3, June 2016
There is in our time a certain wave of anti-Catholicism that seeks to drown the Holy Roman Catholic Church in a sea of guilt for its past mistakes and moral failing. It does not seem to matter how often the Roman Catholic Church at all levels may show its repentance, there never seems to be any recognition of this in the constant and mounting wave of criticism that much of the time rises to a form of snide vilification beyond justification. It does no good to remind people that though the Roman Catholic Church on earth is divinely instituted, it is at the time humanly constituted and will always carry with it traces of the evil it tries to counter. A characteristic of this wave of anti-Catholicism is that it so often attributes to the Roman Catholic Church beliefs or stances it does not hold. It has become so politically correct in some quarters to knock the Roman Catholic Church that accuracy, truth and justice seem to go out the window. An example of this phenomenon is the way the Roman Catholic Church is often attacked for its position on the family.
When the Roman Catholic Church affirms the notion of family as that of the stable relationship between two parents-man and woman and their children, the response is often a vicious attack on two fronts. The first front makes it seem that this notion is in some way the creation of the Roman Catholic Church and not to be taken too seriously, somehow out of date. This is common with many prominent members in the Parish Councils in Cameroon who are polygamists. And who are aware the Roman Catholic Church needs their money to function and can only refuse them Holy Communion in return. This completely ignores the fact that the Roman Catholic did not invent marriage or the family. These two institutions are natural to human beings and are deeply imbedded in human experience. These two institutions are the basic elements of human society. The contribution of the Roman Catholic Church is to endeavor to refine and uphold what is an essential feature of human existence. The family is the natural basic unit of any society. If you break this down anywhere in the world, the consequences will be a break down of that society no matter what religious beliefs are in place. What this writer is saying is simply that the stable family unit of parents and children was not invented by the Roman Catholic Church or Cardinal Tumi but by nature.
The second front on which the Roman Catholic Church has been attacked in this family matter is that the Holy Roman Catholic Church is lacking in compassion for the single parent family. The Roman Catholic Church on earth remains the only establishment that cherishes and supports single parent family. The Roman Catholic Church support for single parent family is matchless, without qualification, without strings and above all and in the words of Archbishop Cornelius Esua, without judgment. I learnt from my own mother that single parent family nurture their families with no less dedication and success than two parents families will achieve. She demonstrated to me that the struggle of the good single parent family will be harder than the struggle of the good two parent family.
My time in Mamfe, the chief town in Manyu Division in Cameroon tells me that being a two parent family is no guarantee of success and dysfunctional families are of all sorts and also, problem children are of many backgrounds. But when all that is said and without being judgmental or critical of anyone, the best chance for all in the world, is the norm of the stable two parent family-father, mother and children. It is a curious feature of our time that when there is failure to conform to the norm, whether it is in the area of marriage or celibacy or chastity, then the cry goes out to do away with the norm. When a principle becomes too difficult to sustain or is widely ignored, then the cry goes out————do away with the principle. I remember with passion the story of my mother who gave all her time on earth to the Roman Catholic Church as a teacher but was given a disgraceful and forceful retirement by a heartless priest call Father Charles Leke. I attempted to use the pages of the The Herald newspaper at the time in Yaounde, Cameroon to put up a fight against this outrageous man call Father Charles Leke and my mum prevented it.
The same Charles Leke escaped to the USA on lame and ridiculous reasons that the followers of Rev. Father Ettiene Khumbah wanted to kill him. In the USA, he has been a prominent and successful failure and a complete disgrace to the Roman Catholic Church in Cameroon and his American Bishop has expelled him from his Parish. This is an example of ——do away with the principle!! When we continue to do away with the principle, we should all remember that we are heading towards the road to chaos!!
When God decided to enter into our humanity in the person of Jesus Christ, that humanity was nurtured in the arena of the family. In the stability of the relationship of a man and a woman and a child, we are told in scripture, he grew in age and wisdom. We Roman Catholics celebrate that in the feast of the Holy Family. To celebrate this is in no way to diminish the value or dignity of any person. To celebrate this is simply to say that the norm should not be diminished or downgraded either, and it certainly should not be abandoned. The Roman Catholic Church did not invent marriage and the family. The Roman Catholic Church along with many other institutions affirms and supports what nature and human experience selected as the norm.