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Prof. Gianmaria Brignoli, Mayor of Paladina, (left) offers greetings and thanks.
Carlo Zonato, president of UPF Italy, introduces the evening.
Mr Giuseppe Russo of the Family Education Department of UPF-Italy, speaks about the importance of the family.

"Character Formation and Intimacy in the Couple": this is the theme of the in-depth evening organized at the Multipurpose Civic Hall of the Municipality of Paladina (BG) by UPF Italy on December 15, 2023, under the patronage of the same municipality of Paladina. This evening followed the first awareness-raising meeting held last June on the general theme, "The Individual and Social Value of the Family," and the subsequent in-depth one last October 13, with the aim of providing broader reflections on how to strengthen one's bond as a couple.

After greetings and thanks from Mayor Gianmaria Brignoli, Carlo Zonato, president of UPF Italy, introduced the evening.  He expressed his gratitude to those present, and to the mayor for the opportunity of this additional meeting. Mr Zonato then explained that UPF viewed the family as being of great value and the sole and irreplaceable key in helping the individual person reach a maturity in heart and character.  Such maturity is attained through the couple’s experience of intimacy and being closely united in their relationship with one other and in their daily life.  This is then passed on naturally to the children who will follow their parents’ example.  Family stability and harmony rests primarily on this path, which becomes the foundation for building a healthier and more cohesive society.

Following up on the previous meetings, Mr Giuseppe Russo of the Family Education Department of UPF-Italy took the floor. He highlighted how we are living in a crucial time where the value of the family is concerned. We are witnessing a real attack on the solidity of the family, in its ideal as well as its natural makeup.  This is evident in the decrease in marriages and the increase in divorces.  Furthermore, femicides are on the rise as are kidnappings and sexual abuse of minors. Specular to this there is a steady increase in self-injurious behavior and suicide in adolescents because they have lost faith in the future.  According to statistics the sexual revolution has tragically caused significant psychological damage amongst the youth, resulting in loneliness, depression, addiction and suicide at an early age. This is precisely why personal training, education and character development in a family environment is important because it becomes crucial to safeguarding young people and their future.  The love of parents and being there for their children is pivotal in helping them develop moral principles and values, such as sexual abstinence before marriage, self-control, responsibility, respect, and integrity.  This will help the person develop a healthy and independent identity by directing his/her creativity and talents in caring for others and the environment.

The cooperation of schools is imperative by creating an environment that will assist young people to have confidence in the future and in marriage.  This will result in a couple building a closely united and intimate marital bond.  The sexual relationship is not just a biological act involving the physical body.  It is a valuable "gift" which involves the consciousness, the soul and the spirit of every human being. This should help us understand how deleterious and destructive adultery and infidelity are.  How, on the other hand, so many issues could be resolved between the couple through healthy and open communication.  Most especially the ability to forgive, and to practise on a daily basis authentic love - True Love - living for the joy and good of one's partner.  This is the only glue that can unite a couple forever and make them happy.    

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