Some 2,800 pro-family leaders, pastors and politicians gathered from over 40 nations to the World Congress of Families III, March 29. The three-day event, sponsored by several pro-family and ecumenical groups, seeks to protect traditional biblically –based family values from the hostile attacks from the popular “deconstructed” culture.
“First, we are here to acknowledge—in the words of The Geneva Declaration—“that the natural human family is established by the Creator” and “inscribed in human nature.” began Dr. Allan Carlson, as he opened the Congress.
“To live in families is to be in harmony with this Divine intent and with the order of the Creation. All the children of Abraham share in this heritage of family, indeed, all of humanity does,” continued Carlson, president of the Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society that organized the event.
The conference will cover a vast area of issues concerning the family, including homosexual “marriage,” abortion, population control, anti-family media, parental rights and the UN’s anti-family agenda.
“Second, we are here to affirm the Marriage of Man to Woman as the First and Necessary Social Bond, the foundation of Civil Society,” Carlson said as he described the need to protect the sacred institution. “Marriage holds such distinction for it is natural and self-renewing, rooted in the mutual attraction of man to woman, beings who feel their incompleteness when existing alone. Woman and man also come together, of necessity, so that the human race might continue. Healthy cultures surround marriage with public celebration and commonly religious ritual,”
“Marriage bears another special power. Equal in dignity before their Creator, man and woman each hold special gifts, important differences in thought, action, and skills. In marriage, man and woman are transformed into husband and wife, father and mother. This complementarity transforms their union into something greater than the sum of its parts,” he continued.
Also on the opening night, the first lady of Mexico, Mrs. Martha Fox, welcomed the delegates.
“No matter what country we come from today we have a common vision, the value of the family. Family is the hope of the world”, said Mrs. Fox. She described the family’s contribution to society, “family in the course of centuries has become the school of life.”
The Honorable Ellen Sauerbrey, US Ambassador the UN Commission on the Status of Women, preceded Mrs. Fox by reading letters from President George Bush and the United States Congress welcoming the delegates to the World Congress of Families III. President Bush commended the efforts of the World Congress to “recognize the importance of families in our society. Around the world, families are the source of help, hope, and stability for individuals and nations. As one of the pillars of civilization, families must remain strong and we must defend them during this time of great change. Your work improves many lives and makes the world better,” declared President Bush.
Participating organizations which helped plan the Congress includes: The Howard Center For Family, Religion and Society, The Southern Baptist Convention, Real Women of Canada, Population Research Institute, The Family Network, Focus On the Family, The Latin American Alliance for the Family, The Australian Family Association, The Civic Institute, Family Research Council and Real Women of Canada.
The World Congress will continue through the evening of Wednesday, March 31.
The following is the list of scheduled speakers:
*George W. Bush (USA): President, United States of America
*Vicente Fox Quesada (Mexico): President, Mexico
Allan C. Carlson, PhD (USA): President, The Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society
Ana Teresa Aranda (Mexico): Dir., Sistema Nacional para el Desarrollo Integral de la Familia (DIF)
Anatoli Antonov, PhD (Russia): Professor, Lomonosov University
Austin Ruse (USA): President, The Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM)
Babette Francis (Australia): Coordinator, Endeavour Forum
Bernardo Fernández del Castillo (Mexico): President, Familias y Sociedad. Former Honorary President, Ilustre y Nacional Colegio de Abogados
Bernardo Kliksberg, PhD (Argentina): General Coordinator, Iniciativa Interamericana de Capital Social, Ética y Desarrollo, Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (BID)
Brian Ray (USA): President, National Home Education Research Institute
Calvina Fay (USA): Executive Director, Drug Free America Foundation
*Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo (Colombia): President, Consejo Pontificio para la Familia
Cardinal Renato Martino: President, del Consejo Pontificio Justicia y Paz, The Vatican
*Charlie Colchester (UK): Executive Director, Christian Action Research and Education (CARE)
