Question from Nick H on 4/16/2008:
I know this is not a blog for people to go back and forth so do not feel like you have to post this but you may if you think it appropriate.
It would seem that Kathleen has not availed herself of proper and authoritative resources regarding what the Church teaches as her statement below leads me to believe: "However, your response leads me to believe that you have, in fact, answered my question, and in a fashion I've come to expect, the more reading I do about Church doctrine, dogma, law, catechesis, and other vatican sources."
First, I have found your responses and all those of the experts on these question forums to be professional, direct, accurate and charitable. Secondly, anyone has been taught The Faith and who has practiced it, knows the Church promotes our charity (that is love) to all people at all stages of life. There are so many examples of Catholic people who have taken in children born to mom's who did not want to or could not, raise the children themselves. Kathleen seems concerned about the "millions" who are unwanted, unloved etc. Adopt one or two - you can't solve all the world's problems but you can solve a few. I know a couple here in my home town who were unable to have children of their own. They were both degreed professionals and could have lived the "American Dream" of a two income household with no children to worry about; they could have afforded travel, the best of everything. Instead they have built a wonderful family by adopting seven children over the years including a mentally retarded daughter and three bi-racial children. In fact the parents of one of the children they adopted had another child about two years later which they also chose not to keep. They had been so impressed with the kindness of my friends that they requested the adoption agency contact them and ask if they would adopt the new baby as well so their children could be raised together by this selfless couple. Though they already had adopted six children, they said "yes" immediately. The wife in this couple runs the local women's crisis pregnancy center. When I told her a few years ago about a young woman with whom I worked who was pregnant and not sure what to do, without hesitation she said "tell her not to kill the baby, we will adopt it and take care of it."
The parents of a young man who worked for me had four biological children and adopted 10 more, all of them in difficult home situations and in desperate need of help.
You cannot solve a million kids’ problems but you can solve one (or seven or 10) kids’ problems. Sometimes worrying about a million people's problems is a convenient way to take no action to solve one of their problems. Getting on the soap box about the Church’s failure to do something about the babies born (though untrue) also can make one feel like “I’ve done what I can.” Without really doing anything. Working in "child welfare and corrective agencies" is fine but you get paid for that "job."
It would be more productive to go adopt one of those children and not decry the Church for something that is NOT true, implying she does not encourage her children to show charity for all at all stages of life to the degree you are able. The good people I mentioned, and I could mention many more as could any serious Catholic – took the action they took precisely because Holy Mother Church calls on each of us to do what we can to help others and not just through “ …fine charitable works within the Church that "help" these children, doing what they can. But helping is completely inadequate when the need is parenting.” I would encourage Kathleen to remember that WE are the Church – there is not some disembodied thing out there doing these things – the Church’s good works happen when we make them happen.
Sorry for the length.
Answer by Judie Brown on 4/17/2008:
Thanks for this.