VATICAN CITY, May 21, 2015 (ChurchMilitant.com) - At yesterday's General Audience, Pope Francis urged parents not to give up their role as the primary educators of children by delegating it to so-called experts.
He said, “'Critical' intellectuals have silenced parents in a thousand ways, to defend the young generations from the harm — real or imagined — of family education.”
“Among other things,” notes the Holy Father, “the family has been accused of authoritarianism, favoritism, conformism and of emotional repression that generates conflicts.”
He adds, “In fact, a rupture has been opened between the family and society, between the family and school; today the educational pact has been broken. And thus, the educational alliance of society with the family has entered into crisis because reciprocal trust has been undermined.”
The Holy Father believes one of the problems is that parents today more and more entrust their children to “experts” of one sort or another and therefore “run the risk of excluding themselves from the life of their children.” He pulls no punches on this matter, explaining:
[T]he so-called “experts” have multiplied, who have taken the role of parents even in the most intimate aspects of education. On emotional life, on personality and on development, on rights and duties the “experts” know everything: objectives, motivations, techniques. And parents must only listen, learn and adapt themselves. Deprived of their role, they often become excessively apprehensive and possessive in dealing with their children, to the point of not correcting them ever: “You can't correct your child.” They tend increasingly to entrust them to the “experts,” even for the most delicate and personal aspects of their life, putting themselves in the corner, and thus parents today run the risk of excluding themselves from the life of their children. And this is very grave!
Pope Francis says part of the problem is parents who are overburdened by their jobs. “Many parents are 'kidnapped' by work — father and mother must work,” he laments. He points out that parents these days are “hampered by the new needs of the children and the complexity of present-day life. ...”
Christians must come together and help one another in the education of youth, he advises. “The Christian communities are called to offer support to the educational mission of families, and they do so first of all with the light of the Word of God” — hence, he encouraged parents, with God's grace, to be involved in their vocation as the primary educators of their children.
“I hope that the Lord will give Christian families the faith, the freedom and the courage necessary for their mission,” he says. “If family education rediscovers the pride of its leadership, many things will change for the better, for hesitant parents and for disappointed children.”
“It is time that fathers and mothers return from their exile — because they have exiled themselves from the education of their children,” he states, because he believes it's time for parents to “reassume fully their educational role.”
Pope Francis concludes, “We hope that the Lord will give parents this grace: not to exile themselves from the education of their children. And only love, tenderness and patience can do this.”