His Highness Duke Paul of Oldenburg is director of the Brussels Bureau of Fédération Pro Europa Christiana. He has often been the honored guest and speaker at American TFP conferences and is a frequent participant at the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. On May 18 last he addressed these words to the participants of the fourth Rome Life Forum organized by Voice of the Family and held just steps from the Vatican.
I wholeheartedly thank the organizers of this congress, the Rome Life Forum, which brings together pro-life and pro-family leaders and volunteers from around the world. This is, indeed, a field where we must absolutely join forces. I speak on behalf of the Fédération Pro Europa Christiana, that comprises several associations born from the work of Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira.
When, in July 1960, Prof. de Oliveira founded the Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP), he well knew that the defense of innocent human life and the preservation of the sacred institution of the family would be crucial issues conservatives in general, and Catholics in particular, would have to face in the decades to come. Since then, the associations inspired by him, now present in 30 countries throughout the world, have ceaselessly fought for life and family,1 often in coalition with other pro-life and pro-family movements.
From the campaigns against divorce, abortion and birth control in the 1960s to his last book Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites,2 in which he analyzes at length the role of the family in an organic society, Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira always considered the protection of innocent human life and the preservation of the traditional family a mainstay of his struggle for Christian civilization.3
It is no coincidence that this Forum is taking place during the hundredth anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima. Speaking to the three little shepherds and, through them, to the whole world, the Mother of God denounced the “errors of Russia” as the most dynamic feature of the revolutionary process that is destroying Christian civilization. She specifically pointed to the assault against the family as the cutting edge of these “errors.”
The destruction of the family is a key goal of the communist movement. The first sexual revolution was launched by Vladimir Lenin, with laws legalizing divorce (1918), abortion (1920) and euthanasia (1922). Lenin eradicated the old laws regarding sexual relations, effectively legalizing homosexual activity within Russia. He also allowed men who were openly homosexual to serve in government. In doing so, he was simply acting as a coherent communist.
In The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State, Friedrich Engels asserts that in the monogamous family lies the root of all evil, namely, the idea of “mine” (my wife, my husband), which gives rise to the private property of the means of production (capitalism) and, later, to the private property of authority (the State). Engels proposes promiscuous sexual intercourse, and even incest, as a means of breaking the idea of family based on “consanguinity,” turning it instead into a “pairing family,” which would usher mankind into the “next higher plane of society.”4
Learn All About the Prophecies of Our Lady of Good Success About Our Times
Later, mixing Marxism and Freudianism, post-Marxist schools presented the destruction of the family as a necessary step in the revolutionary process of “liberation.” In his 1936 book The Sexual Revolution – Sex and the Cultural War, Wilhelm Reich proposed the abolition of the family through widespread sexual promiscuity, including homosexuality, as a way “towards the socialist restructuring of humans.”
The family is considered the root of all the “alienations” from which man has to “liberate” himself. “The figure of the father” wrote Herbert Marcuse, “is the archetype of every domination; it opens the chain reaction of slavery, rebellion and forced domination that characterizes the history of civilization.”5
The so-called sexual “liberation,” therefore, is not a result of the Sixties, nor of the feminist movement, nor of the pro-choice and LGBT lobbies. It is a revolutionary scheme launched a century ago, that is now reaching a climax.
It is our strict moral duty to defend innocent human life and the sacred institution of the family, both for their intrinsic worth and as a way to preserve what remains of Christian civilization. The defense of the family is all the more important, as it is the primary place where the next generations are educated. Change the family and you will change the future.
The Encyclical that Condemned the Sexual Revolution
According to Catholic doctrine, brilliantly expounded by Pope Leo XIII in the encyclical Arcanum Divinae Sapientiae, the family has as its proper role procreation, and education of the offspring. This latter includes not only intellectual and moral education but also, more importantly, an initiation into Christian life. “The command of Christ” teaches the Pontiff, “not only looks to the propagation of the human race, but to the bringing forth of children for the Church.”
Much has been written about the role of the family in the education of the offspring. Pope Pius XII, for example, has some splendid allocutions on the subject, even entering into such details as how mothers should react when their daughters come of age.
How can we forget the allocution to the mothers of Catholic Action, on October 26, 1941? Calling mothers “the prime and most intimate educators of the little ones,” the Pope insisted upon the preservation of the “purity of the family’s atmosphere” so that the children might “open their eyes and souls to the light of life.” Halfway through the allocution, the Pontiff utters a phrase that directly introduces us to the subject I shall deal with today: “It is your task, o Christian mothers, to help your children make the transition from the unconscious purity of infancy to the triumphant purity of adolescence.”
