The family has always had to fight to protect itself, whether from the beast in the forest or in the sea, whether from the barbarian invading the village or the industrial machine ravaging the city, whether from the electronic social network invading the private family domain or from man-made laws regulating partnerships for modern pseudo-families.
The family is a human institution that precedes the State. As G. K. Chesterton says, “Alone among all such institutions, it begins with a spontaneous attraction.” So it is not coercive. He continues:
“There is nothing in any other social relations in any way parallel to the mutual attraction of the sexes. By missing this simple point, the modern world has fallen into a hundred follies.
“There is no dispute about the purpose of Nature in creating such an attraction. It would be more intelligent to call it the purpose of God; for Nature can have no purpose unless God is behind it. To talk of the purpose of Nature is to make a vain attempt to avoid being anthropomorphic, merely by being feminist. It is believing in a goddess because you are too skeptical to believe in a god. But this is a controversy which can be kept apart from the question, if we content ourselves with saying that the vital value ultimately found in this attraction is, of course, the renewal of the race itself. The child is an explanation of the father and mother and the fact that it is a human child is the explanation of the ancient human ties connecting the father and mother” (The Superstition of Divorce, Part V).
Dysfunctional families, however, struggle to commit to their duties and obligations. Whenever the family falters, then the State could fill its functions. Indeed, the government can step in as a provider, an educator, an entertainer, a counselor, a caretaker—but there is no way that governmental entities can replace the natural process of the family. They can only interfere with it.
By nature one cannot replace the authority of the parents nor find a substitute for the bond between a husband and wife. And how could one undo the bond between a mother and her child? One can try but it will be a waste of time. The forces seeking a New World Order are trying to disintegrate the social order within the context of the family through an elevation of public education, and not only by the legalization of divorce and same-sex marriage, but also by practicing contraception and abortion. Nonetheless, try as they might, the family will survive as God intends.
Needless to say, the family has come into existence without legislation. In truth, it has always continued to exist without the legal support and will withstand any unnatural laws made by anti-Christian governments. Families may go from being ignored and neglected, to being attacked and torn to pieces. Notwithstanding, God has instituted the family, and (to quote Chesterton once more) “this triangle of truisms, of father, mother and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.”
Now the “Kasper Proposal” disregards the essential element of the traditional family in order to adopt a new practical element of a new family structure, in accordance with the program of the New Evangelization preached by the Postconciliar Church; one in which conjugal fidelity, procreation and sacramental union are taken into a modern dynamic in marital unions.
Hence, Walter Cardinal Kasper advocates a path for divorced and remarried Catholics to be readmitted to Communion. His proposal was previously presented to a consistory of bishops in February, and once again in October 2014 to the Synod of Bishops. At the Synod, the German Cardinal Kasper led his proposal with papal support, which provoked strong reactions. Moreover, the final document of the 2014 Synod of Bishops was put to a vote of the complete assembly; they voted out the three paragraphs that addressed Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried, cohabiting couples and same-sex partners. Yet Pope Francis insisted that the failed paragraphs be retained as footnotes.
A year later, during the 2015 Synod, there were more debates and justifications on the subject of the family, but ambiguity dominated every discussion. Nevertheless, the final official document has somehow inserted those previous words that were voted out. In particular, they are included in section 82, speaking about the nullity of matrimonial bond:
82. “For many of the faithful who have had an unhappy marital experience, investigating and verifying the invalidity of the marriage represents a possible course of action. The recent motu proprio Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus and Mitis et Misericors Iesus led to a simplification of the procedures in the declaration of nullity of a marriage. With these documents, the Holy Father also wanted to ‘make clear that the bishop himself in his particular Church, of which he is pastor and head, is the one who renders judgment for the faithful entrusted to him’ (MI, preamble, III).”
And subsequently, it has forged a pastoral introduction for those divorced and civilly married couples considering any kind of “legal union”:
84. “The baptized who are divorced and civilly remarried need to be more integrated into Christian communities in a variety of possible ways, while avoiding any chance of scandal. The logic of integration is the key to their pastoral care, a care, which might allow them not only to realize that they belong to the Church as the Body of Christ, but also to know that they can have a joyful and fruitful experience in it. They are baptized; they are brothers and sisters; the Holy Spirit pours into their hearts gifts and talents for the good of all. Their participation can be expressed in different ecclesial services which necessarily requires discerning which of the various forms of exclusion, currently practiced in the liturgical, pastoral, educational and institutional framework, can be surpassed. Such persons need to feel not as excommunicated members of the Church, but instead as living members, able to live and grow in the Church and experience her as a mother, who welcomes them always, who takes care of them with affection and encourages them along the path of life and the Gospel.”
History certainly repeats itself. The 1968 Catholic world awaited the decision of Pope Paul VI on artificial means of birth control, when a variety of commercial and social interests built an expectation in the public mind that the Church must approve the use of “the pill.” Since then, contraception has been regarded as fine by many families! In like manner, today’s 2016 public opinion, both in the Press and on the Internet, is framing a discussion on the family as a pastoral need to resolve those social conflicts, not only concerning divorced and remarried Catholics but also about homosexual partners and cohabiting couples, who (they say) should not be marginalized by pastors and parishes. The family is indeed at stake!
As Traditional Catholics, it is important to re-establish parental authority in the two societies that Divine Providence has instituted for us—the family and civil society. A considerable part of knowledge comes from the authority that passes it on. A child has confidence in his parents, in his teachers and in his books: thereby his knowledge increases and solidifies. As children, we receive everything from our father and mother; even in all educational nourishment in the moral or intellectual domain, within either a private or a social scenario, our parents played an imperative role.
In this perspective, teachers help parents, in such a way that in the children’s minds teachers are sharing their parents’ authority. In other words, all the learning we obtain during our childhood and youth is received and accepted, rather than gathered by experience or by chance.
God intended that amazing influence of the family. This is the reason why He bestows on the father of the family such great authority and power over his family, his wife and his children. When a child is born, he comes in a state of extreme weakness so that we can appreciate the absolute need for the stability and indissolubility of the home, with both masculine and feminine figures.
The role of parenting has become very difficult today because the hectic style of modern living offers no spare time, nor common sense or discipline, at all. Professional obligations separate parents from children, and frequently grandparents cannot help as they used to do. So Catholic families are not only confused but also defenseless.
Human creatures usually live by following family traditions, as can be observed throughout the whole world. Therefore, Catholic parents must teach true religious knowledge, in practicing religion and in moral training according to the teaching of the Gospel and the Church, with all its traditions and customs.
Lastly, Our Lady in Fatima has given us several clues to help us wake up to the critical issues among which we live, and which we can relate to the minor prophet Zacharias’s words:
“Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that cleaveth to me, saith the Lord of hosts: strike the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered, and I will turn my hand to the little ones. And there shall be in all the earth, saith the Lord, two parts in it shall be scattered, and shall perish: but the third part shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined: and I will try them as gold is tried. They shall call on my name, and I will hear them. I will say: Thou art my people, and they shall say: the Lord is my God” (XIII, 7–9).
This is why the Blessed Virgin Mary told Sister Lucia that she had to suffer much on behalf of the Holy Father, but “Finally, in the end My Immaculate Heart will triumph.” Indeed, it is a mystery of iniquity—the undermining of the family by the “Kasper Proposal” during the last Synod of Bishops.
¡Viva Cristo Rey!