical Council for the Family of the Holy See.  The theme for the conference which will be held in three venues on succeeding days is “Families of Asia: Lights of Hope.”


Bishop Jean Laffitte, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Family, will be the guest of honor and main speaker at three different sessions of the conference. According to its organizers, the ACF will be an occasion to generate discussion on the Charter of Rights of the Family and its impact on Asia, 30 years after its promulgation on October 22, 1983, and what message and challenges it holds for the families in the region, following the exhortation of Pope Francis at the Pilgrimage of Families in the Year of Faith: “Family, Live the Joy of Faith.”

The Charter which came two years after Familiaris Consortion (the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope John Paul II on the role of the Christian family in the modern world) intended to provide a “formulation of the fundamental rights that are inherent in the natural and universal society which is the family.”  Archbishop Vincencio Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family said that the charter is “a prophetic appeal in favor of the institution of the family, which should be respected and defended from all forms of usurpation.”   

In the course of the conference Bishop Laffitte will meet educators and catechists, legislators and politicians, bishops, and family life ministers from Asia. There will be eight bishops from Indonesia, Laos-Cambodia, Thailand, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Taiwan. 

The first day of the conference, May 13, will be for some 1,000 educators and catechists at the auditorium of Paco Catholic School, Manila. Bishop Laffitte will deliver his first keynote address here after the Mass to be presided by CBCP President Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan.  The discussion will be on the topic: “The Many Faces of the Family: Crises and Kairos.”

A Dinner with Legislators and Politicians will held on May 13 at 6 p.m. at the Diamond Hotel Manila. Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, Apostolic Nuncio in the Philippines will open the program with the message of Pope Francis to ACF.  Bishop Laffitte will then deliver his second keynote address for the conference to be followed by a brief dialogue, Statement of Commitment, and a Prayer for the Family, featuring the families of former Chief Justice Artemio B. Pangilinan, Representative Dakila Cua, and PCCG Chairman Dean Andres Bautista. 

The next two days of the conference at the Pius XII Catholic Center auditorium in U.N., Manila, will feature sharing by Filipino families (family of former Chief Justice Hilario Davide), by delegates from other Asian countries (on “Lessons and Successes in Harmonizing Legislation and Culture with the Gospel), by the youth led by athlete Chris Tiu and other youths from Korea and East Timor, (on “iBelieve: How We Put Love and Find Joy in Our Families), and by other faiths—Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, and Christian (on “Building a Culture of Encounter). 

Bishop Laffitte will deliver his third keynote address on May 15, and other speakers will include Atty. Luisito V. Liban on “The Implementation of the Charter of the Rights of the Family vis-à-vis the UN and Asian Setting (Philippines); and Fr. Shenan Boquet on “The Defense of the Rights of the Family against the Contemporary Totalitarian Tendencies of the State.”

A “Festival of Families” at the Quadricentennial Pavilion of the University of Santo Tomas will cap the Asian Conference on the Family on May 16 at 6 p.m. Some 6,000 families are expected to attend the festival which will be opened by a Mass to be presided by Archbishop Villegas. Bishop Laffitte will give his final talk and message here. 

Here is the program for the four-day Asian Conference on the Family: - - - click here