The preservation and the perfecting of this “unconscious purity of infancy,” so that it blossoms into the “triumphant purity of adolescence,” concludes Pius XII, is the essence of the parents’ role as educators, encompassing all other aspects.
Yes, Virginia, there is a God
Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira studied at length this purity of infancy, considering it an essential element of his thinking. He called it Primeval Innocence.6 A couple of years ago, the Italian TFP published a book collecting his texts on the subject Primordial Innocence and the Sacral Contemplation of the Order of the Universe,7 to which I refer for further insights. Unfortunately, there is still no English version.
We read in the Gospel of Saint Matthew: “Jesus calling unto him a little child, set him in the midst of [the Apostles] and said: Amen I say to you, unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18:2-3).
Our Lord establishes a strict connection, indeed an identity, between conversion—the condition to enter into the kingdom of Heaven—and becoming as little children. This, of course, does not mean we have to become immature. It means that, in order to be citizens of His Kingdom, we must preserve, or recover, the Innocence we had as children.
Innocence is not only a negative prerogative, that is, the absence of sin. Innocence is the spiritual state of he who, so to speak, has just come from the hands of God. We often see innocence associated with purity, but this is only a partial view of the richness of innocence, because it is first and foremost a clear notion of how things should be, and an innate comprehension of the ideal model of everything.
How to Revive the Notion of Good and Evil
From here stems the soundness of the first certainties of an innocent child.
The virginal sense—that “purity of infancy” of which Pius XII spoke—affords the innocent child a natural rectitude and a capacity to have certainties. For example, he is certain that his mother will protect him in case of danger, without having to make a logical reasoning in order to conclude this. He grasps, with full strength, the direct evidence of things. His possession of these first certainties is so strong, that he does not need to rely on a logical analysis. He knows through a sort of transparency or intuition the essence of the thing itself.
The virginal sense also perceives immediately the contrast between good and evil. A child very naturally rejects that which harms his internal order. For example, it is easy to tell a child “Don’t do this because it is dirty.” He accepts this as a matter of fact. “Children are innocent and love justice, while most of us are wicked and naturally prefer mercy,” said G.K. Chesterton. Victor Hugo went even further and wrote that “children have so little claim on hell, that if they should see it they would admire it.”
This is actually a very deep reason why we parents, as well as catechists in their lessons and priests in their sermons, should not be afraid of telling our children about Hell. Not only because fear of going to Hell will help them to avoid sin, but mainly because it will strengthen in their soul this contrast between good and evil. If Our Lady showed Hell to the three little seers, why should we be afraid of doing so simply because some misguided theologians and Church authorities have a unilateral vision of God, which excludes His infinite justice?
The Heroic Virtues of Jacinta and Francisco
Indeed, it falls primarily on parents to confirm and strengthen the child’s first certainties, thus favoring his natural process of knowledge and the development of his moral sense.
As he grows up, of course, the child will have to face the existence of evil, and react against it. This is the root of all militancy. He will be tried, he will know suffering, distrust and evil, and he will need to fight. This combat should become second nature, along with Innocence. It is like a second Innocence that adds itself to the first one. In combat, the principle of non-contradiction, which was only implicit in the first Innocence, becomes explicit. And the person, no longer a child, becomes self-conscious.
Here, too, the role of the parents is central. A parent is not so much someone who shields his children from evil, as someone who orients his children’s battles once they begin to wage them, nurturing their sense of non-contradiction between good and evil, truth and error, beauty and ugliness. Reading fairy tales to children is excellent. But the time comes when we need to confront evil. We cannot have a storybook view of the world.
Of course, these battles cannot be waged without supernatural assistance. Whence, too, the need for a highly motivated spiritual life.
Another characteristic of Innocence is the tendency to see everything in a marvellous way. Essentially, the innocent child tries to find in every being, a correspondence with the matrix of beauty and order he has inside himself. Even when something is not perfect, for instance an old, rattle-boned horse he sees in a field, the innocent child sees it as if it were a Pegasus, because of a perfectly logical necessity in his soul.
Ellen Organ and “Her Pope”: For Such Is the Kingdom of Heaven
This explains, for example, why children love to hear fairy tales, even when they perceive they are not true. Fairy tales speak of a marvellous world, a possible world that could well exist. They are imaginary wrappings that contain a nucleus of truth.
