If the family is the family, can one also say that it is a social and cultural reality?

This site, which aims to shed light on the terribly confusing ideas that go around these days, ever since its beginnings some time ago has quite predictably received, receives and it most probably will continue to receive, criticism from various quarters. Among the accusations made is that in our analyses we misconstrue Francis’ words, conferring to them a meaning that he had not intended. Those who think this way seem to have missed the meaning of this investigation, and the objective of each post.
Since clarity is what is expected, even demanded, of a teacher, how much more so of the Supreme Pontiff, especially at a time when any kind of lapse is taken advantage of by the enemies of the Church for their own iniquitous objectives! If declarations of John Paul II and Benedict XVI were so often twisted in order to confuse public opinion, it would be naive to believe that they will not do the same with certain sayings of Francis, which almost seem to offer themselves up to malevolent use. At times, these misinterpretations are caused by the fact that it is necessary to conjecture, with the best of good will, at their orthodox meaning, doing everything to close ones eyes to the impact they produce. Other times, because one is obliged to do some really fancy intellectual footwork in an attempt to reconcile pronouncements that at first sight seem to contradict statements made a few lines later. And so it is in many other circumstances. Just a glance at the constant disclaimers and clarifications that the Holy See press office has had to produce regarding the sayings and doings of Francis is sufficient proof. If it is not an easy task even for those of good will, it seems a bit much to demand of those who obsessively scrounge for filth to then throw it in the Church’s face. That is why so many of our posts are dedicated to objectively showing Catholic doctrine in its resplendent clarity so that no one may justify the use of the words of the Bishop of Rome in an attempt to attack the truth. This is the case with the study at hand.

In Francis’ words to be analyzed in this post, we observe the following affirmations in just a few lines:

  • “The family is an anthropological fact.
  • “Consequently, it is a social, cultural fact.
  • “We cannot qualify the family with ideological concepts.
  • “The family is family.

 After having read and re-read these words, we confess that we are unable to grasp their deeper meaning, and above all, the intention that Francis had in saying them, for, at first glance, they seem to contain a real contradiction. If the family, as an anthropological reality, is a social reality, of culture – one then understands that the society and culture of its time can model it – how would it not be qualified with ideological concepts? And, right after, there is another contradiction: “the family is family”, and that’s that. Perfect, but then how can it be a reality of culture? So we are still mystified…and it seems opportune to recall the much clearer doctrine regarding the cell mater of society that the Church has taught us for the past 2000 years, so timely and necessary in a world where openly immoral lifestyles – social and cultural realities! – are ever-increasing. In reality, the family is not progressivist or conservative, the family is conformed to the plan of God, or it simply is not family. Read on..

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