REALity December, 2018
XII World Congress of Families 2018
Chisinau, Republic of Moldova
14-16 of September, 2018
The World Congress of Families, which is one of the leading social conservative organizations in the world, held a conference from September 14-16, 2018, in Chisinau, the capital of Moldova (a former Soviet republic located between Romania and Ukraine). It was a huge success. The theme of the Congress was “The Natural Family: Uniting East and West”. It was extremely well organized, with the President of Moldova, Igor Dodon, speaking several times at the conference. The President of Poland, Lech Kowalewski, and Olga Epifanova, Deputy Chairperson of the State Duma (Parliament of the Russian Federation), also addressed the meeting. Many outstanding religious leaders, such as Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, Elder Christoffel Golden of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and Archpriest Dmitry Smirnov, Official Representative of Patriarch Kirill and the Russian Orthodox Church, also spoke at the Congress.
Participants included Members of Parliament from various countries, such as Russia, Italy, Australia, Serbia, Romania, Malawi and Mexico. Also present was Anna Zuburska, Slovakian Member of the European Parliament. These members of Parliament have been speaking out in defence of life and family in their national legislatures, even if their countries are hostile to such issues. Their meeting together at the Congress provided them with additional valuable information to assist them in their pro-family efforts, and also gave them encouragement and acknowledgement that they are not alone in their important work. There were also representatives present from key pro-life/family organizations from around the world who exchanged ideas and expertise on the defence of our shared values and the promotion of the natural family. REAL Women National Vice President, Gwen Landolt, chaired a panel at the conference, entitled “Motherhood – Where the Sanctity of Life, the Meaning of Marriage and the Ideology of Gender Intersect”. Participants on this panel came from Russia, Kenya and the U.S.
A brief video, from Dr. Steve Turley, a writer and teacher of theology, Greek and Rhetoric (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4RCA-vSK74), has provided background information and very usefully explains the strategic position of Moldova and the pro-family efforts of the Moldovan President, Igor Dodon, against globalization, and the return to traditional values that is occurring in some eastern European countries.
On the last day of the Congress, Brian Brown, the President of International Organization for the Family (IOF), which organizes the World Congress of Families, announced that he had received word from the Deputy Prime Minister of Italy and other key Italian officials, that the World Congress of Families has been invited to meet next year in Verona, Italy, March 29-31, 2019. This will be a wonderful opportunity to meet again and to gain inspiration for our efforts on behalf of the family.
The participants and speakers at the conference in Moldova came from different cultures and regions around the world, and spoke many different languages. They were all united, however, by the bond of concern for the sanctity of life and the family. As a result, they spoke in a common language, trusting one another as they shared similar beliefs on the family and respect for human life.