The happiest parents have four or more kids

An Australian family has found that the happiest parents are those with four or more children. [Read more...]

Why Germany is welcoming refugees

Many European countries are dismayed at all of the refugees pouring in from Syria and other war-torn Islamic countries. But Germany is welcoming them, going so far as to promise to take in 800,000 of them.  So why is that?

Because Germany has the lowest birth rate in the world (8.2 babies per 1,000 people), and the population is projected to drop from today’s 81 million to 68 million in the next few decades.  Germans know that this population implosion could be devastating to their economy and their society, and they hope that an injection of people who don’t mind having children will help.

Does anyone know why Germans and other advanced nations have virtually stopped having children?  Is this a symptom of the sexual revolution?  Feminism?  The decline of marriage in favor of living-together and perpetual singleness?  Or what? [Read more...]

The Pope makes annullments easier

Roman Catholics don’t allow for divorce, the dissolution of a marriage.  They do, however, allow for annullments, which deny after the fact that a valid marriage ever took place (despite how long the couple has lived together, if they had children, etc.).  After an annullment, the marriage is considered never to have existed.

The process to get one has been arduous, time-consuming, and expensive, given the tortuous logic that has to be engaged in, with couples having to provide evidence, for example, that they too young to know what they were getting into and so didn’t really have informed consent to the marriage, and similar rationalizations.

But now Pope Francis has issued the biggest changes to annulment proceedings in hundreds of years, making the whole process much easier.  This will surely mean that more Catholics will end their marriages.  But at least they won’t get a divorce! [Read more...]

Court rules that parents don’t have to be perfect

A mother in New Jersey left her sleeping daughter in the car for 5-10 minutes while she dashed inside a store in a suburban mall.  Someone noticed, and the mother was charged with child endangerment.  But the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled in the mother’s favor, making an interesting legal distinction.

In a unanimous decision, the court said that the law must consider only actual harm, as opposed to possible harm.  That is to say, we worry about what might happen to the child left in the car (a bad guy could run away with her; she could wake up, start the car, and run it into a building, etc.).  But the law can only deal with what does happen.

Thus, as Lenore Skenazy explains the case, parents do not have to be perfect, lest their children be taken away from them. [Read more...]

Sanctified by marriage and children

Rev. Bruce Timm reflects on how his wife and children have made him a better person.  That is, how they have contributed to his sanctification by acting as “law” in his life.  His thoughts are about the vocations of marriage and parenthood, but they have wider implications for how the Law functions within vocation and how God uses our multiple callings to form us according to His will. [Read more...]

Retirees following the grandchildren?

As I said, we are retiring and have moved to be close to grandchildren.  The thing is, virtually everyone I know in my generation who has retired or who is planning to retire is doing the same thing.

My parents didn’t move to be closer to us when they retired.  They remained the family anchors, and during the holidays it was over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go.  And they were certainly good grandparents.

Is moving to be nearer one’s adult children and grandchildren a trend, or just my limited sampling and personal experience?  If it’s a new trend, how do you account for it?  I’ll offer some of my theories after the jump. [Read more...]