Address to Fathers of Families
At last year’s Catholic Voice conference in Limerick, I made the following address to fathers of families. I am not ignoring mothers, but fathers need to be given a wake-up call because the father is the spiritual and physical head of his family.
Make Sure You Know What the Catholic Church Teaches
“Fathers, make sure that you are fully conversant with what the Church teaches you about your role as Man, Husband and Father. Make sure that you know what is taught by Pope Piux XI in the encyclical ‘Casti Connubi’. Make sure that you have given your assent to the teachings of this document. Make sure that you are familiar with the writings of Pope Pius XII on marriage and family matters particularly his letters to women of 1945 and 1947 and his allocution to midwives of 1951, which teach about marriage and family. Make sure you know Blessed Pope Paul VI’s encyclical ‘Humanae Vitae’ and Pope Saint John Paul II’s apostolic exhortation ‘Familiaris Consortio’ and also his letter to families ‘Gratissimam Sane’. These are just for starters, there’s also the Council of Trent, the church Fathers, Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical ‘Arcanum’ and so much more.
Fathers, if you do not know these documents, then how do you hope to lead your family in holiness according to the teachings of the Catholic Church contained within them?
Fathers Are Responsible for their Families!
It is not the responsibility of the bishops to get particular families right, nor the responsibility of the state. It is the responsibility of Catholic Fathers, as head of their families, to get their Catholic family right. With regards to the education of children, Pope St John Paul II tells us in ‘Familiaris Consortio’.
“The Parents role as educators is so decisive that scarcely anything can compensate for their failure in it. The right and duty of parents to give education is essential, since it is connected with the transmission of human life; it is original and primary with regard to the educational role of others, on account of the uniqueness of the loving relationship between parents and children; and it is irreplaceable and inalienable, and therefore incapable of being entirely delegated to others or usurped by others.” (FC 36)
Fathers have Primary Responsibility
Fathers, you are primarily responsible for ensuring the proper Catholic education of your children. If your child loses his or her faith because they attended a Catholic school that wasn’t doing its job properly, don’t blame the teachers, don’t blame the state, don’t blame the curriculum authors, don’t blame the bishops. Yes, all of these may bear a certain responsibility and will be accountable to God for their failures, but as a father you have been placed at the head of your family and it is your job to make sure that the teachers, the state, the curriculum authors, and the bishops comply with your wishes regarding the children God has entrusted to you. Because God, through His Catholic Church teaches, that you are the one who holds the original and primary authority in this task. It cannot be entirely delegated or replaced, and you must make sure that those who do assist you, fully uphold Church teaching.
Fathers are responsible for what their Children learn at School
If you send your children to a school which is not doing its job, or which is corrupting your children through false education, then you are responsible for the outcome. You must insist on a truly Catholic education for your children, and you must fight against any and all corruption that threatens the faith of your children. You must stand in harm’s way!
Don’t say that you have no choice? God does not command what is impossible. He may command what is very difficult, but He Himself tells us in Matthew chapter 6 that if we seek first His Kingdom, then He Himself will provide for all of our other needs and this includes the educational needs of our children.
Never Give up Hope – Ask Christ for help in Faith
For some of you this message may seem to be coming too late, the damage may already have been done. But never give up hope. Acknowledge your failures before God, repent, go to confession, and then begin again. Commit yourself once again to Our Lord and to His Catholic Church and trust in Him. In the Gospel, there are many stories told of Jesus Christ healing children at the request of their parents. The requirement was to ask in Faith. Have Faith and ask God to save your children and to bring them home if they have already strayed. If your children are still young than start taking the steps now to make sure that you are standing in harm’s way.
The Catholic Family is the only Foundation of Right Society
The foundation of right society is the Catholic Family, based on one man as husband and head, one woman as wife and mother co-operating in faith with her husband and under his authority, and their children.
Get the Catholic family right, and right society will follow.
