Catholic Social Teaching gateway
6.1.1 Response to Exercise
Here are points at which issues bearing on family have been mentioned:
- In Unit 1 (1.3.4), your reading of a long section in Luke’s Gospel included 8.19-21. In response to being told that, “Your mother and your brothers are… wanting to see you”, Jesus replies, “My mother and brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it”. This passage is one of the definitive ones for how the Church thinks about the relation of Church and family. A person’s belonging to the Christian community is more fundamental for their identity than natural family is.
- In Unit 2, the chronology of some major twentieth century events (2.1.5 Response to Exercise) referred to the ‘sexual revolution’ in Western countries in the 1960s and ’70s, which is connected with some changes in family life. Page 6.1.3 below will give some statistics related to this.
- In Unit 2 (2.2.3) and Unit 3 (3.3.6), the Genesis 1 text portraying humans as created male and female was noted. As Unit 3 puts it, “it is together as male and female, as an elementary human community, that humans are made in the image of God – not, therefore, as lone individuals”.
- Also in Unit 2 (2.2.7), a big family party and a good marriage are given as examples of ‘irreducibly common goods’ – which makes them useful illustrations in learning to understand what ‘the common good’ means.
- In Unit 3, the Concluding Exercise asked you to identify two things you thought ecological responsibility should mean for families.
- At various points in Unit 4 on working life, we noted CST’s strong emphasis ever since Rerum Novarum on the importance of payment of a ‘living wage’, previously often called a ‘family wage’, i.e. a wage at a level that is sufficient for looking after a family. (See 4.1.4, 4.2.6, 4.3.5, 4.4.3). We also saw that in Rerum Novarum Pope Leo XIII emphasized the importance of families being able to save and to own private property as ways of securing themselves against poverty (4.2.3).
- In Unit 5, the reading from McCarthy’s book argued that family life is undermined both by capitalism (which defends very low wages) and by socialism (which denies the right to private property). (5.1.6; see McCarthy ed. pp. 134-136).
END OF RESPONSE
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