Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of April 2, 2007
Society's snowballing changes compel the Church to reactHeadline
Bishop Ronald Fabbro urges action to stop social institutions from being destroyed
By DEBORAH GYAPONG
"It's no longer acceptable to speak even the obvious in public."
- Douglas Farrow
"If the role of marriage and family is reduced, then the gap will be filled by the state," he said.
Fabbro said the basic elements keeping society together are being eroded and that means the Church needs to address fundamentals, such as "the dignity of the person, the role of parents in raising our children and educating them."
One participant said the popular culture is "at war" with the Church's values concerning marriage and the family, he said. "It's alarming, too, I find, how quickly these changes are occurring."
The implications of marriage redefinition are just starting to come clear, the bishop said. "The state is stepping in and defining who is a parent," undermining the biological relationships of mothers and fathers.
The breakdown of marriage and the family also has a negative impact on children. "We're dealing with an issue here that is going to have deep repercussions for the next generation," he said.
"We're seeing it in our schools. When parents aren't supported, their children are affected in their emotional development or they live in poverty."
"If the role of marriage and family is reduced, then the gap will be filled by the state."
- Bishop Ronald Fabbro
More needs to be done in educating Catholics in the faith and in supporting married couples and families. Much of the catechesis can take place around preparations for various sacraments, such as Marriage, Baptism, First Communion and Confirmation.
Having more than one child does not make sense according to economic factors and today's social values, he said. But "they make a heck of a lot of sense in terms of more enduring values." Research shows brothers and sisters also have a positive socializing effect on their siblings.
McGill professor Douglas Farrow said in an interview that most people are unaware of the "seismic shift" the redefinition of marriage has created legally and politically. Civil disobedience might be necessary down the road to defend religious freedom and the rights of parents.
The Quebec Human Rights Commission, Farrow noted, recently tabled a report that called for the creation of a ministry to stamp out homophobia and heterosexism from public life "and as far as possible from the private sphere as well."
The book-length report against homophobia and heterosexism indicates "it is a disordered condition even to think that heterosexuality should be encouraged in some way."
The report singled out religion in families or schools as one of the obstacles the state faces in stamping out heterosexism.
Lest anyone assume the state will not interfere with religious freedom or parents' rights to educate their children, Farrow pointed to arrests of homeschooling parents in Germany, and the April implementation of sexual orientation regulations in the United Kingdom. These regulations will not allow private religious schools to teach that moral strictures against homosexual behaviour are objectively true.
The result will be the state promoting the idea that there are no disordered sexual practices, only disordered opinions about them, and by extension Church teaching will be deemed disordered, Farrow concluded.
"It's no longer acceptable to speak even the obvious in public," he said.
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