Strong families are our best defence against poverty

Saddam, his wife Iman and their children, displaced Christians from the city of Karakosh, Iraq, pose for a portrait in a construction site where they currently live, Ainkawa, Erbil, Iraq, Aug. 26, 2014. Photo by Daniel Etter for CRS

Saddam, his wife Iman and their children, displaced Christians from the city of Karakosh, Iraq, pose for a portrait in a construction site where they currently live, Ainkawa, Erbil, Iraq, Aug. 26, 2014. Photo by Daniel Etter for CRS

Caritas Internationalis and the Pontifical Council for the Family will host a one-day seminar on the role of the family in the global economic crisis. The meeting will look at how Caritas as the charitable arm of the Church can work through families to better promote development.

Around 150 people from the Vatican, Caritas organisations, pontifical universities, religious congregations and Italian dioceses will gather in Rome on 18th September to discuss “The Family: a resource to overcome the crisis.”

The outcome of the meeting will form a basis for proposals to the upcoming Extraordinary General Assembly Synod of Bishops on the family held at the Vatican.

Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga, president of Caritas Internationalis, will open the meeting. He said, “The economic crisis has increased inequality and exclusion. With so many challenges, our blood families, our global human family and our spiritual family have become more important than ever in ensuring we don’t fall into loneliness and desperation. Where economic and social systems fail, the solidarity and protection of families are the best defence against poverty.”

The financial crisis which started in 2008 has pushed millions of families into poverty and left the world more unequal than ever. In many countries there are fewer jobs and families even in wealthier countries are finding it increasingly hard to feed themselves.

The seminar will look at the psychological effects of the economic crisis, migration and the pastoral and spiritual approaches for facing the challenges of the crisis, among other things.

Caritas organisations in many countries offer a variety of services such as food and clothes banks, counselling, loans, job training, healthcare and lodging to help people to cope with the crisis.

For more information, please contact Michelle Hough at hough@caritas.va or call +39 06 6987 9752 or +39 334 2344 136.

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