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World Congress of Families Responds to Attack by Certain Members of European Parliament

Contact: Larry Jacobs, 815-964-5819, larry@worldcongress.org; Don Feder, 508-405-1337; both with the World Congress of Families


MEDIA ADVISORY, April 16 /Christian Newswire/ -- Allan Carlson, International Secretary of the World Congress of Families, called an attack by certain members of the European Parliament (MEPs) "an act of desperation." Carlson observed, "They are afraid of ideas about the family which diverge from their own."


In a recent letter (available on request) 19 European Parliament members urged Ellen Sauerbrey, Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration, to withdraw from World Congress of Families IV, which will convene in Warsaw, May 11-13.


Sauerbrey is scheduled to speak at a plenary session on Saturday, May 11 in Warsaw.


In their letter, the MEPs charged that some participants and attendees at World Congress of Families IV have "extremist and intolerant views," including "prejudiced attitudes toward foreigners, people from other religions, homosexuals, and the inclusive vision of what represents a family unit that has been developed by the United Nations and European Union."


Among those singled out for censure are Steven Mosher of the Population Research Institute (for speaking of the "demographic destruction" of Europe), the Family Research Council, and Austin Ruse of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. According to the letter, Ruse committed the unpardonable offense of joking about Hillary Clinton at a U.N. forum.


Another "extremist" indicted in the letter is Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, of the Pontifical Council on the Family, for supposedly making "dangerous and unscientific statements about condom use to prevent HIV and AIDS."


"The arrogance of this letter is staggering," Carlson remarked. "Besides attacking a cardinal and high Vatican official, a group of European politicians have empowered themselves as the final authority on hotly debated scientific issues."


The letter also urges Sauerbrey not to attend because another prominent participant, Polish President Lech Kaczynski, had denied permits for a gay rights parade when he was mayor of Warsaw.   "They're actually saying that a State Department official should not take part in a forum due to the presence of the president of a nation with which America has friendly relations," Carlson observed.


The World Congress of Families founder added: "On one point, the MEPs are correct: Our concept of the family differs markedly from their own. Ours is millennia-old, based on tradition and faith, and proven to work. Their agenda leads to social dissolution, demographic decline, a failure to socialize the young, and a lack of hope in the future. No wonder they dread an open hearing for our ideas."


Speakers at World Congress of Families IV include scholars, pro-family leaders and activists, religious leaders and three members of the European Parliament.


Madame Jehan Sadat, the widow of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat, spoke at World Congress of Families II (Geneva, 1999). Martha Sahagun De Fox, then first-lady of Mexico, opened World Congress of Families III (Mexico City, 2004). Lech Kaczynski, Poland's pro-life president, has agreed to serve as honorary patron of World Congress of Families IV.


For a complete list of World Congress of Families speakers, go to www.worldcongress.pl.


For background on the World Congress of Families, go to www.worldcongress.org. To schedule an interview with Allan Carlson, contact Larry Jacobs at 1-800-461-3113 or 815-964-5819.


The Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society located in Rockford, Illinois is an independent, non-profit research and education center that strives to be the leading source of fresh ideas and new strategies for affirmation and defense of the natural family, both nationally and globally.  The Howard Center is also the organizer of the World Congress of Families project which unites people of goodwill who recognize that the family is the fundamental unit of society and coordinates the efforts of pro-family groups from more than 60 countries worldwide.


The World Congress of Families (WCF) is an international network of pro-family organizations, scholars, and leaders that seeks to restore the natural family as the fundamental social unit and the 'seedbed' of civil society.  The WCF was founded in 1997 by Allan Carlson, president of The Howard Center.  To date, there have been three World Congresses of Families – Prague (1997), Geneva (1999) and Mexico City (2004). WCF IV will be in Warsaw, Poland, May 11-13, 2007.