Several friends and I were discussing "normal families". By our agreed definition, we meant a mom and a dad married in the Church with the number of children God desired to give the parents.
Now, because I home schooled my son, I knew and still know many "normal families", but one of the shocking things which came out of the discussion were the number of people under 47, who had not been raised in a community of normal families. The vast majority of young people either had known mostly divorced parents, single parents, one sibling, or maybe two siblings.
I came away from the discussion realizing that normal families, as intended by God, are an endangered species. Society and its pressures have contributed to the break-down of the family, but the biggest reason, which came out of the discussion, was one reason-money.
That many parents felt they had to give their children everything meant that they decided to only have two. That some parents no longer valued a Christian wedding of any denomination resulted in civil unions only. They felt they could not afford to get married. Standards for comfort came before the reality of marriage and children.
One can decry the death of the family, which, of course, means the death of a civilization, but one must be realistic as to how far this endangered species has gone into disappearing. Like the grizzly bear, which now has max a population of 1,700 in the States, the family as created by God has been the prey of those who no longer care whether such a species exists. To redefine the idea of family does not hide the fact that such families have been cornered into small groups.
Sadly, I hear a priest recently encourage the redefinition of family. He was wrong to speak so from the pulpit, pandering to both the ideals of non-Christian religions, and sin, by going as far in his sermon to say that we must acknowledge polygamy.
Imagine hearing this from the pulpit sixty years ago. The reason this priest wants to redefine the family is that he cannot bring himself to preach God's vision of normalcy. To include in God's definition the idea that a culture can exists allowing multiple wives shows a mindset which does not think like the Church.
One person said to me, that the Church talks to much about the family. My response is the same I would answer to someone who complains that environmentalists talk about the grizzly bear. When grizzlies dotted the western landscape of America, no one needed to talk about these magnificent creatures. It is only when they are about to disappear from the face of the earth, that these bears are now being discussed. We only talk about things when we begin to notice that something is wrong, changing, disappearing.
The Church cannot talk too much about the family. Without families, there would be, obviously, no parishes, no schools, no churches.
That is what is happening in some areas. The shrinkage of Catholicism in some places of Europe and America is not merely due to members leaving the Church, but the lack of families bringing babies into the world or raising children as Catholics.
Just as we may witness an America without grizzly bears, we may witness a western culture without
Christian families. To have a priest fall into the politically correct trap of wanting to solve the emergency by changing the definition of family actually causes more confusion.
God's ways are always best. 50,000 grizzlies lived in North America when Lewis and Clark made their journey. Now, there are as few as, perhaps, 1,400. Who will be around to write about the disappearance of the family?