Amoris Laetitia 52: A Weakening of the Family

amoris laetitia memeAn un-footnoted section might be that of the Holy Father:

52. No one can think that the weakening of the family as that natural society founded on marriage will prove beneficial to society as a whole. The contrary is true: it poses a threat to the mature growth of individuals, the cultivation of community values and the moral progress of cities and countries. There is a failure to realize that only the exclusive and indissoluble union between a man and a woman has a plenary role to play in society as a stable commitment that bears fruit in new life.

It is important to remember that our times are not unique in world history for a disregard for the principle given here. The practices of slavery and polygamy were notable in Biblical times and cultures. We cannot deny that there has been more than one Judeo-Christian ideal. That doesn’t alleviate our responsibilities in the present, however. But it may give insight as to how Christians of previous centuries dealt with family ruptures due to death, disease, slavery, war, and other challenges. The meme that we live in especially bad times seems exceedingly weak to me.

We need to acknowledge the great variety of family situations that can offer a certain stability, but de facto or same-sex unions, for example, may not simply be equated with marriage. No union that is temporary or closed to the transmission of life can ensure the future of society.

An unfortunate turn of phrase here, if Pope Francis is thinking exclusively of biological fertility.

But nowadays who is making an effort to strengthen marriages, to help married couples overcome their problems, to assist them in the work of raising children and, in general, to encourage the stability of the marriage bond?

Good question. Does the Church, institution, episcopacy, parish, and domestic incarnation have an answer? Do any of you readers?

For your reference, remember that Amoris Laetitia is online here.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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