World Congress of Families IX gathers interfaith crowd of pro-life, pro-family advocates




Photo Oct 30, 5 54 27 PM​“Legality of same-sex marriage does not dictate its moral or social acceptance,” said Gwen Landolt, national vice president of REAL Women of Canada at the World Congress of Families IX (WCF) on Oct. 30, “…and impartial research indicates that children are being harmed by same-sex parenting. The welfare of the child must be considered before all else.”

​Landolt was one of many educated pro-family advocates who spoke at the World Congress of Families, a semi-annual international congress that was held in Salt Lake City, Utah, from Oct. 27-Oct. 30. The congress’ purpose was protecting, defending and advocating for the natural family.


​As an interfaith gathering of pro-life, pro-family non-governmental organizations, businesses, advocates, outreaches and scholars, the WCF takes place in order to address, educate and train advocates, encourage supporters, address cultural problems and develop solutions.

​Among those in attendance were two Franciscan University of Steubenville students and one Franciscan University graduate, who received full scholarships to attend the congress through the WCF Emerging Leaders Scholarship program.

​The Franciscan University students said they had never seen such a large gathering of pro-family organizations. The entire ground floor of the Grand American hotel was filled conference presenters and booths involved in international advocacy from nearly every profession, with a wide array of speakers every day.

Congress speakers included professors, researchers, statisticians, public advocates, religious leaders and scientists, many of whom are married with families of their own.

​Both student Andrew Koehler and alumna Rebekah Ripberger said they were thankful for the experience and learned a great deal.

​“At this conference, I was informed more about the pro-family movement and how the family is being destroyed through pornography, sex trafficking, same-sex marriages, contraceptives and (co-habitation), but I also learned that there are ways to bring the family back to where God intended it to be,” said Ripberger, “… (God) wants us to love His children, to ‘love our neighbor as yourself’ and that means working for the salvation of your neighbor. I’m taking on the difficult request from my Father to defend and protect this beautiful gift for the rest my life.”

​Ripberger graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville with a Bachelor of Arts degree in education.

One of the main messages of WCF IX was the need to foster even better cooperation within the pro-family and pro-life movement, specifically between denominations, in order to achieve the goal of reviving traditional marriage and gaining legal protections of it worldwide.

The WCF hopes that, through their Emerging Leaders Scholarship Program, more youth will be encouraged to engage the culture and become involved in actively advocating for the rights of the family.

WCF X will be held in the nation of Georgia in May 2016. Applications for the scholarship program will be available as the date approaches.

All WCF IX presentations will be available free on as early as Wednesday, Nov. 4.

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