VATICAN CITY, Oct 1 (LSN) – Pope John Paul II will travel to Rio de Janeiro for the 2nd world encounter with families from October 2 to October 6. Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo told reporters that “the Holy Father wants to mobilize consciences in favor of the decisive cause of the family. In Rio he will make a sort of universal convocation for the family.”

The timing of the trip is particularly poignant as the Brazilian government is considering the abortion issue. The family, the basic building block of society, is in grave need of support. The pope realizes this all too well as seen by his address to the UN women’s conference in Beijing: “It is necessary to counter the misconception that the role of motherhood is oppressive to women, and that a commitment to her family, particularly to her children, prevents a woman from reaching personal fulfillment, and women as a whole from having an influence in society”.