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By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, at the Sixth World Encounter of Families in Mexico City

Felipe CalderoneMEXICO CITY, January 14, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In a surprise move today, Mexican President Felipe Calderon appeared in person at the opening of the Sixth World Encounter of Families and gave the keynote speech formally inaugurating the conference.

Calderon’s decision to associate himself formally with the Encounter sends a clear message of opposition to anti-family forces in Mexico, who are pushing to legalize abortion, euthanasia, homosexual “marriage,” “express divorce,” and other similar policies.

According to conference official Msgr Lozano Barragan, “the family is the source of life and life cannot be created by people of the same sex, and therefore this does not represent a family.”  Barragan also stated that “love, sex, and fidelity” would be key topics at the conference.

Calderon’s appearance also lends support to Cardinal Archbishop Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico City, who has been repeatedly threatened with legal action for opposing the legalization of abortion in the nation’s capital, as well as other goals of anti-family socialists (see LifeSiteNews coverage at https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jan/09011401.html).

Mexico’s president did not address the specific issues of express divorce and homosexual unions, although he decried the increasing fragmentation and disintegration of the Mexican family.

“The proliferation of individuals who carry out acts of violence, of crime, of hate, their way of life sadly coincides to a great extent with the fragmentation and dysfunction that affect the family environment,” said Calderon.

Calderon noted that the family “is the first and most decisive source for education, it is where cultural, ethical, spiritual, and political values are forged.”

The World Encounter of Families, which is held once every three years, was begun by Pope John Paul II to strengthen the value of the family within the Catholic Church and throughout human society.  Two hundred Catholic bishops and thirty cardinals are expected to attend, with a total attendance of 50,000 at the closing mass of the conference, which will be held in Mexico City’s Basilica de Guadalupe. The Eastern Orthodox have also sent representatives to this year’s meeting. 

President Felipe Calderon is a member of the National Action Party (PAN), which was created in the 1940s to give political expression to social ideals supported by Catholics, while avoiding a formal association with the Catholic religion.  His election in 2006 followed the election of Vicente Fox to the presidency in 2000, the first such victory in the PAN’s history

Although Calderon’s administration continues to distribute artificial contraceptives in violation of Catholic teaching, he has resolutely opposed the loosening of the nation’s abortion laws, which generally prohibit abortions except in cases of rape or danger to the mother’s life.

Under Calderon’s leadership the nation’s executive branch launched a significant legal challenge to the legalization of abortion-on-demand in Mexico City in 2007. However, despite arguments made before the Mexican Supreme Court by Calderon’s Attorney General and his Commissioner for Human Rights, the Court ruled in 2008 that Mexico City’s law was constitutional.

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