Vatican City, Feb 26, 2010 / 13:40 pm
Speaking to a group of Catholic business people from Italy in Rome this week, Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, highlighted the importance of a united family for raising children. He also touched on issues that affect the family today.
Under the theme of "Family and Business, Vital Cells of Society," Cardinal Antonelli spoke about the effects of the composition of the family on the future of children. The Vatican's L'Osservatore Romano reported that Cardinal Antonelli put particular emphasis on the effects of a missing father figure on children.
The president of the Council for the Family cited statistics from the U.S., which he said illustrate a trend in many parts of the Western world. Ninety percent of homeless people, 72 percent of adolescent suicides, 60 percent of rapists and 85 percent of youth in jail grew up without a father present, he said.
The cardinal also listed a number of other negative effects on children whose parents don't remain together. These children are particularly susceptible, he stated, citing statistics that show these kids suffer from double the average number of pyschological, scholastic, social and work problems.