Vision and Mission
The national and international contexts of today are characterized by growing complexity and profound change. Multiple signs from economic, political, environmental, structural, demographic and societal orders point toward a pivotal moment in human history. While classical modes of interpretation seek to provide and ensure levels of continuity, present realities along with the speed with which change is experienced unquestionably increase the complexity of both the phenomena and the development of innovative solutions.
National policies are formed in a reactionary and short-term manner, seeking a security that has become a priority but which at times tends to overshadow democratic and societal principles, as well as human dignity. Social cohesion is affected, human rights are at risk of being rejected; national borders are closed with violence; there is growing propensity toward exclusion and to increase the power of national authorities. All of this adversely affects the development of the human person, weakens social balances and places the future of humanity itself in question.
International structures conceived in the aftermath of World War II seem to have arrived at the limits of their growth, implicitly raising fundamental questions regarding the unity required to further human development. Moreover, the necessary progress toward developing new forms of governance to strengthen the principle of the common good is impaired by shifting political powers among the nations.
The importance of civil society during this period of transition cannot be underestimated. For many decades civil society contributed to an overall state of well-being in encompassing a large panorama of social realities. Its continued search for dialogue, its combat against all forms of poverty, along with its safeguarding respect of the human person and his/her dignity, protecting the environment and promoting development; all remain fundamental and take on even more significance in these times of profound change.
Catholic inspired organizations have gained significant credibility through their contributions to social wellbeing. Their great capillarity with respect to a presence that is both geographically widespread and thematically diverse, with actions serving to both challenge and collaborate with actors and decision-making bodies, along with an inspiration drawn from the Gospel and the social teaching of the Church, have permitted these Catholic movements and organizations to bring important points to the forefront of strategic and political order. This equally explains how the concept and identity of the Forum evolved, so as to bring together diverse areas of expertise for a holistic and Catholic discourse.
In reading the signs of the times, organizations of Catholic inspiration, according to their identity, seek to make a shared assessment of these new challenges, deepen together their analysis of the interacting factors, consider anew the question of the future of our communities, safeguard those dynamics that contribute to social cohesion, and exchange essential points of advocacy and action carried out before intergovernmental bodies.
In this sense, drawing inspiration from the Gospel and conscious of the need to actively contribute to a civilization of love, these organizations propose to create together a social observatory through the sharing of analysis and expertise, to serve as a source of innovative approaches.
The Forum will thus be a place of encounter and exchange. Through its Secretariat the Forum will develop its role as a social observatory and offer a space for analysis, reflection and exchange of expertise so as to strengthen the Catholic voice in the public debate and in its advocacy before intergovernmental bodies specifically.