Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.
I'm interested in getting some good arguments together for my many non-believing, liberal friends. Would you recommend these conferences for this purpose, or are they really for professionals? Thanks.
I’m afraid I have to disagree with your opinion of the graphic, Father. It’s very hard to summarise my reasons for this in a short comment but I will try. Firstly I would stress that I am one hundred per cent behind the aims of Family Life International which does admirable work and I support everything that they support. However, strong families these days (and yes I do mean married man and wife and lots of kids) come in many shapes and images - you only need to go to a thriving Catholic church to see that. It does a disservice to a great cause to portray a stereotypical “paterfamilias” in suit and tie towering over his demure little wife with all the implications that he is the boss and she is in the kitchen. How much better it would have been, in my view, to portray husband and wife standing shoulder to shoulder. And who are the people hacking away at the base? Stereotypes again. The women, in their sharp suits, (and notice, shorter skirts than mama!) are obviously meant to be in professional careers, as if that was automatically bad. There are many many women who work and bring great benefits to their professions while leading good Christian lives and have well-functioning families – and certainly don’t support abortion. And what about the good Catholic lawyers?! Something more abstract would have been far more appropriate. A graphic like this, I fear, plays into the hands of the opponents of the family and won’t do much to attract the waverers. It seems to have been designed by that element who hate anything that happened after the 1950s and sometimes, I feel, their views are not the best way forward. Now I wait to be shouted down!
Anon - no, these conferences are for a general audience. They also have lots of CDs, booklets etc. with good information.Ann - thanks for your comment. I suppose my view on the "stereotypes" would be that many women are pressurised into feeling almost guilty if they are in a more patriarchal family. It's the one thing that is not allowed.I'm sure others will come in on this too so thanks for starting the discussion. (I don't allow nasty or rude remarks.)
I think the poster makes its point very clearly. With any advertising or marketing, a necessary ( and sometimes unfair) tool is the polarisation of extremes in order to make the point. Exaggeration for effect. The sharp-suited woman REPRESENTS the perversion of male/female roles that we`ve seen in the past few years. The lawyer represents the aggressive anti-family legislation that has been forced onto our statute books. And, if only more fathers WOULD take up their place as the head of the family, not towering above the demure wife in a dictator role.. but as a loving leader - it`s basic teaching. How many fathers realize they have an amazing gift called spiritual authority over their families ?? When a father prays with or for his wife and children, miracles happen. I am a Catholic professional career woman and wife with a young family - I even wear sharp suits - but this poster is not a personal critcism of my life - it`s an affirmation of the sanctity of family life, and yes it has to be aggressive to make its point. The secularists are not worried about aggressively attacking US.
Fr. TimWe know that the Church is “pro-family,” “pro-marriage” and “pro-life,” but what is the Catholic Church’s view of the ideal family? In modern parlance, what is “best practice” for marriage and family life as far as Church teaching is concerned?OK, presumably a husband and a wife (i.e. one male and one female) sharing their lives and having children, not divorcing or having affairs, using natural family planning, loving each other and their kids, handing on the faith in a “domestic church” context, caring for their elderly relatives, etc. etc.But to drill down a little: Does the Church fundamentally teach that God’s plan for married men is that they should be the ones who raise the money to support their wives, who in turn should focus more or less exclusively on motherhood? Is the ideal Catholic husband the sole breadwinner?Is the ideal Catholic wife a mother who stays at home looking after the children? Or is she free to go to work provided she’s not using contraceptives and the children are properly looked after in her absence? Or is the latter permitted but viewed as inferior to the former?Does the authority of the parents over their children extend to a Catholic view of the husband being the head of the Catholic family with authority over his wife? Or are husband and wife co-equal?Is there a magisterial definition of how the ideal Catholic family should function in terms of role allocation and authority structure? Lots of married Catholics would love to know what the Church really teaches on these things. I have the strong impression that a coherent and authentic Catholic anthropology exists from which answers to these questions can be drawn, but it isn’t fully articulated.
At face value I can see that the image portrays everything that is good and wholesome in a family - strong protective husband and father standing behind his family with his arms outstretched to shield them, the loving wife and mother almost cradled in his arms holding and nestling the children (wot? only three!!), she is seated of course because out of chivalry and respect the husband would not have it any other way. A family unit, tightly bonded together in love and God's Grace as seen by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.There are many statues of the Holy Family in a similar pose, St Joseph standing while Our Blessed Lady sits holding the baby Jesus.There is nothing wrong with this - it should be what all families aspire to. But I do believe that Ann's point is valid - there are indeed many good strong Catholics both male and female either single professionals or married and holding down 'suited' high flying jobs, and maybe the FLI graphic does little to attract them to contemplate attending the conference. I do think though Ann in her turn is being a little unkind by calling the husband/father 'Boss' and describing the wife/mother as 'demure'. Overall there is probably an opportunity here to work on a new poster/graphic for the 2008 conference. Meanwhile I can wholeheartedly recommend the FLI conference to everyone. It's a great forum within which to strengthen your Faith, get up-to-speed with current pro-family issues, meet like minded people and make new friends. God Bless.
If I may be allowed a further comment. I don't see anything intrinsically derogatory about the words "Boss" and "demure" - I was the former for many years and have aspired to the latter, though with mixed success.. But I'm sorry if I was unkind to anyone, even if it was only to a picture of a statue!I also didn’t intend to criticise couples who are comfortable in these roles. I am, perhaps rather sensitive to this because I have encountered, particularly in the United States, a certain element in the Catholic Church who - perhaps as a reaction to modern excesses - believe in going back to an extreme form of the patriarchal family. I think some of their views would alarm mainstream Catholics in Britain as they certainly alarm me. And they are gaining ground. One article I saw recently in a respected "traditional" Catholic magazine and by a woman at that, opined that the husband should make all the decisions in a marriage. That's just plain daft - after all the most important decision in the history of the human race was made by a woman - at the Annunciation! The concept of the patriarchal family has sometimes been misunderstood and abused, so I myself am happier with mutual respect as a starting point. Of course the two aren’t incompatible. In my own very happy experience, when a marriage is truly based on mutual respect, husband and wife tend to relax into their own natural male and female roles. After years of independence, I was delighted to have my husband take the driving seat when appropriate but he's never insisted!re Francis’ query, I woud strongly recommend the writings of Pope John Paul 11 who made a tremendous contribution to reconciling the traditional and modern roles of women. Joanna Bogle (blogger Auntie Joanna) has also written some excellent stuff for engaged and married couples.
This year my wife and I will be celebrating 31 years of marriage. We have six fantastic kids.A priest gave us this advice many years ago - 'marriage should not be seen as a 50/50 partnership, like some kind of business contract. No, each of you, husband and wife, should give 90% to the other and expect only 10% back. With that level of 'self-giving, self-sacrifice' your marriage will grow ever deeper in love and from strength to strength'.Sometimes when things get tough, terse or I get too high on my 'high horse' I try to focus my mind on those words and start again with a 'sorry and a smile'.I hope others already married or maybe contemplating marriage, perhaps getting married this summer might take this idea on board. It's stood us in good stead.God Bless.
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