This is the correct way of contemplating the universe. God created the universe in His image and likeness. In everything that exists, there is at least one aspect which reflects some perfection of God. The capacity to grasp this aspect is the condition to know God on this earth. As Saint John says in his first epistle: “whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen” (1 John 4:20).
Contemplating a being, an innocent child naturally tends to see it in an archetypal way. It is not a dream, nor a product of subjectivism, but a perfectly legitimate and logical way of acquiring knowledge of God.
And here comes the proper and primary role of parents in the education and formation of their children: they must be a representation of God to their own children. Herbert Marcuse is only partially right when he says that “the figure of the father is the archetype of every domination.” Because God is the real and supreme archetype of every domination. In his epistle to the Romans, Saint Paul writes: “Let every person be subordinate to the higher authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been established by God” (Rom. 13:1). And this applies particularly to the domestic authority of the parents, because the same Saint Paul writes to the Ephesians: “I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named” (Eph. 3:14-15).
When Saints Formed Children
But Marcuse is right in the sense that the first figure of God’s paternity and sovereignty comes to the child through his parents and particularly the father. Obviously, I refer to parenthood in its traditional sense, when families were not “nuclear” but “patriarchal” and the institution of marriage and family were not in their present state of terminal illness requiring intensive care to survive.
For the unversed in the pedantic jargon of sociologists, a nuclear family means—I will caricature a little, but just a little—the one proposed by Hollywood films and composed of daddy, mom, a brown-haired boy and a blonde girl, plus the dog or the cat, depending on the size of the home.
“Family home.” This expression with profound resonances brings us to the heart of the matter we are discussing.
The English word “home” comes from the Old English word hām, derived from the Germanic word heim, which actually refers to a place where many “souls” are gathered, and describes the abiding place of the affections. But in Italian, Spanish and French it derives from the Latin word focularis, the sacred and irremovable hearth of the Roman homes, where fire burned to worship the Lares, i.e. the ancestors, whom the Ancients considered the protective gods of the domestic society.
The hearth was not only immutable, but also indivisible, transforming the original family unit into a closely-knit clan, the younger branches remaining grouped around the elder branch, near the single hearth and the common tomb. A large family could sometimes count several thousand people, but remained united because it preserved the cohesion that the worship of the ancestors commanded.
Watch the Full Video of Duke Paul of Oldenburg’s Address
This is thoroughly described and profoundly analyzed by Fustel de Coulanges in his book The Ancient City, a study of the beliefs and socio-political structures of the small pagan tribes at the dawn of humanity.
In these remote ages, men knew no other form of society than the family. The family was at the same time a religious society through the worship of the ancestors, an economic society through the sharing of land, a political and warrior society with a ruler, customary laws, justice and troops: in other words, a self-sufficient domestic society, something akin to a small organized State.
The paterfamilias, to take the example of Rome, exercised all the powers: religious, juridical, domestic, and patrimonial. He was the absolute master, and every member of the family was subject to his power until death. He chose the members of the family, and had the right to accept or to refuse who could be part of this community of worship, including the right to adopt as a son a person who had no blood relationship with the family, or, which amounts to roughly the same, to give consent to the marriage of his children and grandchildren.
Address of Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira for the
Launching of the American Edition of Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites
Let us not assume in a hurry that the paterfamilias often abused the exorbitant powers which he enjoyed, for in reality these powers were tempered and controlled by the morals of the time, which made him responsible for the care, education and morality of all the members of his family. Moreover, the latter were to be consulted in a consilium, a family court, on the most important decisions, under penalty of nullity, because these could affect the honor of the whole clan. And we know what value a Roman patrician attached to honor! Shakespeare, Racine and others understood how to employ this sense of honor to weave the web of their tragedies.
Nor should we forget the role of the mother, which was very real and still remains in Italian family life. The mamma is in fact the direct heir of the Roman matriarchy! The Roman mother represented a “balancing or tempering power” and a “moderator” of family life, turned particularly towards the education of the children. In African families, this role of educator is still the exclusive preserve of grandmothers, which is very understandable in a culture where the transmission of knowledge is done orally.
But let us not lose sight of the fact that this family is patriarchal, not so much because it is subject to the paterfamilias, but because the father—the high priest of the domestic religion—is the representative of an external and higher authority, the protective Lares.
The word pater, which is the same in Sanskrit, Greek and Latin, and probably dates from the time when the ancestors of the Indians, Hellenes and Romans still lived together in Central Asia, is full of lessons, says Fustel de Coulanges.
