30 Sep A Unique and Irreplaceable Contribution
September 30, 2015
Africa’s Unique and Irreplaceable Contribution
Protecting the family at the United Nations can be a roller-coaster ride with high points and heart-dropping lows.
One high point happened a few months ago in Geneva, where the UN Human Rights Council approved a family resolution calling for countries to take concrete steps to protect “the family” as described in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “the natural and fundamental group unit of society.” That was an incredible win for the pro-family movement.
We were also thrilled when the UN approved a paragraph recognizing “the role of the family as a contributor to sustainable development” in the “Post-2015 Development Agenda.” This new UN Agenda includes includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will determine the priorities of the UN and other international stake holders over the next 15 years. Getting even a small pro-family paragraph into this massively influential UN document was thrilling.
Unfortunately, the family paragraph was ultimately removed. Last weekend, the Post-2015 Agenda was finalized in New York, and will roll out across the world — without officially recognizing the important contribution of the natural family.
But all is not lost. We gain strength and courage from watching pro-family countries steadfastly continue to fight for life, marriage, and family. They are good examples for all of us.
They’re Not afraid to Speak Up
Some of the African countries, especially, are not afraid to speak up for their beliefs. At the UN they have resolutely opposed language that would have advanced the cause of abortion and early sexualization of children. This is especially courageous considering that many African countries are dependent to some degree on international assistance from liberal western countries and the UN system.
Recently, in response to the new Post-2015 Agenda, 48 African bishops and ten cardinals released a phenomenal letter to the leaders of the world. Entitled, “Common Declaration of the Bishops of Africa and Madagascar,” this letter makes a passionate appeal to “political leaders and international organizations officials,” to “protect and defend the age-old values of our continent!”
The letter reads, “We are all wounded in the depths of our hearts as Pastors by the attacks against life, the family, all that is sacred, the healthy human development of our youth who are the future of Africa, the full blossoming of women and respect for our elderly – realities of which our African cultures have such a keen sense.”
The letter begs an end to campaigns that “promote a civilization of death on our continent,” and adds, “Condoms, contraceptives, sex education programs fabricated elsewhere, purely technical and deprived of moral content, so-called “safe abortions,” have become commodities that are more accessible to Africans than the way of delivering integral development, of which we have such a vital need.”
It continues, “Such is also the case of the so-called ‘gender perspective,’ according to which motherhood, the filial and nuptial identity of the human being, and the family based on marriage between a man and a woman would be ‘discriminatory stereotypes.’ No! Women and men in Africa are not mere individuals, autonomous from their parents, spouses, children: women, men, children, we are all persons, created out of love and for love, and we all belong to a family and a community, vitally, ontologically and emotionally united!”
“We want the dignity of our people to be respected. No! Africa is not a great potential market for the pharmaceutical industry of contraceptives and condoms. Yes! Africa is populated by men, women and children endowed with a transcendent dignity and a magnificent and eternal vocation. The African people have an irreplaceable mission towards humanity today.”
“These political and economic pressures have but one objective: the drastic control and reduction of the African population, the planned destruction of marriage and the family. We Africans must categorically say No to this plan, which is killing our continent.”
“We urge political and religious leaders, who have the heavy task of leading and protecting our African populations, to study with attention and analyze with great care and a sense of responsibility the documents, strategies and development programs of global governance. These documents, even though they appear, in their external presentation and formulation, to procure elements of well-being and prosperity for all, are in reality real programs of destruction of the poor and humanity’s values, and not of a development that would respect the dignity and sacredness of the human person and the well-being of the family, when they integrate, often in hidden ways, the agenda of the western sexual revolution.”
“We, the Bishops of Africa and Madagascar, know that our concerns are shared by the members of other religious confessions present in Africa: Christians, Muslims and followers of traditional religions. They are also those of our peoples, rooted in cultures that celebrate the beauty and sacredness of life and the family.”
“The State and international organizations are bound to respect that which all men and women can recognize as real, true, and good in their conscience and in their heart. They are bound to honor the transcendence, centrality and superiority in value of the family founded on marriage between a man and a woman, of maternity and life, and of religion. They are bound to serve the people as they are and want to be, rooted in a rich diversity of cultures. May development policies radically change direction in this sense!”
“Our wishes, our desire, our prayer, our pastoral labors are that in this era of globalization, Africa will today offer humanity its unique and irreplaceable contribution, according to the gifts she has received from God and are properly hers.”
United Families International thanks the authors of this letter, who have authentically, and in their own impassioned cultural style, voiced their heartfelt appeal. This letter is evidence of Africa’s “unique and irreplaceable contribution” to the world.