The Family Is Falling! Warns Pope Francis
This morning, Pope Francis lectured the U.S. Congress: “How essential the family has been to the building of this country! And how worthy it remains of our support and encouragement! Yet I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without. Fundamental relationships are being called into question, as is the very basis of marriage and the family. I can only reiterate the importance and, above all, the richness and the beauty of family life. In particular, I would like to call attention to those family members who are the most vulnerable, the young. For many of them, a future filled with countless possibilities beckons, yet so many others seem disoriented and aimless, trapped in a hopeless maze of violence, abuse and despair. Their problems are our problems. We cannot avoid them. We need to face them together, to talk about them and to seek effective solutions rather than getting bogged down in discussions. At the risk of oversimplifying, we might say that we live in a culture which pressures young people not to start a family, because they lack possibilities for the future. Yet this same culture presents others with so many options that they too are dissuaded from starting a family.”
Let’s break down the structure of the argument made by Pope Francis:
1. Family life is rich and beautiful.
2. It is a threat to society for people to question the richness and beauty of family life.
3. Many families trap young people in hopeless mazes of violence, abuse and despair.
4. The problem is that not enough young people want to make young families.
5. Young people shouldn’t have as many options as they do.
Can such an argument make any sense, unless you accept its premises and conclusions on faith?