Patriarch: The Father Figure As He Should Be
Indeed, the word pater did not refer to the present idea of paternity, for which the word genitor was used instead. In religious language, the term pater applied to all gods, and in legal language to someone who, like the gods, had supreme authority and depended on no other. It was synonymous with rex and contained the idea of power and authority, as well as of “majestic dignity.” The fact that the word pater later became the usual term for the head of the family serves to give us an idea of the veneration given to him “as to a pontiff and a sovereign” by all the members of his clan.
It is because the patriarchal family existed and was ruled by a procreator, master and provider, that humanity could understand, when the hour of Redemption arrived, the profundity of the prayer that Our Lord taught us: “Our Father Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name…”
For, purified from the stain of paganism, the father is in our Christian families, in a certain way, an Emmanuel, that is to say, “a God among us,” to whom we owe honor and obedience as the Fourth Commandment of God’s Law commands us. But in return, God the Father shows Himself to us, not as an Olympian Jupiter completely alienated from our poor human worries, nor as a hideous and evil monster, ready to crush us, as in many pagan religions, but as a tender Father, a provider Who watches over us and gives us our bread each day.
* * *
We must not think that the Church has thrown away the Ancient patriarchal family because its values contained religious errors, or exorbitant powers. On the contrary, by cleansing it of its wrongs and abuses and by fortifying its original bond through the Sacrament of Marriage, the Church further strengthened this fundamental institution of the State and uplifted it towards greater achievements, both from the point of view of the family institution itself, and its political and social role, particularly during the Middle Ages.
You may be thinking that I have gone completely away from my subject, but I hope you will soon understand that this historical detour was necessary to explain why I was so astonished by the model of parenthood and family promoted by Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia.
I am neither a theologian nor a canon lawyer. Therefore it is not up to me to comment on the serious theological consequences of allowing the reception of Holy Communion by notorious public sinners, affecting nothing less than three Sacraments and creating a huge confusion among the faithful. I can only say in that respect that I fully support the dubia presented by our dear, courageous four Cardinals, and that I, like so many, am still patiently waiting for an answer to them, praying that a public, filial correction will not become necessary.
However, as a layman, a husband and a father of five children, I have a lot to complain about in the way that Amoris Laetitia deals with the family in its sociological aspect, which in my view seriously undermines the proper role of parents in the education and formation of their children.
Asking Pope Francis to Address “Doubts” About Amoris Laetitia and Communism
As far as I know, the only two pro-family organizations that have dealt with this issue are Voice of the Family and the Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira Institute, from Brazil.
As soon as the apostolic exhortation was released, Voice of the Family pointed out that “Amoris Laetitia makes no direct reference to contraception, despite the devastating consequences of the use of contraceptives in many areas of human life, not least the killing of unborn children by abortifacient methods,” as well as the fact that “on the few occasions when the encyclical Humanae Vitae is mentioned it is in the context of ‘responsible parenthood’ and the exercise of conscience by spouses in this area,” which in another context might not be troubling, but in this case “does give cause for concern given … the failure to clearly restate what the Church actually teaches about contraception.”
Furthermore, even though “Amoris Laetitia does make reference to the fundamental right and duty of parents to act as the primary educators of their children,” this reference is not made in the chapter entitled “Towards a Better Education of Children,” where a whole subsection is entitled “The Need for Sex Education” and “makes no reference to the role of parents at all, though it does make reference to ‘educational institutions’.” The few “criticisms of modern sex education are grossly insufficient” if compared to the filthy subjects that are being taught to our children in those institutions.
The Church’s Infallible and Immutable Doctrine on Contraception Stands Amid Growing Opposition
Lack of time prevents me from elaborating on the explicit inversion of the ends of marriage contained in number 80 of Amoris Laetitia, where for the first time ever in a magisterial document of the Church it is stated that “marriage is firstly an ‘intimate partnership of life and love’ which is a good for the spouses themselves, while sexuality is ‘ordered to the conjugal love of man and woman,’” placing therefore the begetting of offspring as a secondary end and therefore opening the door for further questioning of Humanae Vitae.
