Monday, January 23, 2017

Amoris Laetitia - Par. 176

176.  We often hear that ours is "a society without fathers".  In Western culture, the father figure is said to be symbolically absent, missing or vanished.  Manhood itself seems to be called into question. The result has been an understandable confusion.  "At first, this was perceived as a liberation: liberation from the father as master, from the father as the representative of a law imposed from without, from the father as the arbiter of his children's happiness and an obstacle to the emancipation and autonomy of young people.  In some homes, authoritarianism once reigned and, at times, even oppression".194  Yet, "as often happens, one goes from one extreme to the other.  In our day, the problem no longer seems to be the overbearing presence of the father so much as his absence, his not being there,  Fathers are often so caught up in themselves and their work, and at times in the own self-fulfillment, that they neglect their families.  They leave the little ones and the young to themselves".195  The presence of the father, and hence his authority, is also impacted by the amount of time given over to the communications and entertainment media.  Nowadays authority is often considered suspect and adults treated with impertinence.  They themselves become uncertain and so fail to offer sure and solid guidance to their children.  A reversal of the roles of parents and children is unhealthy, since it hinders the proper process of development that children need to experience, and it denies them the love and guidance needed to mature.196

194 Catechesis (28 January 2015): L'Osservatore Romano, 29 January 2015, p.8.
195 Ibid.
196 CF. Relatio Finalis 2015,28.


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