Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of September 4, 2006
Market mentality erodes family life
Indian cardinal challenges threats to family
A market mentality has eaten into human relationships at all levels of society and is threatening to destroy the family unless there is a living out of the sanctity of marriage, said an Indian cardinal.
Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil of Ernakulam-Angamaly, major archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church, said in a pastoral letter read in Catholic churches in Kerala state at Aug. 13 Sunday Masses that the family is facing societal changes and new challenges.
"Ever-increasing anti-life outlook, uncontrolled selfishness and pleasure seeking" as well as "the onslaught of the communication media and globalization and the resulting distorted outlook on life and the culture of consumerism have affected our families very negatively and weaken family bonds," Vithayathil said.
The Syro-Malabar Church is one of the two Oriental rites that, with the Latin rite, comprise the Catholic Church in India.
The cardinal said that while the Catholic Church teaches about the "responsible correlation between procreation of children and their upbringing," the reality is that too many husbands and wives are choosing to have relationships outside marriage and avoiding having children.
"Relationships outside marriage, the tendency to dissolve marriages even on flimsy grounds, entering into family life after having had pre-marital relationships - all these destroy the very foundations of family life," he said.
"The tendency to avoid having children is on the increase among the couples who are motivated by selfishness to seek their own enjoyment," he said.
Today, there is the tendency to view "the other as our prey for satisfying our desires and means for our pleasures," he said.
"The father and the husband who cannot provide better comforts to his family become worthless. The wife who cannot give pleasure loses her worth. Children become hindrance to a life of pleasure," the cardinal said.
Hell of selfishness
"Persons who are driven by excessive desire end up in the hell of selfishness," Vithayathil said. "The impact of a market mentality that has eaten into human relationships is visible on all levels of society."
The cardinal said families can counter the challenges and stresses facing them by drawing upon the Eucharist, prayer, meditation on the Scriptures and reception of sacraments.
He added that family meals be a place where husband, wife and children come together to reflect upon and experience self-sacrificing love.
(© Catholic Online 2006, www.catholic.org)