A father’s responsibility to his children

A father’s responsibility to his children

Imagine if you will the following conversation within a family.

    Son: Dad, I think you should know that my older Brother is doing some pretty immoral things, including encouraging his no-good friends to commit crimes.

    Dad: That is pretty bad. He shouldn’t do that.

    Son: Yeah. And my younger brothers and sisters are seeing him do this and they’re getting the wrong idea that this acceptable behavior.

    Dad: Okay, that’s not good either.

    Son: So, umm, are you going to do anything about it?

    Dad: He knows what I think of that behavior.

    Son: Yeah, but are you going to do anything about it?

    Dad: I talked to him last week.

    Son: At which point, he said to you that this was your point of view and he felt no obligation to be bound by it. Don’t you think you should take some sterner action like, maybe, cut off his allowance or threaten to cut him out of your will?

    Dad: All I hear is complaints from you asking what I’m going to do about your brother. “What are you doing about it? How is your voice heard?”

    Son: I’m telling you. You’re his father, not me and it’s your responsibility, not mine, to discipline your children.

You may find it apropos of certain things in the news.

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  • God forgive me, but Donald Wuerl, Edward Eagan, and so many of their brother bishops in the hierarchy are sissified cowards in the extreme; there is no other way to say it.

    Saint Thomas More and his Boss are surely appalled.

  • Oh, come on! How can you possibly expect to compare the bishop’s actions to a parent’s? These folks live in the rarified air of public life and politics and little things like morality and scandal can’t be looked at the same way as for mere mortals like us.

  • I read about this and wondered what would happen if some dumb redneck stood up and said “Well, what I did about was ask my Bishop to do his job!”

  • Sadly, we’ve had many conversations just of this sort with my father-in-law.

    His eldest son is a professed atheist, in a civil marriage to a divorcee, who has a violent temper.

    His second son is addicted to drugs and pornography and practices occultism.

    His younger daughter does all sorts of crazy things, has been physically abusing her adopted daughter since the day the poor girl came into her home, and has now divorced her husband (his third marriage), granting him full custody. 

    His second-youngest son is not practicing the faith and also in a civil marriage. 

    His youngest son is not practicing the faith and spends his weekends drinking and gambling, having flunked out of high school and had numerous run-ins with the law.

    His response is very much like Archbishop Wuerl and your hypothetical father: they know how he feels about their behavior, and he believes a Catholic parent should teach by example (but then again, he hasn’t given a very good example).

    Meanwhile, he thinks we’re weird for the way we want to protect our children from spiritually and psychologically unhealthy influences (most notably their uncles and aunt).

  • Spectre, it may be wise to remember that Thomas More was persecuted for his silence.  He spoke against no one and spoke his mind only after his conviction and it would be impossible to extrapolate what he may think.

    As to the general line of thought here, is there really anything to be gained by bishops treating the laity like 8 year olds?  Pelosi, Kennedy, Kerry and the rest of our pro-aborts are cinos.  Is there any reason to think that aggressive tactics will change their behavior?  A strong arm tactic seems like a loose/loose proposition.  It will not change the behavior of the pro-aborts and makes the bishops look patronizing to the laity.  Where is the benefit?

  • Funny how all of this applies to Bishops but, uh, not to Holy Fathers in any meaningful way huh?

    Oh, THAT’S right:
    1.  He didn’t know about it
    2.  The curia kept it from him
    3.  He was told a distorted version of what happened
    4.  He thought it was the best science of the time
    5.  He’s taking advantage of a “teaching moment” to let them clean up their own mess

    Sure.  Whatever.  Business As Usual.

  • DGS: The bishops’ action is needed not just for the politicians’ sake, but also for the scandal to the faithful. Maybe even more so.

    Bubbles: This Holy Fathe already has said how to handle this situation before his election.

  • “That is what Jesus did,” he said. “Did everyone accept that teaching? No. … But he didn’t stop teaching. We are in this for the long haul.”

    Yes, Jesus taught, but he also was not afraid to admonish too…especially those of privilege.

    Our bishops also need to realize that Jesus was “so popular” that he was crucified.

  • Dom, the Holy Father may have said what he thought before his election to the papacy.  Now that he is Pope, he has the power to put action behind his words.  We’re waiting…

  • DGS, you wrote:

    “Where is the benefit?”

    Sounds like something to ask a guy hanging on a Cross. But the “benefit” isn’t in this life, or on our terms. If there were, it would be to give hope to those who would believe without additional prodding, and possibly to “catch the conscience of the king,” as the Bard said in “Hamlet.” Popes have done as much to emperors in the past. You think they took a vote on it first?

  • “It may be wise to remember that Thomas More was persecuted for his silence.  He spoke against no one and spoke his mind only after his conviction and it would be impossible to extrapolate what he may think.”

    Hmmm…OK, DGS, thanks at least for acknowledging that STM was willing to suffer for his faith, wheras the latter day cowardly bishops in question have evidenced no such willingness, whatsoever.  Under the particular circumstances that STM faced, his silence spoke volumes, and his persecutors heard it, loud and clear.  Unfortunately, today’s bishops’ silence speaks volumes also; that’s just the problem.

    As far as the “impossibility” of extrapolating how STM would view today’s leadership (such as it is), I think not; see the above.