In preparation for the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in September 2015 and the visit from Pope Francis, a catechism on family life titled “Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive,” has been prepared. Each month CatholicPhilly.com presents a reflection on one of the 10 chapters of the catechism. Previous monthly reflections are online here.
Pope Francis observed that the Church is popular with the world when Catholics work for social justice. But, the pope continued, with respect to “the cultural crisis” facing the family, “we find it difficult to make people see that when we raise other questions less palatable to public opinion, we are doing so out of fidelity to precisely the same convictions about human dignity and the common good.”
This chapter carefully examines subjects such as pornography, contraception, and so-called same-sex marriage. These are topics where Catholic teaching tends to be at odds with current worldly opinion.
Reading this chapter in its entirety is an opportunity to consider the reasons for the Church’s teaching. Each one of these issues deserves more space than this summary paragraph can offer. But as we said at the start of this catechesis, all Church teaching about marriage, the family and sexuality flows from Jesus.
Catholic moral theology builds upon basic Christian convictions about God’s creation and covenant, humanity’s fall, and Christ’s incarnation, life, crucifixion and resurrection. These teachings involve costs and suffering for all who would be Jesus’ disciples, but they also open up new opportunities for beauty and human flourishing.
This chapter is your chance to explore how it all fits together, even when it might mean taking unpopular stances in our culture. This chapter explains how every time the Church says “no” to something which secular society accepts, it is for the sake of enabling a deeper “yes” to God and his plan for our lives.