102 – The family is an anthropological fact, and consequently a social, cultural fact, etc. We cannot qualify it with ideological concepts. Today there can be no talk of the conservative family or the progressive family: family is family!

Ever since it began some time ago, this site, which aims to shed light on the terribly confusing ideas going around these days, has quite predictably received, receives and will probably continue receiving 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 one’s 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.

Francis

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Teachings of the Magisterium

Enter in the various parts of our study

ContentsAuthors
I – The matrimonial union which constitutes the foundation of the family is an institution of natural law elevated to the category of a Sacrament and should be understood in conformity with the plans of God
II – The family according to the Magisterium of the Church
III – All of the immoral concepts of ‘family’ are not really family


I – The matrimonial union which constitutes the foundation of the family is an institution of natural law elevated to the category of a Sacrament and should be understood in conformity with the plans of God


John Paul II

The family is a reality that derives from the wisdom of God’s will
The family as a lasting covenant of love comes from God

Benedict XVI

An institution of natural law based on the marriage between a man and woman

John Paul II

A communion of stable and faithful life

John XXIII

The family is founded upon marriage freely contracted, one and indissoluble

Catechism of the Catholic Church

A family is formed by a man and a woman united in marriage, together with their children

Pius XI

Children have the right to be educated by their mother and father
Matrimony was instituted by God and elevated to a Sacrament by Christ

Leo XIII

Christ cemented the union of man and woman by the bond of divine love
Marriage: more binding and holy through Christ

Benedict XVI

Marriage has value as a natural institution and as a Sacrament
Raised to the dignity of a Sacrament, marriage confers greater splendor and depth to the conjugal bond
The Lord is the centre and heart of the family

John Paul II

Christian couples are called to participate in the irrevocable indissolubility that binds Christ to the Church

Saint Thomas Aquinas

The Sacrament is a one of the goods of Matrimony – it shows the indivisible union of Christ and His Church

Pius IX

Condemned errors regarding Christian matrimony

Sacred Scripture

The two shall become one flesh

II – The family according to the Magisterium of the Church


Benedict XVI

The family is a necessary good, fruit of the love and total self-giving within marriage
Today the essential characteristics of Sacramental marriage are misunderstood

John Paul II

The indissolubility of marriage is a sign of the absolutely faithful love of God
Christian Matrimony is a total yes to the plans of God
Jesus, Mary and Joseph; models for families

Vatican Council II

The Christian family manifests Christ’s living presence in the world

John XXIII

From the holiness and indissolubility of Christian marriage, the harmonious unity of the family arises

Catechism of Trent

The first blessing of marriage: children born of a true and lawful wife

Pius XII

Large families are synonymous with Christian families

Pius XI

The family is not founded on passing sentiments but rather a firm will

International Theological Commission

The dynamism towards procreation is intrinsically linked to the natural inclination that leads man to woman

Saint Augustine of Hippo

The more chaste the spouses the better the marriage

III – All of the immoral concepts of ‘family’ are not really family


Sacred Scripture

Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery
A bond that lasts while the spouses live

Saint Augustine of Hippo

It is never permitted to abandon a spouse to unite with another

Benedict XVI

Today the crisis of the family impresses upon children an erroneous typology of the family
The natural structure of marriage is the union of a man and a woman – this principle comes from human nature itself and not only from faith

John Paul II

Today we are faced with opposition toward God with respect to matrimony
That which does not encourage conjugal fidelity is anti-family
Ideologies on ‘gender’ and de facto unions do not correspond to the concept of family

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Union outside of marriage defiles the temple of the Holy Spirit

Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church

Making ‘de facto unions’ legally equivalent to the family discredits the model of the family

Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church

Unions outside of matrimony are an offense to its dignity

Pius IX

The family is the fruit of Matrimony - any other union outside of the Sacrament is nothing else but shameful concubinage

Sacred Scripture

An abomination to the Lord
For having practiced unnatural vice they underwent the punishment of eternal fire

John Paul II

The relationship of two men or two women cannot constitute a true family
The Church must fight against the recognition of illegitimate unions
Christian legislators may neither contribute to the formulation of a law nor approve laws that harm the family

Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church

Homosexual unions will never be ‘matrimony’ or ‘family’

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

The family is of natural law, and homosexual relations contradict this law
Homosexual relations are depraved and in no way similar to matrimony
Homosexual behavior is intrinsically immoral

Pontifical Council for the Family

It is contrary to common sense to equal marriage to homosexual relationships

Pius XII

Sodom was destroyed because of its crimes against the family

Catechism of the Catholic Church

Homosexuality is a grave depravity an under no circumstances can it be approved

Saint Augustine of Hippo

The offenses contrary to nature of the Sodomites are everywhere and at all times to be held in detestation and punished
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