Congress Gathers in Poland to Defend Family Around World

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“Congress Gathers in Poland to Defend Family Around World,” Liahona, Oct. 2007, N2–N3

Congress Gathers in Poland to Defend Family Around World

More than 3,300 delegates from around the world assembled at the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw, Poland, from May 11 to 13, 2007, to attend the World Congress of Families IV. Their goal was to learn and affirm that the natural human family is established by the Creator and is essential to good society.

Delegates who attended the congress feel that families worldwide are under attack and believe there is a need to set basic principles for the international pro-family movement. Delegates came from as far as Chile, New Zealand, Afghanistan, Mexico, and the Philippines to focus on the many issues affecting families internationally.

Ellen Sauerbrey, U.S. assistant secretary of state for population, refugees, and migration, helped welcome the congress and called the family the oldest and most enduring human institution.

“The family predates all states, and can be found in every culture, in every era. … The state did not create the family; rather, families created the state,” Mrs. Sauerbrey said.

Roman Giertych, minister of education and vice prime minister of Poland, also welcomed the congress and said that without the family there is neither government, state, nor life.

Topics discussed in the conference included abortion, same-sex marriage, population decline, pornography, attacks on the family in the news, and the renewal of traditional religion.

On the topic of Hollywood and the family, Don Feder, communications director for the World Congress of Families, said: “Every day, an American industry drops metric tons of toxic waste in your countries and homes. I refer to Hollywood, whose principle products—with honorable exceptions—are sex, violence, perversion, nihilism, attacks on religion, and a thoroughgoing antifamily ethic.”

Brad Wilcox, a professor of sociology at the University of Virginia, spoke on cohabitation and the well-being of children.

“The rise in European cohabitation seems to lead … to increases in lone parenthood, and we know that lone parenthood poses a threat to the well-being of children,” he said.

At the conclusion of the assembly, a Warsaw Declaration was made as a pro-family credo for the twenty-first century: “The natural family, creation of God, is the fundamental human community, based on the lifelong marriage between a man and a woman, in which new individuals are conceived, born, and raised.”

The World Congress of Families (WCF) is an international network made up of pro-family organizations, scholars, leaders, and people of goodwill from more than 60 countries who seek to restore the natural family as the fundamental social unit of society.

Allan Carlson founded the WCF in Rockford, Illinois, in 1997. The three previous congresses were held in Prague, Czech Republic (1997), Geneva, Switzerland (1999), and Mexico City, Mexico (2004).

The WCF states: “The natural family is the fundamental social unit, inscribed in human nature, and centered on the voluntary union of a man and a woman in the lifelong covenant of marriage. … The loving family reaches out in love and service to their communities and those in need. All social and cultural institutions should respect and uphold the rights and responsibilities of the family.”

Elder Bruce C. Hafen answers a question at the World Congress of Families, where he participated in panel discussions and addressed the congress. (Photograph by Steve Fidel; Deseret Morning News.)