June 17, 2008

Life Matters ~ Part 2

This is the continuation and finish of the article I posted yesterday. Enjoy!


So, what's wrong with the picture?
Nothing. In fact, what this picture demonstrates is that it is possible and, in some cases, desirable to successfully raise 17 (and soon to be 18) children.

What is wrong is the outrageous condemnation of large families expressed by so many people today. Sadly, even among some of out Catholic brothers and sisters, it is not unusual to hear negative comments about families that have more than the socially accepted 2 child family.

Secular society and, unfortunately, some religious institutions continue to insist that responsible parenthood includes contraception, sterilization and abortion. In 1958, Pope Pius XII commented that "one of the most harmful aberrations that has appeared in modern society with its pagan tendencies is the opinion of those who are eager to classsifyt fruitfulness in marriage as a 'social malady', and who maintain that any nation that finds itself thus afflicted must exert every effort and use every means to cure the disease." It's still true today.

Responsible partenthood.
The Church has never taught that married couples should have a certain number of children, but it does teach about responsible parenthood. WHile married couples are called to be open to life, they may for just reasons limit the size of their families by the practice of Natural Family Planning (NFP). They may not, however, resort to contraceptive means "even if such use is inspired by reasons which my appear honest and serious." [Humanae Vitae #16]

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) summarizes that the "Church encourages people to be 'responsible' stewards over their fertility:
In this view of "responsible parenthood" married couples carefully weigh their responsibilities to God, each other, the children they already have, and the world in which they live when making decision about the number and spacing of children.
Responsible parenthood is lived out within the structures which God has established in human nature. The nature of sexual intercourse, which is both life-giving (pro-creative), and love-giving (unitive), reflects a Divine place. That is why the Church teaches that couples must not actively intervene to separate their fertility from their bodily union. To do so is to show disrespect for an important gift of the Creator."

Even though not of the Catholic faith, the Duggars by all accounts appear to be exercising responsible parenthood. The negative comments about them and about those Catholics with large families is unacceptable.

As Pope Pius XII said, "Wherever you find large families in great numbers, they point to" the physical and moral health of a Christian people; a living faith in God and trust in His Providence; the fruitful and joyful holiness of Catholic marriage."

While not all married couples will be called to have large families, we need to repent of any negative responses we may have about large families and recognize that children are precious gifts. We must also remember that faithful Christian families come in all sizes.

For information on this wonderful Christan family, visit their website: www.duggarfamily.com

4 comments:

  1. Oh my. I guess reading my blog too much gets you into the discussion side of things! Great posts! These feminists and weirdos (who are criticizing) are very sick, and the reason why the 'hate' large families is because its the idea of not being able to live their freedom as people. A husband and wife can be 'in love', but true love is sacrificial, and their love becomes sacrificial through the raising of their children, both parents giving of themselves for the benefit of their children.

    But come to think of it, we always need a good challenge. I say I could beat the Duggar family! lol

    Ok, I just pulled out the calculator. I'm thinking, that if I get married within the next 5 or so years...well, here's the Math: the first 25 years of my marriage, multiplied by 12 months (12 months in a year), divided by nine (nine months before a baby is born) = 33.33333 children. 33 is a good number. :D *cough*

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  2. I know, aren't they? I happened to stumble across one (rather mild though, but terribly rude) while looking up the Duggar Family. The post and the comments were so rude! Why do people think you are wierd and crazy in the head for being open to life? Those comments by the feminists in the article I posted were just... so.. stupid and contradictory. "Woman have the right to chose".. but only to kill their kids? They can't choose to actually have children? And a lot of them? Why?

    I think they have done a great job with their family! I would love to meet them someday.

    Woah Paul... how did you figure all that out? And what does your wife - er, future wife - have to say about that? Does she want 33 kids? You'd need numbers, not names! Huge families are great... but 33? Good luck to you!

    Boy, that's a lot of nieces and nephews that I shall have. :)

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  3. I love big families! And I am not sure, but I think that one lives in my state...MI! Not absolutely sure though.
    -Coon

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  4. I, also, found very offensive blogs on he Duggars. I was shocked at the vitriol that has been directed at this family. The Duggars are not on welfare and their children seem loved and well taken care of. How could anyone find them offensive?

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Welcome, and thank you for taking a few minutes to share your thoughts with me! I do love reading all and any comments. =] Please note that I do moderate, and any comments that do not meet with my standards and approval will be deleted. Thank you!