A Catholic Monthly Magazine

Families and the Long Haul

By Archbishop Fisher

By Archbishop Fisher

The new Archbishop of Sydney says that the biggest challenge facing the family today is that modernity has forgotten how to love.

In an opinion piece on abc.net, Archbishop-elect Anthony Fisher wrote that “modernity struggles with any kind of love that goes beyond feelings”.

“People today are less and less willing to commit, for the long haul, to another person or a small community of persons, come what may, even when the loving is hard,” he added.

It is this “fundamental problem” that faces the family, rather than the “hot button” issues in the media during the synod on the family, the archbishop stated.

Factors contributing to the “shrinkage and fragmentation” of the modern family include urbanisation, industrialisation and a view of the institution as being founded solely on the affections of the couple for each other.

Archbishop-elect Fisher wrote that there are some positives in the modern outlook, such as greater respect for freedom and the equality of the sexes.

But when “concepts of love and sexuality are unmoored from religious values and mores . . . major stress points become evident”.

These include: “disconnection of domestic relations from marriage; disconnection of sexuality from love and procreation; and the relegation of the family to the private sphere”.

Archbishop-elect Fisher stated that the results are plain to see.

“In our grandparents’ day, nearly everyone was married; now fewer than half are.

“Of those who ever give marriage a try, it’s generally only after a long period of experimentation and cohabitation, even though this radically reduces marital sticking power,” he wrote.

“Many adults think children are an optional extra for their marriage.

“Many children grow up without the experience of a Mum and Dad committed to each other and to them over the long haul. “Archbishop-elect Fisher wrote that the memory of a genuine marriage culture remains, but sometimes this manifests itself in the phenomenon of serial monogamy.   

Source; Cathnews  www.cathnews.co.nz

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