Set Me Free (From Ideologies) Part 3
The Catholic Church is the biggest defender and promoter of the large traditional family. This endorsement of large families is something that tests the loyalties of ideologues because the Church doesn’t conform to liberal or conservative political pressures. The more-or-less typical liberal ideologue seems to take on the ideal of saving the global environment by way of discouraging the Church’s teachings on Life and Family issues. The more-or-less conservative ideologue often takes on the approach to economic theory that goes something like- “you breed em’ you feed em’”. I don’t find much support for either of these hard positions in the actual teachings and guidance given us via Christ’s Church.
The Catholic Church seems to take the best of both the liberal and conservative worldviews in her official social doctrine- as evidenced by the authoritative Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. Now many Catholics seem to dispute the authoritative status of the Compendium, but the introduction to the Compendium itself declares that “This document offers a complete overview of the fundamental framework of the doctrinal corpus of Catholic social teaching.” I also have it on my own local Bishop’s authority and that of Archbishop Chaput that the Compendium is “Authoritative”. At minimum then, a faithful Catholic must take in the words found in the Compendium and allow for deep conscience penetration. That’s all I would ask any genuine Catholic commentator to do as well.
Now the Compendium tells us that there are differing levels of documents which comprise the Compendium’s teachings- but I would suggest that the very fact of lower teaching documents being elevated to Compendium status is a strong indication of their current worth. I would also like to note that the following quote from paragraph #250 in the Compendium comes from the section on the Church’s teachings on “The Family, the Vital Cell of Society” chapter 5, we all know that one thing the Church knows quite well is the importance and the nature of human families. As well the quotes in this paragraph are all from papal encyclicals which already have a high place of esteem for orthodox Catholics and persons of goodwill.
Now the paragraph I am going to quote is something that would appeal in parts to liberals and conservatives. Liberals will like the strong assertion pushing for a safeguarded “family wage”; and they may like the suggestion of “family subsidies”, and “remuneration for the domestic work done in the home by one of the parents.” Conservatives probably will not like something that smacks of public welfare and calling domestic work “work” which might require payment from tax sources is not one I suspect most conservatives would agree with. Liberals don’t go for too much traditional family promotion- obviously they tend to liberalized views of sexuality/abortion/marriage which place them in red hot danger zones if they intend to be orthodox Catholics. If they are socialist in orientation they may object to the idea that “the right to property is closely connected with the existence of families, which protect themselves from need thanks also to savings and to the building up of family property.”.
In any case the following paragraph from the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church cuts across ideological lines- and I love what it says and I would love to see more family subsidies and remuneration for mothers who are working hard at home raising up large families along with hardworking fathers. The problem I see is that the liberal community that would be open to opening up more public resources for families, would also insist on not including any judgment on the type of families being supported. And conservatives who would be more willing to put qualitative restrictions into place would probably reject the very idea of subsidies and remuneration for domestic work after labeling both as welfare- but maybe I’m wrong to assume- I only know enough about liberals and conservatives to know that I don’t want to hang either label around my neck or soul. I’m Catholic, I’m interested in helping in the building up of a civilization of Love- that’s all I try to be about. Anyway please read the actual words of our Church:
250. In order to protect this relationship between family and work, an element that must be appreciated and safeguarded is that of a family wage, a wage sufficient to maintain a family and allow it to live decently. Such a wage must also allow for savings that will permit the acquisition of property as a guarantee of freedom. The right to property is closely connected with the existence of families, which protect themselves from need thanks also to savings and to the building up of family property. There can be several different ways to make a family wage a concrete reality. Various forms of important social provisions help to bring it about, for example, family subsidies and other contributions for dependent family members, and also remuneration for the domestic work done in the home by one of the parents.