Today in America, the moral values of the Christian family are constantly under attack from all sides. For example, the enemies of the family are redefining marriage now to include same-sex marriages, as in the recent ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Court. The U.S. Federal Food and Drug Administration gave approval to a non-prescription drug called the “emergency contraception pill”, which is no more than an over-the-counter abortion pill. Laws are being made in many states to force insurance companies to cover the cost of contraceptives, sterilization, and abortion. In the United States, the divorce rate is the highest in the world. This moral decay of society and the family is the result of the breakdown of family life.
The modern family is turning more and more away from the traditional Christian family structure. For example: the father as head of the family and provider, and the mother as the heart of the family and nurturer at home. Statistics today (2003) show that less than 12% of mothers stay home, compared to 22% in 1994. In the 1950's and 1960's, the majority of mothers stayed at home, but the trend of mothers working outside the home was steadily increasing. As early as 1931, Pope Pius XI stated in his encyclical letter, Quadragesimo Anno: “It is an intolerable abuse, and to be abolished at all cost, for mothers, on account of the father's low wage, to be forced to engage in gainful occupations outside the home to the neglect of their proper cares and duties, especially the training of children.” We can now better understand today the wisdom of Pope Pius XI's prophetic words.
Now that 88% of mothers are working outside the home, it has caused our governments to increase state funding for day care. It is in Communist Russia, in the early 1920's, that the first government-controlled day cares were started. The reason given was to increase the work force in the country, but the real reason was to indoctrinate the young children with their communistic and atheistic ideas. In many day cares today, the children are being indoctrinated in a new way of thinking, like "political correctness" and "new-age" ideas.
The United States currently funds day care on the federal, state, and local level, more than any other country in the world. The funding, for example, is for day care head start programs, full-day kindergarten, after-school programs, and school counseling. All these programs are a substitute for the absent mother. How much funding is provided for the stay-at-home mom? The work of the mother at home is irreplaceable. The Church's social teaching opposes any social program that replaces a role that the parents can perform themselves. This Catholic principle is known as subsidiarity. We must recognize and respect the work of the mother in the home because of its value for the family and society. The state has a duty to provide assistance to the family in performing its duties.
In October, 1983, the Holy See issued the “Charter of the Rights of the Family”, in which it called for “remuneration of the work in the home of one of the parents; it should be such that mothers will not be obliged to work outside the home to the detriment of family life and especially of the education of the children” (Article 10).
Pope John Paul II also stated in his encyclical letter, Laborem Exercens: “Such remuneration can be given either through what is called a family wage — that is, a single salary given to the head of the family for his work, or through other social measures such as family allowances or grants to the mothers devoting themselves exclusively to their families. These grants should correspond to the actual needs, that is, to the number of dependents for as long as they are not in a position to assume proper responsibility for their own lives.
“Experience confirms that there must be a social re-evaluation of the mother's role, of the toil connected with it, and of the need that children have for care, love, and affection in order that they may develop into responsible, morally, and religiously mature and psychologically stable persons. It will redound to the credit of society to make it possible for a mother – without inhibiting her freedom, without psychological or practical discrimination, and without penalizing her as compared with other women – to devote herself to taking care of her children and educating them in accordance with their needs, which vary with age. Having to abandon these tasks in order to take up paid work outside the home is wrong from the point of view of the good of society and of the family when it contradicts or hinders these primary goals of the mission of a mother” (n. 19).
The Pilgrims of Saint Michael of the`" Michael" Journal, for years, have been advocating for the family allowance and grants for the mother at home. Through the three principals of Social Credit, which are: social justice through an honest credit system, distributive justice by a national dividend to all, and a compensated discount on prices to increase the family's purchasing power. We recognize that these Catholic principles are truly pro- family, and therefore truly pro-life.
O Holy Family of Nazareth, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, be our models of peace, love, harmony, purity, serenity, obedience, and prayer. “He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and His Mother kept all these things in Her heart. And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favor before God and man” (Luke 2;51-52). Help us to save our families from the grips of our enemies. Give us the grace to work towards the sanctification of our families so that we may all one day be with You, in the bosom of the Holy Trinity for all eternity. Amen.