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ASIA: Action plan for families

Over 140 bishops, archbishops, nuns and priests discussed ways to strengthen Asian family life at the Eleventh Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences which was held for the first time in Sri Lanka.

“We found that the inability of young couples to commit themselves to traditional family life is one of the threats to the firm family structure so we decided to help them overcome their problems with awareness programs,” Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo, said.

“We also decided to focus on child rights. Once family bonds collapse, children suffer the mistakes of their parents. Also, many couples have abortions and the Catholic Church strongly opposes this so we decided to strengthen counseling services,” he added.

Bishop Raymond Wickramasinghe of Galle, in Sri Lanka, said that the conference also focused on migration and the way it impacts family life. “Many family members migrate to European countries leaving their spouse and children in Sri Lanka. Many women migrate to be housemaids in the Middle East hurting the education and spiritual life of their children. We decided to ask our priests and nuns to pay regular visits to such families to help them,” Bishop Wickramasinghe said.

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