PHILADELPHIA (CNS) — Commitment is the biggest challenge for today’s families, said Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher of Gatineau, Quebec.
In an interview during the World Meeting of Families, he invited church leaders to look at families with a “realistic” perspective.
He recalled a discussion he had with a teenage girl when he was teaching religion classes to high school students in Ontario, just before he was ordained. The girl asked him what would happen if he ever fell in love with a woman.
“I told her: ‘I expect it will happen. Many times,'” said Archbishop Durocher. “‘What would you do then?’ she replied.”
Instead of answering directly, he said he asked her if it was possible that, one day, once she was married and had children, she might meet another man and fall in love. She said it might indeed happen.
“What will you do then?” the archbishop asked. “‘I’ll have to make a decision,’ she said.”
The archbishop replied: “So will I, dear. So will I.”
“It was the first time she was confronted with the idea of lifelong commitments,” he said. He added that the durability of a lifelong commitment goes hand in hand with faithfulness.
He said the first words he ever exchanged with St. John Paul II were about this matter. During a visit by the Canadian bishops to the Vatican, the archbishop, who was auxiliary bishop in Sudbury, Ontario, at the time, told the pope he did not agree with him that young people do not believe in faithfulness.
He told Pope John Paul that every young couple he had accompanied before their marriage believed in faithfulness. However, for many complicated reasons, it did not always last.
“‘What can we do to help them, then?’ the pope asked me. To this day, this question has stayed with me,” he added.
Though he said the church is still looking for an answer, he said he believes that being “as realistic as possible” with today’s challenges for families is the way to go. He says an event like the World Meeting of Families might help the church to be “realistic.”
Follow Vaillancourt on Twitter: @PresenceInfo.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
PREVIOUS: Speakers say couples facing infertility need prayer, understanding
NEXT: Philadelphia Orchestra prepares for ‘glimpse-of-heaven’ moment
Share this story