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How and with what main values to support the Polish family effectively? What is the influence of the family on other areas of life? How to strengthen married couples? These issues were the subject of discussions on 27 September 2017 among participants of the National Debate on Family, which was held in the Ministry of Family, Work and Social Policy

The expression that beside freedom and sovereignty the greatest national good is home, built on permanent marriage, is not a slogan. This is an objective truth, whose guarding and indicating is the biggest task of every Pole – said Elżbieta Rafalska, the minster of family, work and social policy, during her opening the discussions. She also emphasized that there is never too many indications or enforcements of issues connected with women’s dignity. – Every woman has a right to independence, her free creating her life, realization of plans and development in professional life, to good salary and accessibility to all posts – she emphasized. She also added that a woman should have full freedom in realizing her vocation as a wife and mother, for which she deserves respect and recognition not only in family but also in society. Among speakers of the two-part debate were prominent specialists dealing with the issue of marriage and family. Dr. hab. Elżbieta Osewska, a chairperson of the Polish Familiological Society, analyzing factors influencing the state of marriage and family, pointed to, among the others, individualism whose example is developing culture of ‘selfishness’. – This is camouflaged egoism. A response to it is non-transferable human dignity of somebody who is always in relations. Marriage is mainly a community – she emphasized.

Marek Grabowski from the Foundation Mother Father noted that in Poland we are still observing a negative balance of marriages – that is, there are more divorced couples than contracted marriages. In cities the rate of divorces is even 43 per cent! Grabowski emphasized that children brought up in marriages have better results at school than children from informal couples. How can we strengthen the institution of marriage? – It is necessary to promote marriage and family not only in media but also through culture, also good education is necessary which will allow for choosing proper school set books. We also suggest returning to conciliation cases, and also introducing the Council of Family cooperating with the Ministry of Family, Work and Social Policy – Grabowski postulated.

Family is a community providing development of the most important values, such as respect to another person, respecting rights, love to homeland and nation, caring about the common welfare, diligence and hard work. – It is natural that a man protects what is important to him. And how do we protect marriage, family and a human being? – asked dr. hab. Urszula Dudziak, a psychologist from the Catholic University in Lublin. This protection, in her opinion, are moral norms. Can we speak about the crisis of family today? – We need suitably prepared specialists, dealing with helping families. Even a few- minute visit at the doctor’s, lawyer’s or IT scientist’s is very expensive. And what about help from a family expert? – asked Dudziak and she noted that volunteerism is often expected from graduates of studies on families.

In the process of upbringing family and school should cooperate together coherently. – We also need a lot of advertising campaigns which would present families with many children in a friendly way – noted dr. hab. Maria Ryś, a psychologist of family from the University of Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński, and she added that in prophylactics of counteracting divorces, also mediation is necessary. – Every marriage contracted before God can be saved – she emphasized.

Whereas the necessity of humanization and popularization of media education in the process of strengthening marriages and families was noted by Fr. Dr. hab. Jarosław Jęczeń, a media expert from the Catholic University in Lublin. He also noted that a big mistake is the fact that in the Polish school there is not the subject called ‘media education’. – A lot of reasons for marginalizing family result from inability of using media. Whereas new media, being a challenge for parents is a way to understand their children – said Fr. Jęczeń.

In the speeches of most speakers, as well as in a lot of voices during a discussion there appeared references to the teaching about marriage and family of St. John Paul II, particularly the one included in his Letter to Families. It was also noted that married couples who say everyday prayer, do not practically get divorced.

(AA)

„Niedziela” 41/2017

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Lidia Dudkiewicz • Translation: Aneta Amrozik • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl