Monday, May 28, 2007

Africa: Pope Names Two Cardinals To Council For The Family

Pope Benedict XVI has appointed two African cardinals as members of the presidential committee of the Pontifical Council for the Family.

They are Cardinals Christian Wiyghan Tumi (pic'd here on top), archbishop of Douala, Cameroon, and Polycarp Pengo (pic'd here below), archbishop of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.

The presidential committee is composed of 15 cardinals and 12 archbishops and bishops, plus 19 married couples from all over the world who are the members, 39 consultors, and a staff of 10 officials.

The Pontifical Council for the Family, now headed by Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo, was instituted by John Paul II in 1981, substituting the Committee for the Family created by Paul VI in 1973.

The council is responsible for the promotion of the pastoral ministry and apostolate to the family, through the application of the church's teachings and guidelines, to help Christian families fulfill their educational and apostolic mission.

It also promotes and coordinates pastoral efforts related to responsible parenthood, "and encourages, sustains and coordinates initiatives in defense of human life in all stages of its existence, from conception to natural death."

Other key themes of the council are theology and catechesis of the family, conjugal and family spirituality, the rights of the family and the child, formation of the laity for the pastoral care of the family and marriage preparation courses.

The council also deals with sex education, demographics, contraception and abortion; sterilization, ethical and pastoral problems related to AIDS and other problems of bioethics; legislation regarding marriage, the family, family policies and the protection of human life.

Starting from the 1994 Year of the Family, the council is responsible for organizing the World Meeting of Families: Rome 1994; Rio de Janeiro 1997; Rome 2000; Manila 2003 and Valencia, Spain 2006.

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