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The Duties of a Catholic Part 10 – Calling Fathers to Greatness

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We have come to the final article in this series of articles which looks at Pope Leo XIII’s Encyclical letter ‘Sapientiae Christianae’ on the duties of Christians in society. At the beginning of the letter Pope Leo XIII warned us that, “For, when these principles have been disregarded, evils so vast have accrued that no right-minded man can face the trials of the time being without grave anxiety or consider the future without alarm.” (Sapientiae Christianae 1)

There is no doubt that we are living in evil times and that is why Pope Leo XIII wrote Sapientiae Christianae. He wanted to exhort Catholics to be on their guard and to work tirelessly to defend the Catholic Church and her moral teachings.

The Good Samaritan – Balthasar van Cortbemde (1612 – 1663)

This charity seeks the perfection of our neighbour so that he may attain the Heavenly Kingdom. It is not a soft love which tolerates sin and division but a love which earnestly strives to help our neighbour to become holy. It is the same charity wherewith Christ laid down His life for us and allowed Himself to be crucified so that we could be saved from our sins. This is the level of charity we are called to. It can be easy to lose sight of this when we see how deeply embedded evil has become in our society. The dangers arising from this evil can turn men of good will against each other out of a certain impatience to re-conquer the world for Christ.

This “love of men” includes love for those impious men who seek the destruction of the Catholic Church and who seek to overturn the moral order by targeting school children with perverse ideologies that will destroy their moral character. But we must not mistake this love for something that is weak and that puts up no resistance to the plans of evil men. Pope Leo XIII, in his penultimate paragraph, addresses the fathers of families.

Stella Maris Primary School is a private Catholic School in Limerick, Ireland

Catholic parents should never underestimate the grave responsibilities they have to provide a Catholic education for their children and to protect their children from all who would harm them through an improper or faulty education. Catholic parents must become aware of the forces that are working to destroy their children’s lives and their families.

Pope Leo XIII, writing in 1890, one hundred and thirty three years ago, issued a warning to Catholic fathers alerting them to the fact that there is an organised effort to destroy the Catholic family “utterly, root and branch”. Those who seek the destruction of the Catholic family now control governments and government departments right around the world. Think for a moment about how synchronised the abortion movement is. Think about those who are promoting the homosexual agenda. It is being organised on a global scale with operatives in every country in the world. The transgender ideology has risen from nowhere and now most western nations are telling very young children that boys can become girls and that girls can become boys simply by declaring it. There is a global movement that seeks to make the teaching of this ideology mandatory in all the schools of the world and they are succeeding.

The rules of good parenting,
Do not change with time.
They are as timeless as God Himself.
Who issued them!

Catholic fathers need to lead the charge against these corrupting ideologies in order to protect their children. Catholic fathers protect and guide their families. In doing this duty, Catholic fathers also form the basis for a moral and upright society. It is easy to complain about the ills of our society, but the primary duty for correcting these problems lies with the fathers of families.

The solution is quite simple, but it is not an easy task. Father’s must lead their families in the Catholic faith and teach them to become holy, to become saints. They cannot do this if they are not trying to become a saint themselves. Catholic fathers are not meant to work alone. God established the order within marriage with the man as the head and the woman working alongside her husband to raise saints for the Heavenly Kingdom.

Our bishops are called to be spiritual fathers. They need to step up and to reform the Catholic schools in their dioceses otherwise these schools should be stripped of the title Catholic and parents should be alerted to the dangers that exist within these schools where children will imbibe “the poison of impiety”. The dangers that the false ideologies pose for our children and for our society cannot be underestimated. They are capable of destroying whole civilisations and they are already deeply embedded into the fabric of western societies. It will take generations to recover our societies from these evil ideologies and that is why we must begin now, to firmly oppose those who promote these false and dangerous ideologies.

Pope Leo XIII then concludes Christianiae Sapientae.

One of the great difficulties for Catholics in our day, is the confusion that emanates from certain quarters of the Catholic Church. In Germany, the bishops are calling for blessings for homosexual couples and those living in adulterous relationships. Catholic Church teaching against contraception is neither proclaimed or enforced. We are witnessing a great apostasy away from the Catholic faith and the solution being offered by many clerics is for the Catholic Church to become more worldly, so that those of the world will more readily accept her. This is to strip the Catholic Church of the cross of Jesus Christ. It will not rebuild the Catholic Church but will only further weaken her influence in the world.

The long term solution to all of these problems is to build networks of strong Catholic families who are willing to suffer and to die for the Catholic faith. It is Holiness that attracts people to the Catholic Church. Hypocrisy drives them away. It is the primary duty of Catholic fathers to build up their families and to help to build these networks of families seeking the Heavenly Kingdom. I urge Catholic fathers to take on board the words of Pope Leo XIII and to remember that Catholic fathers are responsible for building a society that puts God in first place and that also serves our neighbours.

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