Christine de Vollmer (Venezuela): President, Latin-American Alliance for the Family (ALAFA)
Christoper Manion, PhD (USA): Director, Obscenity Treaty Project, Morality in Media
Craig Cardon (USA): President, United Families International
*Dana Scallon (Ireland): Member, European Parliament
Darrel Reid (Canada): President of Focus on the Family (Canada)
David Hartman (USA): Economist and Banker; Chairman of the Institute for Budget and Tax Limitations
Dom Duarte (Portugal): Duke of Braganza, President of the D Manual II Foundation
Don Feder (USA): Don Feder Associates, Writer & Former Syndicated Columnist - Boston Herald
Don Lorenzo Servitje (Mexico): Founder and Honorary President, Grupo Industrial Bimbo
Dorothy Patterson (USA): Writer, Speaker and Professor, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Ellen Sauerbrey (USA): US Ambassador, United Nations Commission on the Status of Women
Farooq Hassan (Pakistan): International Legal Consultant, Professor and Barrister
Father Thomas Euteneuer (USA): President, Human Life International
John Howard (USA): Senior Fellow, The Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society
Fernando Milanes (Mexico): Executive President, World Congress of Families III. General Coordinator, Red Familia. Businessman
*Fernando Montes (Chile): Rector, Universidad Padre Hurtado
Francisco Tatad (Philippines): Presidential Candidate, Former Majority Leader, The Philippine Senate
Gary Becker, PhD (USA): Professor of Economics, Univ. of Chicago. Nobel Prize in Economics, 1992
Gwen Landolt (Canada): Vice-President, Real Women of Canada, Attorney and UN Activist
*Janet Museveni: First Lady of Uganda
Janice Crouse (USA): Senior Fellow, Beverly LaHaye Institute - Concerned Women for America
Jesus Hernandez (Mexico): President, Chapter Mexico, World Congress of Families III. Founder and Advisor, Familias y Sociedad.
John Vining (USA): Director of the Center for Family Ministries, Church of God
Jose Antonio Lopez Ortega (Mexico): Director of LOMA
*Kevin Andrews (Australia): Barrister and statesman, Member of the Australian Parliament
Marcos Witt (USA): Christian leader. Founder, Producciones Canzion. Grammy Latin Award
Margaret Ogola, M.D. (Kenya): Medical Director, Cottolenga Hospice for HIV-positive Orphans and Executive Director, Family Life Association of Kenya
*Maria S. Aguirre, PhD (USA): Associate Professor, Economics and Business, Catholic University of America
*Maria Morfaw (Cameroon): President of Village Women’s Organization; Lecturer, Cameroon College
*Max Padilla (Nicaragua): Former Minister for the Family, Republic of Nicaragua
*Michael Camdessus (France): Honorary Chairman – Bank of France; Former General Manager of the IMF
Michael Semin (Czech Republic): Co-founder and Director, Civic Institute of the Czech Republic
Michaela Freiova (Czech Republic): Director of the Family Values Program, Civic Institute of the Czech Republic
Mohammadreza Hozat, PhD (USA): Professor, Psychiatry & Human Behavior, Jefferson Med. College
Norma Tevino (Mexico): President of Agrupacion Politica Femenina, A.C. (APFAC)
Paige Patterson (USA): President, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; Former President of the Southern Baptist Convention
Patrick Fagan (USA): Fitzgerald Fellow in Family & Cultural Issues, Heritage Foundation
Peter Westmore (Australia): President, National Civic Council of Australia; Publisher, News Week
Rabbi Daniel Lapin (USA): President, Toward Tradition; Nationally Syndicated Radio Host
Rabbi Michael Gold (USA): Temple Beth Torah, Tamarac Jewish Center; Founder, Heartfelt Communications
Richard Wilkins (USA): Professor of Law, J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University
*Rocco Buttiglione, PhD (Italy): Italian Minister of European Affairs
Ruben Kaztman (Uruguay): National Coordinator, Project Latin American Urbanization in the Late 20th Century. Texas Univ./ Princeton Univ./ Sponsored by Mellon Foundation
Steven W. Mosher (USA): President, Population Research Institute
Theodore Baehr, (USA): Publisher, Movieguide®; CEO, The Christian Film & Television Commission™
Thomas Holman, (USA): School of Family Life, Brigham Young University
Vicente Oltra Climent: President, Instituto de Consultores de Dirección. Frmr. Gen. Mgr., Lladró.
Vladimir Palko (Slovakia): Minister of Interior
Wade Horn (USA): Assistant Secretary for Children and Families, US Department of Health and Human Services, US Government
Wendy Shalit (USA): World Youth Alliance. Author: “A Return to Modesty: Discovering the Lost Virtue”
William L. Saunders, Jr. (USA): Senior Fellow and Director, Center for Human Life and Bioethics, Family Research Council
Yuri Mantilla (USA): Director, International Government Affairs, Focus on the Family