Religions of the world, by invitation of Pope Francis, have come together at the Vatican in Rome to uphold natural marriage during an unprecedented conference: “The Complementarity of Man and Woman.” This is sure to be a profound gathering, necessary due to the current marriage culture quickly eroding the beauty and importance of the covenant of marriage as a man and woman linked to children. 

Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God. It is a holy sacrament. This conference provides a way to bring together those who desire to protect marriage and share a common witness of its importance and why.

President Henry B. Eyring of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints addressed the conference on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 to share our deeply held beliefs about marriage.

You can read the complete text of President Eyring's speech at the Vatican Marriage Summit, here. Watch the video right here: 


From the Mormon Newsroom:

This week’s gathering of global religious leaders at the Vatican to discuss the importance of marriage fuses two key beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: the importance of marriage between man and woman, and the importance of interfaith cooperation in common causes for good.

"At this time of rapidly declining moral values and the challenges to traditional family structures and relationships throughout the world,” a Church statement says, “we are pleased to unite with the Catholic Church, other fellow Christian denominations and other world religions in standing firm and speaking clearly about the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman."

President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the Church’s First Presidency, will join other religious leaders and scholars from 14 faith traditions and 23 countries beginning Monday, November 17, in a historic three-day colloquium, or conference, hosted by the Catholic Church. Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Bishop Gérald Caussé of the Presiding Bishopric will accompany President Eyring.

What to Expect

Pope Francis will open the conference, titled “The Complementarity of Man and Woman.” Leading religious figures and scholars, according to a Vatican press release, "will explain how their tradition understands the relationship between the man and the woman in marriage, as it is lived in this world, and as it reflects the divine plan."
President Eyring is among the religious leaders who have been asked to offer a “witness” to the importance of marriage from their faith’s perspective. He will speak Tuesday, November 18. (See a complete schedule for each of the three days.

Other speakers include several Catholic leaders, the Rev. Dr. Richard D. Warren, founding pastor of Saddleback Church in California; Dr. Russell D. Moore, President of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission; Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks and other speakers from the Sikh, Tao, Islamic, Anglican, Mennonite, and other religious traditions. (See a full list of the conference presenters.)

Remarks from Pope Francis' opening address:

We know that today marriage and the family are in crisis. We now live in a culture of the temporary, in which more and more people are simply giving up on marriage as a public commitment. This revolution in manners and morals has often flown the flag of freedom, but in fact it has brought spiritual and material devastation to countless human beings, especially the poorest and most vulnerable. 
Evidence is mounting that the decline of the marriage culture is associated with increased poverty and a host of other social ills, disproportionately affecting women, children and the elderly. It is always they who suffer the most in this crisis. 
The crisis in the family has produced an ecological crisis, for social environments, like natural environments, need protection. And although the human race has come to understand the need to address conditions that menace our natural environments, we have been slower to recognize that our fragile social environments are under threat as well, slower in our culture, and also in our Catholic Church. It is therefore essential that we foster a new human ecology. 
It is necessary first to promote the fundamental pillars that govern a nation: its non-material goods. The family is the foundation of co-existence and a remedy against social fragmentation. Children have a right to grow up in a family with a father and a mother capable of creating a suitable environment for the child’s development and emotional maturity. That is why I stressed in the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium that the contribution of marriage to society is “indispensable”; that it “transcends the feelings and momentary needs of the couple.” (n. 66) And that is why I am grateful to you for your Colloquium’s emphasis on the benefits that marriage can provide to children, the spouses themselves, and to society. 
pope francis opening address humanum marriage conference
In these days, as you embark on a reflection on the beauty of complementarity between man and woman in marriage, I urge you to lift up yet another truth about marriage: that permanent commitment to solidarity, fidelity and fruitful love responds to the deepest longings of the human heart. I urge you to bear in mind especially the young people, who represent our future. Commit yourselves, so that our youth do not give themselves over to the poisonous environment of the temporary, but rather be revolutionaries with the courage to seek true and lasting love, going against the common pattern. 
Do not fall into the trap of being swayed by political notion. Family is an anthropological fact – a socially and culturally related fact. We cannot qualify it based on ideological notions or concepts important only at one time in history. We can’t think of conservative or progressive notions. Family is a family. It can’t be qualified by ideological notions. Family is per se. It is a strength per se.
Read complete text:

This post will be updated throughout conference:

Summary of Vatican Summit on Marriage, Wednesday, November 19, 2014:

Summary of Vatican Summit on Marriage, Tuesday, November 18, 2014:

Summary of Vatican Summit on Marriage, Monday, November 17, 2014:

Read more: Church Joins Global Faith Leaders at Vatican Summit on Marriage

Information regarding the colloquium will be updated on Mormon Newsroom throughout the week: Vatican 2014

See also:

The Divine Institution of Marriage

The Family: A Proclamation to the World


Kathryn Skaggs

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