Archbishop Chaput: Surviving as a Catholic Family

(Advent 1998)

During Advent we prepare to celebrate the gift of life--natural and supernatural--we have received through the birth of Jesus. As a help to our meditation on this gift, during these four Sundays of Advent and on Holy Family Sunday, I offer excepts of Denver Archbishop Charles J. Chaput's address to the 1998 Couple to Couple League convention:

"Surviving as a Catholic Family in the Third Millennium--this is the theme of my remarks. And the point I'd like to focus on is this: The Family will survive into the third millenium only if there is a radical return to God's plan for what, and who, the family is... The family will only become what it is by returning to its source--by, like the Apostle Paul, kneeling before the Father from whom every family inn heaven and on earth takes its name (cf. Eph. 3:14).

"Time magazine published an article some time ago listing predictions beyond the year 2000. One section was entitled "The Nuclear Family Goes Boom." It predicted that marriage and the family, as we know them, will cease to exist. Life-long marriage will be replaced by serial monogamy. More and more children will be raised by "caregiver" rather than by their parents. An increasing trend toward childlessness will develop among those who do marry; along with a growning demand for children among those who do not.

"We are seeing these trends already. And so, one has to ask: How has our nation, which was built upon biblical principles upholding the family, arrived at this kind of dilemma? The answer is complicated. But the rejection of the truth about human sexuality and conjugal love--brought on, at least in part, by the widespread acceptance of contraception--has played a major role in the breakdown of the family in this century."

Next: God's Plan for Marriage