Three interesting quotes from today’s papal document

From Amoris Laetitia:

Each of these passages contains a kernel of conservativism. Personally I find the reference to the father’s authority intriguing. His general approach aligns with that of Pope St John Paul II.

On the matter of communion for the divorced and remarried, Francis has remained ambiguous, possibly leaving this up more to individual situations and consciences.

There is also what seems to be a swipe at the Western practice of tying aid to recognition of homosexual “rights.”

” The single-mindedness of gender

The document dedicates a few lines to “gender”, an “ideology” that “denies the difference and reciprocity in nature of a man and a woman and envisages a society without sexual differences, thereby eliminating the anthropological basis of the family”. “This ideology leads to educational programmes and legislative enactments that promote a personal identity and emotional intimacy radically separated from the biological difference between male and female.” Francis says it “is a source of concern that some ideologies of this sort, which seek to respond to what are at times understand¬able aspirations, manage to assert themselves as absolute and unquestionable, even dictating how children should be raised”. “

…and absent fathers  

These days the problem seems to be the absence of fathers. “‘Fathers are often so caught up in themselves and their work, and at times in their own self-fulfilment, that they neglect their families. They leave the little ones and the young to themselves’.” “The presence of the father, and hence his authority, is also impacted by the amount of time given over to the communications and entertainment media.” But asking the father to be “present” does not mean being too “controlling. “Fathers who are too controlling overshadow their children”.”

The maternal presence…  

The document says it is “legitimate and indeed desirable” that women “wish to study, work, develop their skills and have personal goals”. “At the same time, we cannot ignore the need that children have for a mother’s presence, especially in the first months of life.” “The weakening of this maternal presence with its feminine qualities poses a grave risk to our world.” “I certainly value feminism, but one that does not demand uniformity or negate motherhood.” “


9 responses to this post.

  1. He lost me at, “I certainly value feminism”


    • Posted by Julian O'Dea on April 8, 2016 at 1:56 pm

      It all depends on what he means by feminism.


      • Yes, that’s it. What does he mean. What does he ever mean. I find myself half hoping that he would clarify some of his writings, comments and the other half of me praying that he won’t.

      • Posted by Julian O'Dea on April 8, 2016 at 2:14 pm

        I think one has to make allowances for the diplomatic style. He is basically saying that sex roles are natural and should be maintained. He is assuming that fathers will be breadwinners and wives will be mothers.

        I actually don’t take him for a feminist in the Western sense. In fact I was stunned by that reference to paternal authority. There is a strong implication that this is familial authority including over the wife.

  2. Maybe earlier. . .


  3. “I think one has to make allowances for the diplomatic style” yes, I have a very hard time doing that. And ,yes, his mention of paternal authority is encouraging.


  4. He does NOT understand what he’s talking about, nor the term feminism, nor the politics and ideology behind the acceptance and use of terms like feminism, if he can say ‘I value feminism’


    • Posted by Julian O'Dea on April 9, 2016 at 3:42 am

      But you have to read the rest of his remark. He is rejecting gender feminism and radical feminism.

      Moreover I remain fairly sure that his specific reference to male authority implies the traditional masculine headship of the family.


  5. Posted by Julian O'Dea on April 9, 2016 at 3:45 am

    None of these kinds of papal remarks are at a very solemn level of teaching. They are a pope’s ordinary teaching and are not infallible. They have to be read in the light of tradition.


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