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Catholic Bishops in Gabon Push for “genuine policy that protects life” at Family Level

Members of the Episcopal Conference of Gabon (CEG). Credit: CEG/Facebook

Catholic Church leaders in Gabon have, in a collective statement, expressed concern about challenges members of families are facing and called for what they have termed “a genuine policy that promotes and protects life.”

In their statement shared with ACI Africa Thursday, January 20, members of the Episcopal Conference of Gabon (CEG) say, “The family faces many difficulties, socially, economically, educationally and in terms of health.”

“These new realities are reflected in a number of problems, including all kinds of deviance in marriage, in particular the problem of the dowry, unaccountable sexuality with the rampant phenomenon of early pregnancies, abortions, even though are forbidden by current legislation, drug abuse, job insecurity accentuated by endemic unemployment and unequal access to quality health care, especially in rural areas,” the Catholic Bishops say in their collective statement dated January 16.

In the face of the highlighted challenges at family level, the Catholic Church leaders advocate for appropriate strategies that safeguard human life saying, “The family cannot flourish without a genuine policy that promotes and protects life.”

“For the Church, all human life is sacred. From conception to death, it has equal dignity and deserves to be preserved,” CEG members add.

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Considering the threats that members of families currently face in the Central African nation, the Catholic Bishops say, “It becomes crucial to reconsider it from the perspective of the Gospel and the Teaching of the Church, in order to provide remedies for the challenges of our society in crisis.”

As a way forward, Catholic Bishops in Gabon call on the government to “put in place policies that would safeguard our values and traditions in respect for life.”

In the 27-point statement issued at the end of their 29th Plenary Assembly, CEG members invite fathers in families to “live your fatherhood responsibly like St. Joseph who took care of the Child Jesus with a father's heart. Live in love and respect for your spouses. Give charitable care to other members of your families.”

To mothers in families, CEG members say, “You are the cradle of the family. You carry life within you and enrich humanity through your children. You bring protection and love to human frailty.”

“Pass on religious practices to your children, so that their faith may mature. Take special care in the education of your children in an increasingly changing world. Give your family unit the opportunity to bear witness to God's presence through your love for your spouses,” the Bishops add.

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They invite children in families to “learn and practice the commandment: ‘honor your father and your mother.’”

To men and women of goodwill, the Catholic Bishops note that “the family is at the heart of living together and we are its heirs.”

“Faced with the dangers that threaten the family today, the involvement, union and mobilization of all the components of society are indispensable,” CEG members further say, and urge citizens to “combine all our efforts to preserve the integrity of this institution which is essential to our common destiny.”

“May Our Lady of Gabon intercede and protect all families in Gabon and the world. May the Holy Family of Nazareth, Jesus, Mary and Joseph, support the institution of marriage and the family, and give wisdom to all those who work for the good of the family,” Catholic Bishops in Gabon implore in their collective statement shared with ACI Africa.