What is this Council and what are its duties?
The overall mission of the Catholic Church throughout the world is coordinated by a number of Congregations and Councils in the Vatican, each of which is assigned certain areas of responsibility. Assistance is thereby given to the Holy Father in his role as the Universal Pastor of the Church. There is, for example, a Congregation that oversees anything pertaining to the administration of the Sacraments, another that oversees Catholic education, and so forth.
The activity of the Church for the defense of human life and for the pastoral care of the family falls under the responsibility of the Pontifical Council for the Family.
Pope John Paul II created this council on May 9, 1981. During the previous year, a special assembly of bishops in Rome had discussed the role of the Christian family in the modern world.
The Council collaborates with the other departments in the Vatican and with bishops throughout the world. It follows the activities of pro-life and pro-family organizations throughout the world and assists them with the help of the staff based in Rome as well as members and consultors throughout the world, including married couples.
The defense of human life from abortion and euthanasia, is one of the areas on which the Council for the Family focuses. Other areas that the Council oversees include contraception, sex education, the rights, theology, and spirituality of the family, and marriage preparation. Part of the educational efforts of the Council includes publication of its journal Familia et Vita.
Printed with permission from Priests for Life.