Pope John Paul II

“The future of Humanity passes by way of the Family"

Pope John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio.

About this section

As Catholic Families we are bound to base our lives upon the Church’s teaching. Therefore parents should read and have available both Encyclicals as well and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and use these texts in discussion with their children. We recommend that parents learn as much as they can before their children reach their teenage years. However, a culture of answering teenage question with good resources such as Encyclicals and the Catechism is an excellent one to establish, and will teach the parents as much as their children.

Key Encyclicals

  • Familiaris Consortio
    Familiaris Consortio, written by Pope John Paul II just four years into his pontificate, set out his agenda for the family and called for associations of families to be created, meant to help families in their lives as catholics. The document is a powerful call for holiness and prayer in family life by a man who so deeply and profoundly understood the issues of that life.
  • The Charter of the Rights of the Family
    Pope John Paul set out the rights of the family in this short but powerful document. It should be used in Catholic schools and elsewhere, to support our right to know what is being taught, to comment upon it, and to stop teaching that you believe will corrupt your children.
  • Donum Vitae
    This encyclical on the subject of respect for human life, published in 1987, sets out the key teaching of respect for the human being, from the first to the last moments of his or her existence.The encyclical sets out clear teaching on antenatal diagnosis as well as treatments for infertility.
  • Mit Brendenner Sorge
    This document, written by Pope Pius XI to the German Church, has a huge resonance with the situation of families today. Pope Pius knew how families were being persecuted and his priest and Bishops taken to extermination camps and desperately wanted to protect his faithful. But he saw and describes how “the banishment of.. the clear and precise notion of Christianity, from teaching and education, from the organization of social and political life, spells spiritual spoliation and degradation.” He said that “All efforts to remove from under morality and the moral order the granite foundation of faith and to substitute for it the shifting sands of human regulations, sooner or later lead these individuals or societies to moral degradation.” So this encyclical is worth a read. It sets out the protection that parents must afford their children and reminds you of those inalienable rights.
  • The Gospel of Life (Evangelium Vitae)
    "Each human being is a unique gift of God." With this view, there is no place for killing the unborn or the dying. The silent sharing of affection can constitute someone as a person. To be a human is partly to receive as well as to give, partly to be weak as well as to be strong. This encyclical, published on the feast of the Incarnation of Our Blessed Lord gives robust philosophical arguments and reasons against abortion, euthanasia and embryo experimentation etc.It is set out in the context of the huge love and care that is the hallmark of our Gospels.
  • The Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons
    The issue of homosexuality is now a key issue in society and the Church. This document sets out very compassionately the Church’s view towards people who are homosexual. Regardless of orientation, where people promote living in a state of mortal sin, or teach against the fundamental beliefs of the Church, then parents should expect and require that their children be protected from such influences.

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