reflections, updates and homilies from Deacon Mike Talbot inspired by the following words from my ordination: Receive the Gospel of Christ whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe and practice what you teach...
Saturday, October 7, 2023
The Vatican promotes the well being of families to protect children in front of the U.N.
Holy See: protecting rights of children implies promoting well-being of families
In a statement on the promotion and protection of the rights of children, the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations highlights the need for public policies supporting parents, and for protecting children from the dangers of the digital world.
By Lisa Zengarini
“The promotion and the protection of the rights of the child cannot be separated from measures to support and strengthen the family”, said the Deputy Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations.
The family the fundamental group unit of society
Addressing on Friday, 6 October, the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly on the topic of the promotion and protection of the rights of children, Monsignor Robert Murphy remarked that a society that promotes the protection of the child promotes the well-being of the family” which is “the natural and fundamental group unit of society”.
He therefore pointed to the need for policy makers to “provide programmes that support and complement mothers and fathers, rather than replace them”, to enable “children to flourish as human beings.”
The rights of the unborn children
Monsignor Murphy also reaffirmed the Holy See’s stance that children need safeguards also before birth, advocating in particular against abortion, including sex-selective abortion and eugenic abortion, that victimize girls and children with disabilities. In this regard, he further decried assisted reproduction, particularly in the form of surrogacy, that, he said “is incompatible with respect for the dignity and rights of the child.”
Protecting children from exploitation and abuse in the digital world
The Vatican representative further drew attention to the protection of children from exploitation, trafficking, abuse, and inappropriate exposure to sexual material in the digital world.
While condemning “in the strongest possible terms” the production, distribution and use of child pornography which is facilitated and accelerated today by the digital technologies, Monsignor Murphy also expressed the Holy See’s concerns for the dramatic growth of adult pornography, which those same technologies have made increasingly accessible to children.
"It is a mistake – he noted - to think that a society where an abnormal consumption of internet sex is rampant among adults could be capable of effectively protecting minors.”
Need for digital education
Digital education for children as well as and parents and families is, therefore, crucial to ensure the safety and protection of children online. Children’s digital education, Monsignor Murphy said “should be based on knowledge of and respect for the equal dignity of every person”, including preventing and addressing cyberbullying, and teaching them when and how to seek help from their families and teachers.
Parents, on the other hand, “should be made aware of the risks, as well as how to guide their children in the safe and healthy use of technology.”