We are at War
We are at war, and we have an enemy who seeks to destroy us by dragging us and our children down to hell for all eternity. In a recent Catholic Voice article, I quoted from Saint Maximilian Kolbe.
“In the face of such strong attacks by the enemies of the Church of God, are we to remain inactive? Is that all we can do, complain and cry? NO! Every one of us has a holy obligation to build a trench and personally hurl back the assaults of the enemy.”
Fathers, Build that Trench
The solution to the problems families face lies with the fathers of families building a trench in which he, with his wife and children can become holy and prosper for the Glory of God and the building of His Kingdom.
Now a trench is not a bunker, it is not a closed off mentality. A trench marks a line where a man decides he will make his stand against his enemies. For Fathers, this is the line that defends the faith of your family and you must be prepared to stand in the line defending your family and their faith or die in the attempt.”
The Maccabbee Option – Fight to Defend the Faith
That was from my talk last year in Limerick. In more recent articles, I have compared our time to the time of Judas Maccabeus, and I have said that we must act like the Maccabees did and fight to preserve our Catholic faith. We men must fight to protect our wives and children from those who are spreading falsehood. I am becoming more and more convinced that this is the correct approach especially when I listen to what some of our bishops are saying in recent times.
The Maccabees were asked to offer sacrifice and to burn incense upon the altar of King Antiochus and many Jews compromised their faith in order to save their lives. Today it is no different. Some of our bishops are asking us to burn incense upon the altar of ‘Diversity’. They say that we must welcome diversity and that we must celebrate diversity. These soundbites are meaningless.
‘Welcoming diversity’ seems to be code for ‘welcoming sin’
Do we welcome murderers and rapists because what they do constitutes diversity? Do we welcome the abortionists and the child molesters because what they do represents diversity? Obviously, this is not exactly what some of our Irish bishops intended to say, but this is what their statement means. Murderers, rapists, abortionists and child molesters must be called to repentance, reparation and conversion. Then they can be welcomed. What some of our bishops are really asking of us, is that we welcome and accept sinful sexual relationships, particularly where there are children. These bishops do not want to offend those who are living in these sinful relationships by telling them the Truth about the sinfulness of their actions. Nor have I seen any calls to repentance and a turning away from their sinful behaviour. Welcoming diversity is the new religion. They seek compromise with the world because they fear the public criticism of the mass media if they speak what the Catholic Church teaches.
The Altar of False Ecumenism
We are also being asked to offer incense on the altar of a false ‘Ecumenism’ which places all Christian denominations on the same level as the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is falsely presented as being just one amongst many Christian denominations. Recently, the Archbishop of Armagh preached a homily in a protestant church, commemorating the 500th anniversary of the heretic Martin Luther. During his homily he re-iterated the old ‘canard’ about unity and division.
“Firstly, I want to emphasise the importance of personal friendship and trust in helping to bridge and reconcile the reformation. This trust is founded on the reality that what unites us is so much greater than what divides us.” (Archbishop Eamin Martin – homily given at St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral, Armagh)
Why then, are we still divided?
One must ask the obvious question that, if what unites us is greater than what divides us, then why are we still divided? Let us look to one of the things that divides protestants from Catholics; the Eucharist. Does Archbishop Eamon Martin really expect us to believe that the things that unite protestants and Catholics are greater than Christ Himself? For the Eucharist is Christ, but the protestants do not accept this. The statement that “what unites us is so much greater than what divides us” is false, because who Christ is, what He taught, and what He expects of us, is at the centre of the divisions between Catholics and protestants. Christ is greater than what unites us, and it is Christ Himself who is at the centre of these divisions, because some men choose to create a compromise in the name of a false peace which distorts Christ’s teachings.
