Fr. John Flynn’s article on “The Family’s Essential Role” in society makes a number of excellent points. Cardinal Brady says, “The family based on marriage as the foundation of society is a truth revealed by God in the Scriptures, but it’s also one of the most precious human values.” He goes on to point out that, “the welfare of marriage and the family are of public interest, and are fundamental to the common good. They are, therefore, entitled to special consideration and care from the state.” The importance of these ideas was repeated and stressed by several speakers at the last World Meeting of Families.
However, the community and the Church must not leave the issue of broken marriages solely in the hands of government bureaucrats and the so called professional laity, such as judges, lawyers, social workers, psychiatrists and the police. When couples get married in Church, the Church must also be there when there are marriage problems. We cannot leave it for governments alone to solve the question of failing marriages. We need to take politics out of this institution, so that it can regain its integrity.
We do a pretty good job at fighting against the evils of abortion and same-sex “marriage.” If we worked equally hard in making sure that marriages remain strong long after the ceremony is over, we would also help reduce the very things that threaten the survival of traditional marriages.
A couple of groups that are good examples of this are Marriage Savers and Retrouvaille. The Church can take a stronger stand against all this state interference in the sacrament of marriage and family life. If left to the courts and the professional, as it is now in most countries, we undermine and abandon the very sacrament we claim to be the foundation of society because it’s God’s gift to civilization.
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