A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat…
Nowadays, what is most worrisome is not so much the fact that the boat of the Church is in the midst of a scary, ominous storm, but that so many Catholics do not have an inkling about its severity and keep sailing along oblivious or unconcerned about it. The severity of the storm is compounded by the foolishness of those who, again, are trying to push God out of the picture of human life.
In their arrogance, they are expecting any reference to God to be in sync with the vague morality of relativism and secularism: the only acceptable god would be a god who changes his moral code to adjust to the progressive ethics of a world where the Judeo-Christian God has become passé and obsolete. This sinister storm is fed by the subtle influence of the secular media which have dictated political correctness as the new gospel for those who want to be considered progressive and foresighted.
What is perhaps most disconcerting for faithful Catholics is the fact that a growing number of Church members are impatiently clamoring for the Church to alter the Great Commission entrusted to it by the Lord Jesus himself, which is to teach all truth in order to guide us to a more joyous, productive life on earth so that we might someday enjoy eternal happiness with God. Instead, the dissenters want the Church to keep pace with the sweeping moral changes dictated by the amoral western world.
The following two utterances of Jesus do not seem to resonate with them:
John 15:19 If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you.
John 17:14 Father, I gave them your word and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world.
These two sentences leave many Catholics unfazed because they “straddle” with one foot in the Church and the other in the world. They refuse to be forced to choose and to commit their whole life either to Christ and his Church or to the amoral western world.
Today, Father’s Day, I feel compelled to reiterate what has been one of the strongest points stressed by Pope Francis since he took office: defense of traditional family as intended by our Creator God.
So, let those who continue to live with one foot inside the Catholic Church and the other foot in the opposite camp know that the only fatherhood which should to be legitimately celebrated is the one that stems from the heavenly Fatherhood of God himself. To include in the Father’s Day celebration any other type of fatherhood dictated by political correctness, or to place on the same level fatherhood as intended by God with any other type of it, devalues God’s intent in his ageless institution of marriage.
It also devalues the uniqueness of fatherhood for the well-being and harmonious balance in the family, and it demonstrates the arrogance of those who pretend to compete with God in reassigning complementary roles within the family unit.
Furthermore, any other type of fatherhood accepted and extolled by political correctness contradicts God’s statement that each child is a gift from him. (Psalm 127:3) Children too are a gift from the LORD, the fruit of the womb, a reward.
Fatherhood attained by any other way than the conjugal act of husband and wife, with the exception of adoption, denies this revealed tenet and robs children of their dignity. Children become a product of a lab, a commodity, a piece of property to be contended and haggled over.
Speaking of adoption, while it is true that two men can give lots of love to a child that they have adopted or attained in one of the many ways available today, they cannot love that child in the complementary way that one father and one mother can.
Respectful adherence to God’s design, even in this hotly debated subject matter, would yield objective, cool reasoning also in the case of two women, one of whom, in many situations, attains a child through the totally impersonal and remote intervention of a sperm donor. Fatherhood, in this case, is completely erased as a non-contributor to the formation of the manufactured child.
The size and the menace of the storm, my friends, are much bigger than we thought. The only reason so many persist in ignoring them is that, in their misguided sense of fairness, they subscribe to the ideology that has made God unnecessary and his laws mere suggestions to be observed by those who stubbornly adhere to old ways and old religions.
If you think that, as a priest, I have to defend the Church’s antiquated position on fatherhood because it is “my job,” I can simply refer you to President Obama, who is in favor of same sex marriage and of all “reproductive rights,” including fully paid access to contraceptives and to totally unrestricted abortion. And if you Google: “President Obama and fatherhood,” you will see how, every year, at least since 2008, he has extolled fatherhood and decried the lack of a father figure as the main reason for violence, poverty, and all those sad situations found in broken, fatherless families. He has also repeatedly proposed funding for local projects for Fatherhood Initiatives. However, from the Church’s point of view, it is obvious that President Obama talks out of both sides of his mouth. While praising fatherhood, he promotes policies that destroy both fatherhood and the family.
If you think I exaggerate the attack against fathers, look how fathers are portrayed in the media. They are often weak, dimwitted, and incapable of making up their minds, totally dependent on their enlightened female partners. In a word, they are useless and disposable.
I invite you to study the enormous amount of teaching and efforts that Pope Francis, continuing the herculean efforts of all his predecessors, to preserve the traditional family and fatherhood in particular. I join him in urging you all to contemplate the wisdom of our heavenly Father in his distribution of tasks, roles and virtues between mothers and fathers. All Catholics should join the efforts of the Church to extol and defend traditional fatherhood, which is an essential contribution to the wellbeing of society as designed by our Father, who is in heaven and, yet, always near us. And let us not forget to pray that all Christian fathers may possess and exercise those virtues that they need for the good of the family.
The picture of Jesus, sound asleep in the stern of the boat in spite of the terrifying storm, should give us assurance that his resurrection is irreversible. Even this storm will pass because Jesus, our divine Groom, shares with us all his victories.