Attacks against the family

a historical overview


The family is a society whose primary end is to transmit life and to raise children. Because it is the source of life and of new human relationships, it constitutes the fundamental and irreplaceable cell of society. All the classical philosophers and political thinkers have affirmed it, and history has confirmed it. 

Well before Christianity, in ancient Rome, the familia was the cell of the civitas; but Christianity elevated matrimony to a sacrament, and when the Roman Empire fell, crushed by the barbarians, the only entity which survived and constituted the basis of the society which was born, was the family.

This conception of the family, which survived until the French Revolution and beyond, is founded on the idea that man is born within a given historical condition, which has insurmountable limits, beginning with death; that an objective and unchangeable nature exists; that this nature has its origin in God, Creator of the order of the universe. The Catholic Church, in her teaching, has always confirmed this conception of man and of society.


Prof Roberto de Mattei



18 NOVEMBER 2022


To watch the webinar, please sign in or create an account.

Prof Roberto de Mattei

Professor Roberto de Mattei is the president of the Lepanto Foundation. He has taught modern history and the history of Christianity in several Italian universities and also served as Vice President of the National Research Council, the highest Italian scientific institution. He directs the magazine Radici Cristiane and the news agency Corrispondenza Romana, and is the author of thirty-five books, including The Church in the tempests: the first millennium of the Church (Calx Mariae Publishing, 2022)


Leo XIII, encyclical Arcanum divinae sapientia (1880)
Pius XI, encyclical Casti connubii (1930)
Plinio Correa de Oliveira, Revolution and Counter-Revolution, ‎ (The American TFP, 2008)