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A Partnership With The Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe

Last Updated: June 6, 2023

While Covenant Eyes is based in Owosso, Michigan, it has a global impact. We saw this once again when Nicola Sperenza, the General Secretary and Benedicte Colin, Policy Manager for the Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe (FAFCE), contacted Covenant Eyes to find ways to collaborate and partner to support Catholic families throughout Europe. According to the FAFCE website, the federation was:

“[F]ounded in 1997 and is an umbrella organization that serves as a European liaison platform for its members to exchange their experience on family support and discuss family policy issues. FAFCE has 19 Member organizations from 14 countries and 8 associated members.

FAFCE ensures a political representation of families both towards the European Union and the Council of Europe. FAFCE’s in its work on the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church, promoting the beauty of the family, its wealth, and the dignity of each of its members. The Federation holds a participatory status with the Council of Europe and is a member of the Fundamental Rights Platform of the European Union. The General secretariat is based in Brussels.”

Upon introduction, the Covenant Eyes Church Team and FAFCE navigated time zones to begin conversations about how Covenant Eyes could best support FAFCE to reach the millions of families they serve in Europe.

My Presentation to FAFCE

The first partnership of many came to fruition on May 3, 2023, when I virtually presented to the FAFCE Board Members who gathered for their annual Board Meeting in Murcia, Spain, on the topic: “Pornography as a Public Health Harm: Education and Resources to Equip the Community.”

I shared about the gravity of pornography in our culture and provided tools to help the Catholic leaders who were gathered, as well as their clergy, parents, and educators amid what Pope Francis calls a “throwaway culture” or a culture of objectification. Bénédicte Colin said, “This exchange with our Delegates from all over Europe was key to tackle the ‘porn challenge’: parishes, families, parents, and children need to be equipped and supported, for them not to be alone in this fight.”

Nicola Speranza added, “We are very grateful for this cooperation with Covenant Eyes and to receive their expertise on such a fundamental topic. Online pornography must be recognized as a public health issue, and concrete solutions and tools offered to families to prevent destructive situations.”

Specifically, I explained that porn impacts culture at every level:

  • It teaches children how and what to think about sex and marriage, thus interfering with their ability to properly discern their vocation.
  • Porn fuels human trafficking, child sexual abuse, and the degradation of women.
  • It encourages extramarital affairs and violence.
  • Porn causes erectile dysfunction in men and decreases man’s desire for child-rearing.
  • Porn hurts people and people are what makes our communities and societies. Therefore, since 2016, 16 states and counting have declared porn a public health crisis.

Additionally, a primary goal of the presentation was to encourage those gathered to lead on the issue of pornography and to stress the importance of Catholic leaders on the topic. To do so, I introduced the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) document Create in Me a Clean Heart: A Pastoral Response to Pornography and shared the USCCB’s encouragement to Catholic leaders:

“We are mindful of the particular importance of Catholic leaders […] who can implement the Church’s vision and outreach and be conduits of the Lord’s mercy and truth in direct and powerful ways by their witness and service.”

I Want to Partner With You

The primary resource Covenant Eyes provides to Catholic leaders to take steps to address pornography is Safe Haven Sunday.

Covenant Eyes and FAFCE are in just the beginning stages of their work together and anticipate equipping European Catholic leaders and families together in new and creative ways. In my role, I’m available to Catholic organizations, dioceses, and parishes to help develop and implement initiatives that support individuals, marriages, and families on the topic of pornography with resources we have available through Covenant Eyes. To discuss how to reach marriages and families as a Catholic leader, please schedule a consultation with me today! 

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