Tamara Falco will participate at the end of this month in the World Congress of Families, which will be held in Mexico. This event became a reference meeting for the international ultra-Catholic movement. The last editions held in Verona (Italy) and Budapest (Hungary) were attended by far-right political leaders such as the former Italian minister Matteo Salvini, the president of the Brothers of Italy (Fratelli d’Italia), Giorgia Meloni; and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
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Ignacio Arzuaga, president of HazteOir, regularly attends this event. In fact, your organization’s international brand, CitizenGo, is one of the convening groups for the World Congress of Families. This Spanish lobbyist has become one of the most important actors in the international “anti-gender” movement with campaigns against the abortion law and LGBTI rights. His organization is behind the bus that toured Madrid with the transphobic message “boys have penises and girls have vulva”.
In his speech at the edition, which took place in Verona in 2019, Arzuaga assured that “the natural family is under attack all over the world”. Therefore, to avoid this situation, he encouraged those present to pray. “Pray for the natural family, pray for our families. Trust in God and God’s Providence.” he assured. And he said: “God willing, sooner or later we will win the cultural battle.”
Falco will attend as a speaker
For her part, the aristocrat and influencer Tamara Falco made her debut in this type of international meeting. The daughter of Isabelle Preisler and the Marquis of Grignon, she inherited her father’s nobility after he died in March 2020 due to Covid-19. Falcó’s agency confirmed that the Marchioness of Grignon will attend “as a speaker as well as an assistant”, although they did not specify what her intervention would consist of.
The presence of names associated with nobility in ultra-Catholic movements is not new. It has already been detailed by Neil Datta, Executive Director of the European Parliamentary Forum on Sexual and Reproductive Rights, in a report he published in June 2021 entitled The tip of the iceberg: extremist religious sponsors against sexual and reproductive rights. In the 2019 edition of the World Congress of Families, Luis Alfonso de Borbon, great-grandson of Francisco Franco and Alfonso XIII, participated as a “VIP speaker”.
Data recovered in this report a few words from the German sociologist Andreas Kemper to explain this connection. “The ‘defense of life’ in this sense is the ‘defense of nobility,'” he explains in his study. And he went on to quote the German academic: “The link between this pro-life movement and its aristocratic followers is the title. The family should be “holy” because it guarantees family inheritance. Not only in the sense of private property, but also in the sense of higher lineage.
Along with Arzuaga and Falco, the Spaniards who have also confirmed their presence are Tomás Melendo, who presents himself as Doctor of Philosophy and Educational Sciences; director Juan Manuel Cotello; priest Guillermo Serra; psychiatrist Enrique Rojas and José Miguel Cubillo, former president of the Federation of Family Development in Spain.
Participants from different nationalities
In the program of participants, which is published on the website of the congress, there are representatives from Mexico, USA, Great Britain, Germany and Guatemala. Some of them lead religious organizations or initiatives such as the Institute for Theology of the Body, ALPHA Course for Marriages, the International Organization for the Family, the Council of the Red Family, chastity projects or the Pontifical John Paul II Theological Institute.
The meeting is presented as an event to “affirm, celebrate and strengthen the family as a fundamental and natural environment, key to the flourishing of mature individuals and sustainable societies”. The program will begin on Friday, September 30 and end on Sunday, October 2. It also details some of the topics that will be covered. Some of the tables are titled Strong Families, Resilient Societies, Accompanying Families in Company, Family and Entertainment, and Family Life. General public tickets range from $900 to $1,300.
This event is the great meeting of ultra-Catholic organizations. Some groups, such as the Human Rights Campaign, have warned that the congress – which brings together dozens of organizations – is one of the “most influential” in “exporting hate”. In an interview with elDiario.es in 2019, Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at the Free University of Brussels (ULB), David Paternot, explained that this summit helps the participating organizations “set the agenda”.
As Datta explained in the report titled The tip of the icebergin its latest editions, this summit brought together European “populist” and “far-right” leaders, as well as “leaders of the American Christian right and anti-gender Christian actors who tend to be critical of the Vatican.”
The investigation conducted by the European Parliamentary Forum on Sexual and Reproductive Rights found in 2021 the rise of movements against feminism, abortion and the LGTBI collective. As this network of parliamentarians from across the continent reveals, funding to promote an agenda against these rights has quadrupled in a decade. It has gone from $22.2 million in 2009 to $96 million in 2018.
This institution reached this conclusion before the US Supreme Court overturned the historic decision that guaranteed the right to abortion. This decision encouraged and gave wings to the hopes of ultra-Catholic groups to restrict sexual and reproductive rights in their respective countries.