Synod on the Family, 1980 Style: What’s hard to find in ‘pro-family’ talking points?

Synod on the Family, 1980 Style: What’s hard to find in ‘pro-family’ talking points? December 6, 2015

Remember the 1980 Synod on the family?
Something came out of it that John Paul II mentions in Familiaris Consortio that would make some on the left and some on the right uncomfortable.

Well, this is true if what the Church teaches generally makes you uncomfortable.

What the Synod Fathers suggest is nothing new – even then – and is still a long ways from being actualized.

What does a pro-family culture look like? Consider this proposed Charter of Family Rights, from par. 46 of Familiaris Consortio.

The Charter of Family Rights

The ideal of mutual support and development between the family and society is often very seriously in conflict with the reality of their separation and even opposition.

In fact, as was repeatedly denounced by the Synod, the situation experienced by many families in various countries is highly problematical, if not entirely negative: institutions and laws unjustly ignore the inviolable rights of the family and of the human person; and society, far from putting itself at the service of the family, attacks it violently in its values and fundamental requirements. Thus the family, which in God’s plan is the basic cell of society and a subject of rights and duties before the State or any other community, finds itself the victim of society, of the delays and slowness with which it acts, and even of its blatant injustice.

For this reason, the Church openly and strongly defends the rights of the family against the intolerable usurpations of society and the State. In particular, the Synod Fathers mentioned the following rights of the family:

  • the right to exist and progress as a family, that is to say, the right of every human being, even if he or she is poor, to found a family and to have adequate means to support it;
  • the right to exercise its responsibility regarding the transmission of life and to educate children; family life;
  • the right to the intimacy of conjugal and family life;
  • the right to the stability of the bond and of the institution of marriage;
  • the right to believe in and profess one’s faith and to propagate it;
  • the right to bring up children in accordance with the family’s own traditions and religious and cultural values, with the necessary instruments, means and institutions;
  • the right, especially of the poor and the sick, to obtain physical, social, political and economic security;
  • the right to housing suitable for living family life in a proper way;
  • the right to expression and to representation, either directly or through associations, before the economic, social and cultural public authorities and lower authorities;
  • the right to form associations with other families and institutions, in order to fulfill the family’s role suitably and expeditiously;
  • the right to protect minors by adequate institutions and legislation from harmful drugs, pornography, alcoholism, etc.;
  • the right to wholesome recreation of a kind that also fosters family values;
  • the right of the elderly to a worthy life and a worthy death;
  • the right to emigrate as a family in search of a better life.

Acceding to the Synod’s explicit request, the Holy See will give prompt attention to studying these suggestions in depth and to the preparation of a Charter of Rights of the Family, to be presented to the quarters and authorities concerned.

Pro-housing, pro-refugee, pro-migrant, pro-“physical, social, political, and economic security”, pro-poverty relief, pro-family wages…. this is what seems to be missing when we hear from many who champion the pro-family cause.

You’ll remember that we discussed the vices, threats, violence, and disrespect shown to the family in capitalism.

Until next time,

Keith Michael Estrada

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