Our Lord said He came to bring Division
“Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division; for henceforth in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three; they will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against her mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.” (Luke 12:51-53)
In these times, when many senior churchmen seek to allow Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried without repentance and a turning away from sinful living, it is interesting to note that the protestant St Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh, where Bishop Eamon Eamon Martin preached his homily, was taken from the Catholics at the time of Henry VIII’s break with the Church over her teaching on marriage and family. Henry VIII had both Bishop St John Fisher and St Thomas More beheaded for refusing to accompany him in his adultery.
The Catholic Church is the Guardian of the Full Truth
In any ecumenical dialogue with protestants, it is important to remember that it is only the Catholics who have something to lose if a compromise is reached. We have Christ in the Eucharist, they have rejected this teaching. We have seven sacraments, they have two. We have Christ’s Vicar on Earth, they do not recognise him. We can confess our sins and receive absolution from Christ’s minister, they cannot. Another point of interest in matters ecumenical is, that the conversion of Scott and Kimberly Hahn was greatly influenced by Catholic Church teaching that contraception is intrinsically evil. A teaching which is not being taught to the children in Catholic schools today, which are under the patronage of our Irish bishops.
The Laity Must come to the defence of Marriage
The ministers of marriage, as a sacrament of the Church, are the couple who get married and become husband and wife and, please God, in time will also become mother and father. The begetting and upbringing of children is entrusted primarily to the father and mother. Marriage is primarily the preserve of the laity, and when marriage comes under attack, it is the laity who must rise up and defend it. This is our sacrament, and these are our families and our children who are coming under attack. God has entrusted the protection of families to the fathers of those families and so once again, I call on Catholic fathers to come together to fight this menace that seeks to destroy our Catholic families.
The Growing Suicide Rate is an Indication that Something is Wrong
At our most recent talks, I had occasion to look at a report on the suicide statistics for Ireland where I read the following. “Suicide is one of the leading causes of death among young people, and in Ireland, peak rates of hospital-treated self-harm are among 20-24 year old males and 15-19 year old females.” (Young Lives in Ireland – National Suicide Research Foundation 2016)
Something has gone dreadfully wrong with our society when suicide is a leading cause of death amongst our young people and when some in the 15 – 24 age bracket, feel that life is not worth living anymore. It is my personal belief that family breakdown and the rejection of Catholic Church teaching that the primary end of marriage is children and all that necessarily follows from the rejection of this teaching, is a leading cause of this dysfunction within our society.
The Irish Bishop’s Introduce a Flawed Programme
Our bishop’s response to this is to produce a programme called ‘Amoris’, which is founded on the false basis of personal experience rather than on the foundation of God and His Catholic Church’s teachings. A programme that promotes the same-sex lifestyle by falsely claiming that same-sex relationships can provide mutual support to the same-sex couple.
Where are the Catholic Fathers?
Catholic fathers, where are you? Your families need your courageous witness to your Catholic faith. Your parishes need your courageous witness to your Catholic faith. Your bishops need your courageous witness to your Catholic faith. Your country needs your courageous witness to your Catholic faith.
Time to go to War
It is time to go to war, to defend our Catholic Faith and to protect and defend our Catholic families. If we do not fight this war, then the Catholic Faith will cease to exist on the island of Ireland. We must fight to defend the Catholic Family. This is the role of Catholic Fathers in what Sr Lucia of Fatima has said, is the final battle between Christ and satan. We will win this war, because we fight under the banner of Our Lady of Victory, and under the banner of the Holy Family. May good St Joseph strengthen and guide us in the coming years, but let Catholic Fathers not be weighed and found wanting at this momentous time in the history of Catholicism.
The Lumen Fidei Institute
We, of The Lumen Fidei Institute, are willing to take on a leadership role in this battle. Please, come and join us. For your family’s sake, and for the sake of those less fortunate in family matters who may not be living their lives as Christ intends because there was no-one to speak Christ’s Truth on marriage and family in charity to them, in order to lead them from sin and onto the path of holiness.
© John Lacken 2017
These articles are free to download, to print and to distribute provided that authorship is acknowledged and contact details for the author are provided as follows.