“From all over the world,” declared IOF President Brian Brown in Mexico City on September 30, 2022, “people have come together. To do what? To celebrate, to promote, to protect—the family.”
He was speaking at the opening of the three-day World Congress of Families XIV, by far the largest such Congress in history—more than 9,000 strong—and widely hailed as the greatest so far. And it could not have been timelier. To paraphrase Charles Dickens’ opening line in A Tale of Two Cities, this best-ever pro-family global event has come just when the world is experiencing the worst-ever attack on the family.
For the previous quarter century, the global gatherings of the World Congress of Families had already made a colossal impact. Colleagues touted them as “very empowering,” a veritable “resurgence in the global battle for the defense of the natural family,” and “the preeminent global gathering of scholars, policy-makers, and activists who care about the natural family.” Most impressive was the statement by President George W. Bush: “I commend your efforts to recognize the importance of families in building nations. Your work improves many lives and makes the world better.”
But the 2022 World Congress in Mexico City exceeded all expectations, thanks to the Herculean efforts of Organizing Committee chairman Fernando Milanés and his talented team, working in conjunction with the International Organization for the Family. The results were monumental, as expressed in comments from those in attendance.
- “What a joy to have been able to participate and enjoy something so great.”
- “I think this is the Congress that I have enjoyed the most.”
- “Thanks again for the amazing experience. I can’t convey how appreciative we are for all of your heroic efforts.”
- “A very uplifting experience for my marriage.”
- “What a Congress!!! The speakers, the topics, the atmosphere, the testimonies.”
- “Thank you for this great experience of God and family!!”
- “Thank you, thousand times thank you.”
- “PROVIDENTIAL all sessions. God bless you.”
- “Extraordinary event. Speakers 100%, organization 100%, everything extraordinary.”
- “The talks and organization were all excellent! The teens and youth programs were spectacular!!!”
- “Wonderful event! Thank you for thinking of each of the members of the family to train us together: children, teens, young people!”
- “Excellent Speakers, varied format of conferences, panels and interviews and most importantly, networking and starting to materialize projects, teamwork and/or study groups, etc.”
- “I’m leaving very satisfied, exceeding my expectations!! But above all with great hope knowing that there are serious and very prepared people fighting and planning important and effective strategies to defend life and family!!”
- “It was a great injection of energy to continue advocating for the family. THANK YOU!!!!”
Why this Congress evoked such adulation becomes apparent in a highlight video and in several of the plenary presentations posted online, including those of Cardinal Müller (speaking in Spanish), Princess Gloria, Jim Daly, and Elder Wilford Andersen, who quoted from religious leaders of different faiths but with a unified vision of the family:
Over a decade ago at your World Congress of Families in Amsterdam, the following warning was sounded: “On all sides, the family is under attack. Many wonder if the institution is no longer needed. Our response is certain. If there is any hope for the future of nations, that hope resides in the family.” The speaker was Russell M. Nelson, who now serves as President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints…. Pope Francis recently declared, “Every threat to the family is a threat to society itself…. The future of humanity passes through the family. So protect your families! See in them your country’s greatest treasure and nourish them always.”
This latest World Congress of Families, which we invite you to explore further, has unleashed an avalanche of support in social media and already reached over 18 million followers and counting—energizing and empowering us all to protect, treasure, and nurture the foundation of society and our only hope for the future: the family. ¡Viva México! ¡Viva la familia!