Vatican City (AsiaNews) - In his message to the Festival della famiglia (Family festival) currently underway in Riva del Garda (Italy), whose theme is the 'Ecosystem of life and work: female employment and birth rate, prosperity and economic growth,' Pope Francis focused on the role of the family in society as well as its rights and duties.
In his remarks the Holy Father said that a "strategy in favour the family" can lead to "economic recovery", but this requires "appropriate help from businesses and public agencies" and a focus on women, often forced by economic necessity "to do work that is too hard for them or for too many hours, on top of their responsibilities they have at home and in children's education."
"The family," the pope writes, "has its own mission, to serve its own members, development, and life. It has rights and therefore needs support and guarantees to be able to exercise them. Likewise, the family also has duties to society and must offer its cooperation to serve the community. This is a privileged environment in which to practice in harmony solidarity and subsidiarity, i.e. the synergy between public and private, businesses and households.
"Because of the commitment and responsibility that having and educating children entail, families need appropriate help from businesses and public agencies, with a view to mutual cooperation. Disturbing demographic trends require, on the part of all stakeholders, an extraordinary and courageous strategy in favour of families. From here, the country's economic recovery can start. In this perspective, the tragedy of unemployment, especially among young people, must be reconsidered and solved. The lack of employment is demeaning for people, who feel useless in their own eyes; it impoverishes society, as it is deprived of the contribution of still valuable and willing forces."
"My thoughts also go to the elaboration of family policies," the message goes on to say, "to the legal status and social inclusion of families in general and to the help that should be offered to those who are disadvantaged in material and moral terms. We must pay attention in particular to women's employment."
"Many women feel the need to have better recognition for their rights, for the value of the tasks they regularly perform in different sectors of social and professional life, and for their aspirations in the family and society. Some of them are tired and almost crushed by the weight of their commitments and duties, and are unable to find sufficient understanding and help."
In view of this, "We have to make sure that women are not forced by economic necessity to do work that is too hard for them or for too many hours, on top of their responsibilities they have at home and in children's education. Above all, we must take into consideration that women's commitments in all aspects of family life constitute an unparalleled contribution to the life and future of society."