News Release

Two Members of the European Parliament Receive 2016 European Family Values Award

Mrs. Anna Záborská and Mr. Luigi Morgano, both Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), received the 2016 European Family Values Award from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at an award dinner held in the European Parliament, in Brussels, on the 30th of November.


The European Family Values Award in Brussels recognizes individuals and organizations whose work and influence with the institutions of the European Union have a significant impact on family life within European societies.

Elder Patrick Kearon, President of the Europe Area of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who presided at the event, said that these two MEPs received the award “for their dedicated commitment over many years of service to make the family unit a priority in EU policy making.”

He further said: "Our parents would be astonished that today we need to hold events like this one to talk about the importance of the family, a concept so obvious not too long ago." He then shared his experience of when he and his wife met a family of refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos last winter: "There were five of them, a father, a mother, two daughters and a son. They were still wet from the waist down and shivering from their crossing from Turkey in a small rubber boat. All they had were three small bags and a football, but they had each other. This picture reminded me of how important the family and family ties are. That this, after all, is what matters the most."

On receiving the award, Mrs. Záborská and Mr. Morgano expressed their gratitude to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for this important and timely initiative.

In her remarks, Mrs. Záborská said: "Family as a basic human community can only be understood as an intersection of three planes: private, social, and divine. Family is at the same time a source of private happiness, social welfare, and divine blessing." 

"It is very important that people who are concerned with the fate of family in Europe closely follow all developments that concern both concept of family, and everyday life of millions of families in all EU member states," she concluded.

"Family is a privileged community, it is the original cell of social life. It is the natural society in which husband and wife are called to give themselves in love and in the gift of life," said Mr. Morgano. 

He warned against the "increasing attention towards a relativist thought which, in effect, proposes to de-structure/weaken this model of Family, by classifying it as - in an almost derogatory manner - 'traditional', if not outright 'outdated'." Mr. Morgano then finished his remarks by saying, "In conclusion, I wish to dedicate this important award to my wife Bertilla, model spouse and mother."

Accompanying Elder Kearon was his wife, Sister Jennifer Kearon.

This is the second time that the European Family Values Award has been presented by the Church in the context of the European Union.

This year’s awards event was attended by Members of the European Parliament from across the political spectrum, foreign ambassadors, and representatives of churches and civil society organizations. The Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe (FAFCE), last year’s recipient of the Family Values Award, was represented at the award dinner by Antoine Renard, President, and members of FAFCE’s office in Brussels.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a Christian faith with half a million members in Europe, opened its European Union office in Brussels in 2013. To better serve the European community, the Church seeks cooperation with political and institutional bodies and by reaching out to international NGOs, religious organisations, and civil society.

You can learn more about the Church’s EU Office activities in Brussels on its Facebook page:

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