News

Ditch moralising with 'Victorian' family model – academic

26 March 2014 | by James Macintyre

Traditional “Victorian” expectations of family life should give way to a much greater understanding of those with “patchwork” families or who live on their own, a leading lay Catholic academic has said.

Professor Werner G. Jeanrond, Master of St Benet’s Hall, Oxford, has attacked “moralising” church statements on family values and said the synod on the family in October promises to take a fresh look at “all areas of human relationships”.

In a statement, Professor Jeanrond, who studied under Fr Josef Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI, said: “Current references to the ‘nuclear family’ as the basic cell of church and society would not have been understandable to people in the early Church or in early modern Europe.”

Speaking of one-parent households that are not mentioned in church statements, Professor Jeanrond said: “Should we not understand the entire Church as God’s family and thus widen the perspective even further beyond any unholy and reductionist image of the nuclear family?”

The Professor went on to suggest that Jesus himself had “a sort of holy patchwork family” that “does not correspond to traditionalist Victorian, Vatican or Bismarckian expectations of family life”.

He added: “The forthcoming Synod in Rome promises to reflect much more critically and self-critically on all areas of human relationships, and especially on the family and on so-called family values.”



Article List


TABLET WORLD…
Latest Issue

Digital/PDF Version

PDF version (iPad-friendly)

Previous Issues
Latest Tweet
Most Read Articles

Iceland population with Down syndrome 'disappearing' as nearly 100 per cent abort Downs babies 18 August 2017 by Catholic News Service

Former Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, seriously ill in hospital21 August 2017 by Rose Gamble

Kenya bishops 'applaud' Odinga's decision to challenge election result in Supreme Court 21 August 2017 by Rose Gamble

A philosopher's dark secret: Nazism and theologyPremium16 August 2017 by Judith Wolfe

Surprised by joy: when Jean Vanier invited two men with handicaps to share his life, it transformed the former naval officerPremium16 August 2017 by Maggie Fergusson

A newly fertilised embryo is not, in any common sense view, a ‘person’ as you and IPremium17 August 2017 by Clifford Longley

Iceland population with Down syndrome 'disappearing' as nearly 100 per cent abort Downs babies 18 August 2017 by Catholic News Service

Former Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, seriously ill in hospital21 August 2017 by Rose Gamble

Kenya bishops 'applaud' Odinga's decision to challenge election result in Supreme Court 21 August 2017 by Rose Gamble

A philosopher's dark secret: Nazism and theologyPremium16 August 2017 by Judith Wolfe

Surprised by joy: when Jean Vanier invited two men with handicaps to share his life, it transformed the former naval officerPremium16 August 2017 by Maggie Fergusson

A newly fertilised embryo is not, in any common sense view, a ‘person’ as you and IPremium17 August 2017 by Clifford Longley

Share Us
Tablet Subscription

Manage my subcription here

Manage
Newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter

Sign Up
Top