The I First Encounter of the International Observatory on Family ended with Papal Audience

  • During the audience, Pope Francis greeted the representants from the university centres and institutes of study on ‘Family’, coming from different countries where they debated on relational poverty and Vatican economy
  • The Pope showed a special proximity with UCAM president, José Luis Mendoza, to whom he asked about his family, and showed interest towards the projects started by the university in collaboration with the Holy See

16 May 2019

The Pope together with the President of UCAM, José Luis Mendoza


During three days, experts from 25 institutions from all over the world were debating on relational poverty and economic poverty in the I First Encounter of the International Observatory on Family in Vatican City.

The papal audience on the last day culminated this event, in which His Holiness Pope Francis greeted the representants of the university centres and institutes working on the investigation on Family, coming from different countries. These centres and institutes reunited for the first time because of the first encounter, which was promoted by Pontifical Institute Juan Pablo II, UCAM and CSIF.

This reunion was called on because of the International Day of Family, this year reminds of the important role of the families in creating our shared residence. When the audience finalized, Pope greeted affectionately the president of UCAM, José Luis Mendoza, to whom he asked as in other occasions, about his family- they shared information during sessions of the Pontifical Council on Family- and he showed interest towards the different projects in which the Catholic University collaborates with the Holy See.

Encounter of the International Observatory on Family

The I First Encounter of the International Observatory on Family concentrated on the quotation that “the poverty of families depends on a complex system of interactions, in which the challenges and opportunities generated by the economic context unites with the resources and fragility of the relational systems, always influenced undeniably by the public politics”. This event called upon by the International Observatory, is outcome of the practices encouraged by Pope Francis to leave the research centers to be able to approach real families.

In this first expert meeting, coordinated by UCAM and chaired by José Luis Mendoza, president of this university (headquarter of the Observatory), representants from diverse international institutions, such as from the Pontifical Institute Juan Pablo II, from the Centro Internazionale di Studi sulla Famiglia, from Dicasterio de laicos Familia y Vida, from the European Large Families Confederation, from Federation of Catholic Family Association un Europe and the general secretary of Caritas Internationalis, Michel Roy.

It should be noted, that Caritas Internationalis participates as a preferential partner by offering their network on five continents to be able to gather the realest information possible, included the smaller populations. In this a way, the annual rapport that the Observatory offers, reflects on the reality of ‘family’ reliably in all the contexts and locations.

Numerous other centres from around the world have united to the centres mentioned to give a local vision on the investigation: between others, coming from Mexico, Argentine, Chile, United States, Libanon, Qatar, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Finland, Italy, Spain, Benin, Kenya, Mozambique, etc. All in all, there are more than 30 people participating from 25 different institutes. The first outcomes of this investigation shall be published in May 2020, with the first rapport on “family and relational poverty: resources and fragilities, opportunities and challenges in families and in the society”.

This new institute saw light in 2018, looking to invest in a method where the families are approached: if in the past the perspective was from above to downwards, in which case theoretical decisions were distant to the problems of the society. Now, it is from down towards above, with the intent to observe the ‘family’ of today, with humbleness and realism, with all of its shades and colours, without cultural or ideological prejudices.

The institute searches to establish an objective dialogue with families, without forgetting the civil governments and experts of any industry related to ‘family’, to give a global solution to a global problem.