Pontifical Council of the Family, “orphans of living parents”
- Posted by Mary's Advocates
- On October 14, 2000
9 “Children, Orphans of Living Parents”
“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh” (Mt 19: 5).
Grave problems for children.
Divorce is immoral also because it introduces disorder into the family and into society. This disorder brings grave harm to the deserted spouse, to children traumatized by the separation of their parents, and often torn between them and, because of its contagious effect which makes it truly a plague on society.
What is needed then is for human societies, and the families who live within them, often in a context of struggle between the civilization of love and its opposites, to seek their solid foundation in a correct vision of man and of everything which determines the full “realization” of his humanity. Opposed to the civilization of love is certainly the phenomenon of so-called “free love”; this is particularly dangerous because it is usually suggested as a way of following one’s “real” feelings, but it is in fact destructive of love. How many families have been ruined because of “free love”! To follow in every instance a “real” emotional impulse by invoking a love “liberated” from all conditionings, means nothing more than to make the individual a slave to those human instincts which Saint Thomas calls “passions of the soul”.
“Free love” exploits human weaknesses; it gives them a certain “veneer” of respectability with the help of seduction and the blessing of public opinion. In this way there is an attempt to “soothe” consciences by creating a “moral alibi”. But not all of the consequences are taken into consideration, especially when the ones who end up paying are, apart from the other spouse, the children, deprived of a father or mother and condemned to be in fact orphans of living parents.
Being rooted in the personal and total self-giving of the couple, and being required by the good of the children, the indissolubility of marriage finds its ultimate truth in the plan that God has manifested in His revelation: He wills and He communicates the indissolubility of marriage as a fruit, a sign and a requirement of the absolutely faithful love that God has for man and that the Lord Jesus has for the Church.
A family for those who are without one.
Christian families will be able to show greater readiness to adopt and foster children who have lost their parents or have been abandoned by them. Rediscovering the warmth of affection of a family, these children will be able to experience God’s loving and provident fatherhood and they will thus be able to grow up with serenity and confidence in life.
Orphans or children who are deprived of the assistance of their parents or guardians must receive particular protection on the part of society. The state, with regard to foster-care or adoption, must provide legislation which assists families to welcome into their home children who are in need of permanent or temporary care. This legislation must, at the same time, respect the natural rights of parents.
Couples facing the experience of physical sterility will know how to take inspiration from this point of view which is so rich in values and commitment. Christian families, who recognize in faith that all men are children of the same Heavenly Father, will generously come forward to love and support the children of other families as part of the one family of the children of God. Christian parents can thus increase their love to go beyond the ties of the flesh or of blood. They will feed the ties which are rooted in the spirit and which grow in the concrete service of the children of other families who often are needful of the most basic things.
Reflections of the priest or leader
Where is the root of the fact that so many children are often “orphans with living parents?” Do parents respect the rights of their children when they divorce?
What are the solutions to help children who are “orphans with living parents?” Adoption, foster care … and other things. What are they?
Hail Mary. Queen of the Family: pray for us