I will limit myself to quoting an astute comment by Howard Kainz, a retired Marquette University professor, about the effect of this inversion in the present-day controversy regarding the legalization of homosexual unions. In an article published by The Catholic Thing, entitled “The End(s) of Marriage Since Vatican II”, he wrote: “the ‘demotion’ of ‘primary end’ and the subsequent emphasis on ‘unitive’ aspects of marriage, has even led some priests to consecrate intentionally childless marriages. More recently, this de-emphasis on procreation in favor of ‘the unitive significance’ has certainly facilitated the slide towards obviously non-procreative ‘marriage’ between homosexuals.”8
Regarding the document issued by the Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira Institute, it dealt with the issue of the sociological model of the family favored by Amoris Laetitia. It was published on July 16, 2016 under the heading: “Amoris Laetitia Opens the Gates of the Church and Society for a Programmed Demolition of Marriage and the Family – An Appeal to Silent Prelates and Movements.”
Because of Its Grave Errors Amoris Laetitia Should Be Rejected
The second section of this document, entitled “Family Without Hierarchy: The ‘Community’ Model of Amoris Laetitia,” stresses the grossly and unfairly negative image that Pope Francis presents of the traditional family, exaggerating its supposed “somber dimension,” in which the relation of love “turns into domination.” The document [Amoris Laetitia] is full of disdaining references to this, such as: “it is legitimate and right to reject older forms of the traditional family marked by authoritarianism and even violence” (No. 53), or “history is burdened by the excesses of patriarchal cultures that considered women inferior” (No. 54), where “in some homes authoritarianism once reigned and, at times, even oppression” (No. 176). According to Amoris Laetitia, this led modern society rightly to liberate itself from the figure of “the father as master, from the father as the representative of a law imposed from without, from the father as the arbiter of his children’s happiness and an obstacle to the emancipation and autonomy of young people” (id.).
Regarding the relationship between husband and wife, which in the past was based on the principle of the authority of the husband, Pope Francis rejoices “to see old forms of discrimination disappear” and that “within families there is a growing reciprocity” (No. 54). “I certainly value feminism,” he writes “but one that does not demand uniformity or negate motherhood” (No. 173), which suggests an appreciation for the differentialist stream of feminism proposed by philosopher and psychoanalyst Julia Kristeva and others.
Statement on Amoris Laetitia Claims Serious Break with Church Teaching, Dangers to Marriage and the Family
“There are those who believe,” affirms the Pope, “that many of today’s problems have arisen because of feminine emancipation. This argument, however, is not valid, ‘it is false, untrue, a form of male chauvinism’” (No. 54). And he adds: “If certain forms of feminism have arisen which we must consider inadequate, we must nonetheless see in the women’s movement the working of the Spirit” (id.), which is certainly not what Pope Pius XI said in Casti Connubii and which we can judge ourselves by its disastrous fruits!
This all leads the Apostolic Exhortation to “reinterpret” in an egalitarian sense Saint Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians and its precept that “wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord” (Eph. 5:22). According to Pope Francis, “this passage mirrors the cultural categories of the time,” while the “biblical text is actually concerned with encouraging everyone to overcome a complacent individualism and to be constantly mindful of others.”
To reject in principle any form of submission of a woman to her husband (and not just any abusive expression of it) amounts to challenging the essentially hierarchical structure of the family, firmly established by God Himself, as Pope Pius XII recalls in his allocution to newlywed wives: “Every family is a society; every well-ordered society needs a head; every power of headship comes from God. And so, too, the family you have founded has a head, invested with authority by God: authority over her who has been given him as a companion to constitute the nucleus of this family, and over those who with the Lord’s blessing will come to swell it and to make it happy, like young shoots of the bole of the olive” (September 10, 1941).
How Advantageous is the Indissolubility of Marriage?
Furthermore, the “communitarian,” egalitarian model proposed by Amoris Laetitia, when transposed to parent-child relationships, dilutes to the utmost the notions of parental authority, as well as the need of obedience and discipline on the part of children.
The document considers the family as “the primary setting for socialization, since it is where we first learn to relate to others, to listen and share, to be patient and show respect, to help one another and live as one.” But curiously enough, in this list the verb “to obey” is absent, replaced by an egalitarian, unbalanced notion of love: “In family life, the logic of domination and competition about who is the most intelligent or powerful destroys love” (No. 98). This opposition between authority and love is obviously forced: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments,” said the Lord (John 14:15).
According to Amoris Laetitia, in the family the father is not primarily a symbol of authority and law and the expression of a vigorous love that stimulates and at times punishes. “God sets the father in the family so that by the gifts of his masculinity he can be ‘close to his wife and … to be close to his children as they grow… To be a father who is always present. When I say ‘present’, I do not mean ‘controlling’. Fathers who are too controlling overshadow their children, they don’t let them develop’” (No. 177).
