The family, grounded on marriage freely contracted, monogamous and indissoluble, is and must be considered the first and essential cell of human society. From this it follows that most careful provision must be made for the family both in economic and social matters as well as in those which are of a cultural and moral nature, all of which look to the strengthening of the family and helping it carry out its function.
Pacem in Terris (“Peace on Earth”), Pope John XXIII, 1963.
The well-being of the individual person and of both human and Christian society is closely bound up with the healthy state of the community of marriage and the family.
Gaudium et Spes (“The Church in the Modern World”), Vatican II, 1965, #47.
All, therefore, who have influence in the community and in social groups should devote themselves effectively to the welfare of marriage and the family. Civil authority should consider it a sacred duty to acknowledge the true nature of marriage and the family, to protect and support them, to safeguard public morality and promote domestic prosperity.
Gaudium et Spes (“The Church in the Modern World”), Vatican II, 1965, #52.
But man finds his true identity only in his social milieu, where the family plays a fundamental role.
Populorum Progressio (“On the Development of Peoples”), Pope Paul VI, 1967.
Economic and social policies as well as organization of the work world should be continually evaluated in light of their impact on the strength and stability of family life. The long-range future of this nation is intimately linked with the well-being of families, for the family is the most basic form of human community. Efficiency and competition in the marketplace must be moderated by greater concern for the way work schedules and compensation support or threaten the bonds between spouses and between parents and children.
Economic Justice for All, U.S. Catholic Bishops, 1986, #93.
The first and fundamental structure for a “human ecology” is the family, founded on marriage, in which the mutual gift of self as husband and wife creates an environment in which children can be born and grow up.
Centesimus Annus (“The Hundredth Year,” Donders translation), Pope John Paul II, 1991, #39.
To overcome today’s individualistic mentality, a concrete commitment to solidarity and charity is needed, beginning in the family.
Centesimus Annus (“The Hundredth Year,” Donders translation), Pope John Paul II, 1991, #49.
Our parishes need to encourage, support, and sustain lay people in living their faith in the family, neighborhood, marketplace, and public arena… The most challenging work for justice is not done in church committees, but in the secular world of work, family life, and citizenship.
Communities of Salt and Light, National Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1993.
Because all creatures are connected, each must be cherished with love and respect, for all of us as living creatures are dependent on one another. Each area is responsible for the care of this family..
Laudato Si’ (“Praise Be”), Pope Francis, 2015, Chapter 5, #42
If everything is related, then the health of a society’s institutions has consequences for the environment and the quality of human life. “Every violation of solidarity and civic friendship harms the environment”. In this sense, social ecology is necessarily institutional, and gradually extends to the whole of society, from the primary social group, the family, to the wider local, national and international communities. Within each social stratum, and between them, institutions develop to regulate human relationships. Anything which weakens those institutions has negative consequences, such as injustice, violence and loss of freedom.
Laudato Si’ (“Praise Be”), Pope Francis, 2015, Chapter 5, #142