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In order to apply the principles of science to study the value of the family, the Pontifical John Paul II Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences announced December 6 at a press conference in the Vatican, the creation of an “International Observatory on the Family.”
Launched by the John Paul II Institute, the Catholic University of Murcia (Spain), and the International Center for Family Studies (CISF) in Milan (Italy), this observatory wants to invite universities and research centers from around the world to collaborate with collecting data on the family.
According to Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, Grand Chancellor of the Institute, approximately 20 institutions from 15 countries have already answered the call, including ones from Mexico, Slovakia, Benin and Hong Kong.
By adopting the scientific method, explained Francesco Belletti, director of CISF, this observatory wants to study the value of the family by comparing different national contexts and their evolution over time. While other institutions of family studies focus mainly on the quantitative aspect, this new body also wants to look at the qualitative aspect. The family, Paglia said, is a “precious resource,” both for the well-being of people and for society.
The work of the observatory will first study the theme “family and poverty.” A first report will be published in May 2020, on “family and relational poverty.” A second report, focusing on “family and economic and structural poverty,” will be published in May 2021. Two intermediate seminars are planned, one in 2019, and the other in 2020. News from the observatory can be followed on its website.