A New and Confusing Explanation of Amoris Laetitia
Insisting arbitrarily on a supposed opposition between freedom and control, the document maintains that “obsession … is not education. We cannot control every situation that a child may experience. … If parents are obsessed with always knowing where their children are and controlling all their movements, they will seek only to dominate space. … What is most important is the ability lovingly to help them grow in freedom, maturity, overall discipline and real autonomy” (No. 261). “Inevitably,” adds Pope Francis, “each child will surprise us with ideas and projects born of that freedom, which challenge us to rethink our own ideas” (No. 262).
But what happens when the projects and ideas are not good at all? Should we as parents allow our children to sink into the mudflats of this sinful world, or should we firmly exercise our authority, setting rules and applying chastisements when necessary?
Amoris Laetitia instead stresses that in the family, moral formation “should … take place inductively, so that children can learn for themselves the importance of certain values, principles and norms, rather than by imposing these as absolute and unquestionable truths” (No. 264). “Moral education has to do with cultivating freedom through ideas, incentives, practical applications, stimuli, rewards, examples, models, symbols, reflections, encouragement, dialogue and a constant rethinking of our way of doing things” (No. 267).
Declaration of Fidelity to the Church’s Unchangeable Teaching on Marriage and to Her Uninterrupted Discipline
The liberty and spontaneity promoted by Amoris Laetitia’s educational model revive that naturalism clearly and forcefully denounced by Pope Pius XI in 1929, in his encyclical Divini Illius Magistri on Christian education, in which he says: “Every method of education founded, wholly or in part, on the denial or forgetfulness of original sin and of grace, and relying on the sole powers of human nature, is unsound. Such, generally speaking, are those modern systems bearing various names which appeal to a pretended self-government and unrestrained freedom on the part of the child, and which diminish or even suppress the teacher’s authority and action, attributing to the child an exclusive primacy of initiative, and an activity independent of any higher law, natural or divine, in the work of his education” (No. 60).
On the contrary, says Pius XI: “‘Folly is bound up in the heart of a child and the rod of correction shall drive it away’ (Prov. 22:15). Disorderly inclinations then must be corrected, good tendencies encouraged and regulated from tender childhood, and above all the mind must be enlightened and the will strengthened by supernatural truth and by the means of grace, without which it is impossible to control evil impulses, impossible to attain to the full and complete perfection of education intended by the Church, which Christ has endowed so richly with divine doctrine and with the Sacraments, the efficacious means of grace” (id., No. 59).
Progressive Clergy Intend to “Normalize” the Sin of Sodomy
Finally, it is quite surprising for a father like me to find in Amoris Laetitia the following statement from a Pope: “Nor is it good for parents to be domineering. When children are made to feel that only their parents can be trusted, this hinders an adequate process of socialization and growth in affective maturity.” Particularly distressing is the fact that this is said precisely in the paragraph immediately preceding the section entitled “The need for sex education.”
As a conclusion, and in order efficaciously to defend the gift of marriage and our proper role as parents in the education and formation of our children I strongly encourage all of you to oppose the deleterious teachings of Amoris Laetitia and to remain staunchly faithful to the traditional, unchangeable teachings of the Catholic Church, which is the proper way of “Remaining in the Truth of Christ,” to paraphrase the title of the great book co-authored by Cardinal Raymond Burke to oppose the Kasper Agenda.
This is the first, important step in a further battle: that of the restoration of Innocence.
A crusade in which, we parents, have a primordial role, as custodians before God of the Innocence of our children. A crusade we all have to wage and must win for the greater glory of God.
- See Carlos Federico Ibarguren & Martín Jorge Viano, Tradición Familia Propiedad. Un ideal, un lema, una gesta, (São Paulo: Artpress, 1990).
- Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII: A Theme Illuminating American Social History (York, Penn.: Hamilton Press, 1993).
- See Roberto de Mattei, The Crusader of the 20th Century: Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira (Herefordshire: Gracewing, 1998).
- Friedrich Engels, The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State, in Marx/Engels, Selected Works, Vol. 3 (Berlin: Dietz Verlag, 1962), pp. 17-18.
- Herbert Marcuse, Eros e Civilização – Uma crítica filosófica ao pensamento de Freud (Rio de Janeiro: Zahar Editores, 1968), p. 36.
- Not to be confused (even though it does bear some analogies) with the theological sense of Innocence, namely the primitive state of man before Original Sin.
- Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Innocenza primordiale e contemplazione sacrale dell’universo (Siena: Cantagalli, 2013).