Motherhood and fatherhood are complementary Cardinal explains at Family summit

At the International Conference on the Family this morning in Doha, Qatar, Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, addressed the growth of an ideology hostile to the family which obscures the natural complementarity of men and women in conjugal love and upbringing of children, and underscored the fundamental importance of this complementarity for family life, children and society.

"One truth that is present in a profound way in all cultures and religions is that of the family based on marriage, the only worthy and appropriate place for conjugal love," with the couple's "complete, reciprocal self-giving.”

He said that “a child, God's most precious gift, is the fruit of this mutual self-giving, and the spouses are associated with God, the source of human life, with their complete masculinity and femininity."

"Today an ideology hostile to the family is spreading in some parliaments not only in Europe, but in America too,” he noted. “In fact, in the past decade, the complementarity between a man and a woman and the overcoming of any opposition between the sexes have strangely been negated.”

He argued that “the abuses deriving from a certain kind of 'male chauvinist' domination ...are not valid arguments for an exacerbated feminism that considers marriage and the family a place of slavery, and fatherhood and motherhood an unbearable burden that turns into fear."

Cardinal Trujillo said it is "necessary to oppose ''polyform sexuality", underlining that "recognition of 'de facto' unions, which are a legal fiction, proposing same-sex unions as an alternative to marriage, and inventing new, unacceptable notions of marriage to the point of accepting the adoption of children, are grave signs of dehumanization," and noted that it is not discrimination to oppose these things, it is protecting spouses and children.

Motherhood and fatherhood as complementary

Spouses are "cooperators with the love of God the Creator," he said, noting that "responsible motherhood and fatherhood express a concrete commitment to carry out this duty, which has taken on new characteristics in the contemporary world.”

The cardinal affirmed that “the roles of father and mother are complementary and inseparable; they presuppose that specific, interpersonal relations are established between the children and the parents.”

"Motherhood," said Cardinal Trujillo, "is closely tied to the personal structure of the human being and the personal dimension of the gift. A mother's contribution is decisive in laying the foundations of a new human personality.”

“The father's role, which all too often is obscured,” he said, “is of great importance in the formation of the children's personality and in the decisive choices that concern their future.”

“This reciprocal influence of the father and the mother is manifested in the complementarity of the paternal and maternal roles in a child's upbringing," he said.

Disturbed by the devaluaton of motherhood in our societies,  Cardinal Trujillo declared that "motherhood is ... a life in the service of a vocation of the greatest importance for individual persons, for the family, and for the whole of society.”

He also pointed out that families have a responsibility to educate greater awareness of the father’s task.

Responsibility of politicians

Turning to the need for political authorities to do their part to protect the family, the cardinal pointed out that “the family, a natural society, exists prior to the State, any other political organization or juridical institution. Therefore, the originality and identity of the family based on marriage must be recognized by the political authorities."

"In the State's protection of the family,” he added, “the real interests of the State coincide with those of the family and children. It is in the family first of all where human capital is formed on all levels: that is, the wonderful resource that consists of a human person brought up with a sense of responsibility and a job well done.”

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“This is what Pope John Paul II states in the Encyclical 'Centesimus Annus': 'The first and fundamental structure for 'human ecology' is the family, in which man receives his first formative ideas about truth and goodness'."

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