International conference, May 2021

International Conference on Demography and the Culture of Relationship between Couples (Budapest, 27-29 May 2021)

Conference motto:
“The demographic crisis can only be solved by healing the crisis of family life”

Conference organisers:

Family Science Alliance Batthyány Society   European Family Science of Professors Society

Message of the conference:

There is a need for values on gender relations, marriage and family that promote the physical and mental health and harmonious development of individuals and communities and protect them from harmful influences. It becomes a system of values. In recent decades, real and false relationship values have become completely confused. Individuals have little or no foresight into the usefulness or harmfulness of the choices, paths and lifestyles that are possible for them to choose.

The traditional family model has been under intense attack in consumer society for decades. We can say that there is a cultural war against the institution of marriage and the family. So far, the three main fronts of this attack have been free love, homosexuality, and the spread of gender and transsexual theory. New fronts are emerging. All of them have targeted and are targeting sexuality. The political and economic power, which seek to dismantle the family, has rightly recognised that the best way to dismantle the family is to influence people’s sexual behaviour. Their success has led to a deterioration of relationships and a weakening of marriage and the family.

If we do not face these attacks, if we do not defend ourselves against them, then we have little chance of resolving demographic crisis in a human and effective way, of reducing family breakdown, of fighting off harmful selfishness and mental illness significantly.

The demographic crisis is one of the symptoms of the crisis of family life, so the way to alleviate the demographic crisis is to lessen damage of the crisis of family life, otherwise the worsening of the crisis of couples would further sicken society as a whole and thus further threaten the very existence of society.

It is worrying that the demographic crisis in the countries concerned is not being alleviated by reducing promiscuity. Without curbing it, there is no humane solution to the demographic crisis. Promiscuous sexuality is a fundamental violation of human dignity, especially of women’s dignity, it objectifies women, increases the risk of mental and many other illnesses, selfishness, abortion and loneliness, and makes it difficult for children to develop healthily.

Today, promiscuous sexuality is widely accepted. The vast majority of people are not sufficiently aware of, or are unaware of the late effects of different relationship types and lifestyles. Thus, the level of unculturality and selfishness in relationships and the eclipse of morality in this area is worrying. Politics, social sciences and churches have a duty to promote the common good. Therefore, they cannot allow people’s physical and mental health and their most important human relationships to be destroyed because of ignorance and insensitivity. In Hungary, both the Fundamental Law and the cardinal Family Protection Act oblige us to protect the institution of marriage and the family.

A three-dimensional family policy is therefore needed:

  1. The factors that hinder or impede the formation and maintenance of good families must be tackled. The dangerous consequences of promiscuous sexuality for the individual, the environment and society must be made public. This can best be achieved through scientific research, education in schools and the media, with appropriate financial support.
  2. It is needed to build upon a scientific and cultural basis in the spirit of the Fundamental Law and the Family Protection Act, to determine a core set of values for the culture of couples and family life education, and then, with government support, to make it a general recommendation. This subject should be widely researched, taught and disseminated.
  3. Financial support and material benefits should be provided to young married couples and parents of children.

We are convinced that without the first and second dimensions of family policy, there can be neither prospect for the consolidation of the institution of marriage and the family nor a healthy long-term alleviation and final elimination of the crisis of family life and of the demographic crisis. The third dimension alone cannot be sufficient to overcome either the crisis of family life or the demographic crisis, since not the lacking of direct financial support for parents has been causing these divorces.

The Fundamental Law of Hungary protects not only marriage and the family, but also Christian culture. Those who are trying to dismantle the family have also realised that it is not necessary to attack churches, it is enough to spread promiscuous sexuality, and spirituality will dry up as a result. Indeed, the preservation of Christian culture is impossible beside promiscuous sexuality. Marriage and, of course, Christianity are incompatible with free love.

Finally, we refer to the research finding that during the course of history advanced culture has only emerged in societies where premarital sexual abstinence was expected for both women and men. This protected women, children, the family and ultimately society as a whole. Thus it is not an exaggeration to say that civilisation did not create marriage, but that marriage based on absolute monogamy created civilisation. Whenever sexual norms were broken down for whatever reason, society fell apart within a maximum of three generations. Let us not allow this happen to our countries!

The conference will also, in addition to the above, present some examples of good practice from the USA, Poland, Hungary and Croatia to raise the standard of relationship culture, and will introduce an international convention on family rights.

Summary of the conference:

The three-day-long international conference was held on the first day in the Lobby of the University of Veterinary Medicine, Budapest, Hungary, and the presentations were also available via the Internet. The second and third days of the conference were held online only. During the three-day-long conference, nearly 60 presentations were given in English or in Hungarian. Simultaneous interpretation was provided. Speakers represented eight countries: Hungary, USA, Poland, Bulgaria, Germany, Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine and Poland.

The opening speech was given by the Rector of the University of Veterinary Medicine, who is also the President of the Batthyány Society of Professors and the President of the Family Science Association. This was followed by an opening presentation by the Minister for Family Policy and by further presentations of church leaders of five historic denominations of Hungary on the culture of relationships and demography.

After introductory and assessment speeches of the leaders of the public and church sectors, presentations by Hungarian and foreign experts followed for two and a half days. Each professional session was always followed by a round table discussion with the speakers of the respective session.

The afternoon of the third day was dedicated to the presentation of good practices in the field, in order to make them more receptive by public education, media and churches and more accessible to the younger generation.

At the end of the three-day event, a major international project in the making was presented.

The conference was organised in the light of a growing intensity of serious crises in our countries and in the demand of a broad-based collaboration for crisis management among professionals from the academic, public and religious world.

The conference, with the help of invited speakers, aimed to show that with the right knowledge and guidance, individuals can create and maintain a happier and healthier family life. To achieve this in the lives of more people, a broad and effective collaboration between the public, academic, civil and religious sectors would be of great benefit.

In order to effectively reduce and then eliminate the demographic crisis in the long term, and to ensure the healthy well-being of individuals and the prosperity of society, it is essential to promote the values set out in the conference message and to overcome misconceptions that are harmful to individuals and communities.

More than 800 people from 48 countries registered to attend the conference, with 150-200 Hungarian and 50-100 foreign viewers following the presentations each day, and more than 1700 people watching the presentations on video during the weekend after the conference.

The conference proceedings are available:

The conference programme, videos and extracts of the presentations, as well as videos of the roundtable discussions are available on the main website of the Family Science Association in Hungarian and English (https://csaladtudomany.hu).

The materials are recommended for professionals, teachers, church workers, young people and families, i.e. all those involved in the field of relationships, marriage, family and demography.

The presentations are listed on the website in alphabetical order of the speakers’ names. The videos are generally 20-30 minutes in length.

If you do not have access to the presentations, or if you notice a quality error, please contact info@csaladtudomany.hu.

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