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M.C. Celi: Address to Rally of Hope IV

Address to Rally of Hope IV
December 5, 2020


It is a privilege and an honor for me as Metropolitan Archbishop of the Orthodox Church to address a few words on the importance of the family as the cornerstone of the Church and nation in this event of the World Clergy Leadership Conference.

In this presentation, I will offer a short message on the matters of peace and family.

The family is not a collection of individuals, but a living and developing system whose members are essentially interconnected.

A family perspective assumes that an individual lives connected to others by relationships, not in isolation. Among the most important of these relationships are familial ones.

Family strengths lead to family health. Family strengths, and ultimately family health, develop because a family is both cohesive and adaptive.

The Church, like service organizations, works with families in fulfilling some basic family responsibilities, such as education, support, religious and value formation, socialization, religious practice, health care, and social services.

The Church is also very much involved in social issues of direct importance to families, such as economics and nuclear disarmament.

Consequently, the Church must address the issue of its partnership with families. The principles that apply to social institutions and to social policy apply to the Church as well. What the Church does, and how it does it, affect the unity, well-being, health, and stability of families.

Church leaders need to be more aware of how the Church’s policies, programs, ministries, and services can either help or hinder families in fulfilling their own basic responsibilities.

Besides affecting employment and service organizations and the Church, the changes in families also have affected the partnership that exists between families and the government, as reflected in public social policy.

The family as a mediating structure needs to play a crucial role by interacting with society in the pursuit of the public good. When families are working well, they carry out responsibilities essential for the functioning of society.

When families are in trouble, the government must often act in their place. The government then establishes remedial programs for individuals in trouble, but at tremendous cost.

Perhaps such trouble frequently could be prevented if all institutions worked to support family strengths and to develop services for individuals that consider families.

The reason government policies and programs deserve specific attention when discussing partnerships between families and institutions is because they often set the direction for institutional services.

In addition, even more fundamental, the role of government in family life is becoming pervasive. Today, government policies and services have a tremendous effect on the functioning of families. They provide vital and essential support for families to help them fulfill their basic responsibilities.

Even two decades ago, over 200 government programs had a direct or indirect impact on family life.

Family is, undoubtedly, the cornerstone to build a healthy society that cooperates well with the Church and the nation. Without family, we simply cannot have Church or nation.

The Orthodox Church has worked hard worldwide for centuries on this idea. It is perfectly aligned with the ideal of One Family under God, which Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon promotes through UPF and the World Clergy Leadership Conference.

As a member of the Steering Committee, I extend my deep recognition to Mother of Peace for her hard work, and particularly in this wonderful Rally of Hope, to spread these important messages to all humanity.

Archbishop Metropolitan Chrysostomos Celi is an archbishop of the Orthodox Church of the Patristic Calendar for Latin America.



To go to the Dialogue and Alliance: Toward a Unified World of Peace, click here.