The Pope needs a wife and a couple of daughters and so do the men at the Vatican Synod of Bishops on Family Life. The old men at the Vatican can talk all they want about families but they do not have a clue about family life. They do not have families. Sure they may have grown up in a family but at that time they were children. Being the adult in a family is altogether different. Ask any parent. He or she can tell you the difference.
My daughters are grown and have children of their own. Nevertheless it remains fresh in my mind the lessons I learned in prayer, fasting and humility while waiting for my teenage daughters to come home from a date. My husband and I prayed, resisted the temptation to devour a half gallon of ice cream but were helpless to get the girl home. That is humility in a nutshell. Because we did not have any sons, I cannot speak of the experience of parents of boys while the parents were waiting for them to get home from a date. My assumption is that it was equally anxiety producing but I cannot speak definitively on that.
So I would like to say to the dear prelates, “Do not tell me that you know about family life from hearing about families from members of your congregation. Unless you have the experience of parenting or being in a committed open relationship with another adult, you do not know anything about family life.”
The decision makers of the Synod on the Family should consist of women and men, straight, gay, transgendered and a few current Roman Catholic pastors. Let’s not forget to include women priests who are validly, although according to church law, specifically Canon 1024, illegally ordained. Canon law is manmade law. If anyone is wondering where or when the church recently experienced women priests, I refer to the event on the Danube River in 2002 when 7 women were ordained to the priesthood by a Roman Catholic Bishop in good standing with the Vatican. That bishop chose to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal from the Vatican. A few years later several women were ordained bishops by a male Roman Catholic bishop also in Apostolic Succession. Therefore, these women bishops have continued to ordain other women validly as deacons and priests.
Marriage is no longer restricted to a man and a woman. Gay couples can be legally married thanks to the recent decision of the United States Supreme Court. Oh but the church says, gay couples cannot procreate children. This is the twenty first century and in vitro fertilization is a reality but then the church has outlawed that too. In any event, gay couples can adopt children and there are plenty of children available through the foster care system in Florida. I served as Circuit Director of the Guardian ad Litem Program in the First Judicial Circuit of Florida from 1992 until 2006 and later as General Magistrate in the Family Court. I speak from experience on that issue.
The Roman Catholic Church is structured as a medieval monarchy at best. History shows that the Roman Catholic Church assumed its power, what little is left, in the fourth century as the Roman Empire was gasping its last breaths. Roman law was based on Pater Potesas, translated the father’s power, in other words, “father knows best and fathers can do as they choose with their wives and children.” The church took its structure from Roman law. In the ninth century, the church grabbed further power from the secular monarchs as the Popes insisted that they preside at, and actually crown, the various European kings. This precedent was established when Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne as Emperor. In the mid to late nineteenth century, due to the rise of nationalism in Italy, the papacy was reduced to its current size, Vatican City, population approximately 500. The only power that the Roman Catholic Church yields is that of the guilt and fear it places on its members by barring the disobedient from the sacraments of the church.
Before closing I want to set forth my credentials in support of my opinion. I have 12 years of Roman Catholic school in the dioceses of Brooklyn, N.Y. and Rockville Centre, N.Y. My Bachelors Degree is from St John’s University, in N.Y., a Roman Catholic University. My Juris Doctor Degree is from the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. and my Masters in Pastoral Studies was obtained from Loyola University, New Orleans, LA.
Maureen Logue McGill, Pensacola, FL