Synod on the Family 8: A Litany of Challenges

window from insideThis section, with just one negative vote among the 180 counted (the most bishops weighing in so far) can be depressing. Remember, Americans, it is a list compiled from input around the world. While we might recognize some of our problems in the litany below, some Third World challenges might not be so far away from our tidy neighborhoods after all.

This is the last of four sections that treat the “socio-cultural context” of the current situation. Check the full document here. Or let’s just read one paragraph today, edited here for bullet points to bring out the listing:

  • Many children are born outside marriage, in great numbers in some countries, many of whom subsequently grow up with just one of their parents or in a blended or reconstituted family.
  • Divorces are increasing, many times taking place solely because of economic reasons. Oftentimes, children are a source of contention between parents and become the real victims of family break-ups.
  • Fathers who are often absent from their families, not simply for economic reasons, need to assume more clearly their responsibility for children and the family.
  • The dignity of women still needs to be defended and promoted. In fact, in many places today, simply being a woman is a source of discrimination and the gift of motherhood is often penalized, rather than  esteemed.
  • Not to be overlooked is the increasing violence against women, where they become victims, unfortunately, often within families and as a result of the serious and widespread practice genital mutilation in some cultures.
  • The sexual exploitation of children is still another scandalous and perverse reality in present-day society.
  • Societies characterized by violence due to war, terrorism or the presence of organized crime are witnessing the deterioration of the family, above all in big cities, where, in their peripheral areas, the so-called phenomenon of “street-children” is on the rise.
  • Furthermore, migration is another sign of the times to be faced and understood in terms of its onerous consequences to family life.

Nothing here on children orphaned or abandoned or collateral damage of substance abuse. One in 600 US citizens are minors in foster care or a group home or institution. I suspect worldwide the number is between ten and twenty million. The bishops, to their credit, treat adoption later on in this document (58).

Meanwhile, any other comments on this list?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in evangelization, Pastoral Challenges to the Family in the Context of Evangelization. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Synod on the Family 8: A Litany of Challenges

  1. crystal says:

    “The dignity of women still needs to be defended and promoted. In fact, in many places today, simply being a woman is a source of discrimination …”

    Places like the Catholic church.

    • Atheist Max says:


      The Church is following orders. Women can easily be reminded of their place
      by simply opening the Bible.

      Women, be good sex slaves.
      “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord, as a servant…wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” (Ephesians 5:22-24)
      “Slaves, be subject to your masters with all reverence, not only to those who are good and equitable but also to those who are PERVERSE.” (1 Peter 2:18)

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