Friday, 4 June 2010

Times: Cana Movement evaluating state policies on family structure
4.6.10 by Matthew Xuereb

Lawyer Robert Tufigno (left) pleading with Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi (right) to increase family-friendly policies. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier.

The point of departure of the government's family-related policies was the principle of a permanent, indissoluble marriage between a man and woman, Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi stressed yesterday.

Speaking during a visit to the Cana Movement, a voluntary organisation within the Church which helps couples prepare for marriage, Dr Gonzi said his was not a courtesy call but a "strong message in favour of strengthening the family".

"Despite divergent opinions, no one doubts that the traditional family structure is the nucleus of the Maltese society, a precious diamond we should guard with all our might," he said.

His comments come in the wake of a set of proposals by Parliament's Social Affairs Committee to regulate cohabitation and which also consider a form of civil union between same-sex couples.

Lawyer Robert Tufigno, on behalf of Cana, warned Dr Gonzi that the recognition of non-traditional relationships was "detrimental to society".

"The recognition of any other relationship (not between a man and a woman) is detrimental to society and goes directly against the principle of the family. This does not mean we should not show compassion and solidarity with these people but we cannot say yes to every request," he said.

Dr Gonzi praised the representatives of the Cana Movement for their sterling work preparing couples for marriage and guiding them through married life. He said the preparation phase was the most important aspect because of the challenges the modern world presented newly-wed couples with.

Dr Tufigno said the Cana Movement was studying government policies to see which of them were strengthening the family structure and which were destabilising it.

He called on the government to launch measures to discourage the birth of children outside wedlock. This did not mean giving out condoms but more education focusing on the importance of children being born within the structure of a family, set up by a man and a woman who became one through the sacrament of marriage.

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