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Chapter 28. Fourth Commandment: Strengthen Your Family • 381

• the right to exist and progress as a family, that is to say,

the right of every human being, even if he or she is poor, to

found a family and to have adequate means to support it;

• the right to exercise its responsibility regarding the trans-

mission of life and to educate children;

• the right to the intimacy of conjugal and family life;

• the right to the stability of the bond and institution

of marriage;

• the right to believe in and profess one’s faith and to propa-

gate it;

• the right, especially of the poor and the sick, to obtain phys-

ical, social, political, and economic security;

• the right to housing suitable for living family life in a

proper way;

• the right to form associations with other families and

institutions, in order to fulfill the family’s role suitably

and expeditiously;

• the right to protect minors by adequate institutions and leg-

islation from harmful drugs, pornography, alcoholism, etc;

• the right of the elderly to a worthy life and a worthy death;

• the right to emigrate as a family in search of a better life;

• the right to bring up children in accordance with the fam-

ily’s own traditions and religious and cultural values, with

the necessary instruments, means and institutions. (FC,

no. 46)


God commands all couples to witness fidelity in their marriages. An

enduring marriage is more than simply endurance. It is a process of

growth into an intimate friendship and a deepening peace. Couples need

to renew their commitment to each other regularly, to seek enrichment

often, and to ask for pastoral and professional help when necessary.

They need to welcome children lovingly from God, whether through

birth or adoption.