JPII Institute launches international partnership for research on the family

By Hannah Brockhaus

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Mother, father, child at sunset. Credit: via Shutterstock

The John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences has announced the creation of an “International Observatory on the Family” in partnership with universities from around the world.

The observatory will form a three year research group for the study of issues related to the family.

The announcement was made at a Vatican press conference Dec. 6, by the institute’s grand chancellor, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, who also serves as president of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

The investigative project will run from 2019 - 2021, and will produce two reports: one on relational poverty, due by May 2020, and another on economic poverty expected by May 2021.

The research will focus on examining the family and the impact of poverty through a Christian lens, but will use scientific data, methodology, and analysis, according to Dr. Francesco Belletti, president of the International Center on the Family, which is based in Milan.

Over the course of the three year project, particular attention will be placed on the condition of women, the condition of children, and the impact of technological advancement on the family.

The Catholic University of Murcia in Spain and the International Center for Family Studies (CISF) are also founders of the initiative, which includes an additional 13 partners, educational institutions from the countries of Italy, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Benin, Kenya, Spain, Finland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, and Hong Kong.

The Florida State University Family Institute, in Tallahassee, Florida, is also a partner.

Paglia told journalists Thursday that the two sessions of the Synod of Bishops on the family and the publication of Pope Francis’ 2016 post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, which dealt extensively with love in the familial context, illustrate the urgency for the Catholic Church to confront the problems facing the family in modern society.

The observatory “is a small help for the great commitment that the Church must have for Amoris Laetitia,” he said.

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