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Thursday, October 10, 2013

A few questions and thoughts from a connected mom

I am interested in reading the one on Parenting Good Social Citizens as I want to ensure there are "how to" tools that parents can use to teach our children social and emotional skills that you seem to refer to. But most important: how to engage children in having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? And how to prevent that in later years they rebel because they feel that parents forced the faith on them.

I have a 7 year old daughter is just said last night "It is MY choice, not yours mom" on whether she should do something or pray. And for the first time, I hear "Mom, I really like someone"... thank God my husband Jesus and I don't react but rather respond asking wisdom from the Holy Spirit!

So do you have tools to help us counteract these lies that the enemy is feeding our children? If we do not address them, these lies become entrenched and they base their choices and behaviors on these deceptive thoughts. The enemy is actively working to create a divide among children and parents. The truth is that the faith formation classes offered at parishes are ineffective at building and strengthening that relationship in Christ so they can support the work and faith formation and leading by example we do at home. M. C.

My response: 

I think my book (Mothers Forever, Fathers Forever: Parenting Against the Tide)  fits the bill that you are hoping for. That was my intent – to offer tools on how to parent good social citizens, children of faith, etc. ... I think I forgot to attach the first lesson so here it is again.

How did you respond to your daughter when she said it is her choice? My suggestion would be the following: God, as a loving parent, gave us all free will. This is true, all of us have our own choice to make however that is also why God gave you parents rather than having human babies on their own completely after being born like many animals. Certainly by the age of seven, all animals are on their own. So by your age, they have to fend for themselves, feed themselves, etc. I don’t think you want that or are ready for that. Then God also laid on our hearts the commandment of obedience. We obey for good reason (outlined in my book). Even Jesus was obedient to his father . Children have the duty of obeying their parents in part because of appreciation for being given life freely, being taken care of …. Etc. So, right now, it is our choice to pray and since you are a child and bound by obedience, you will pray as well with us.

 Regarding I really like someone. That’s fine dear except, why do you really like that someone… Then have that discussion and suggest that love and like are two different things. IT’s ok to like someone but we are called to like everyone. Inform her again, that at the age of 7, one is not ready to be exclusive. Not even at 15 or 18. (again, in the book)….

The book doesn’t have these types of examples, that’s the purpose of the book club. And also my blog… check that out as well. I am happy to continue our dialogue. I am going to post your questions and my responses on my blog after I finish with this email.

Also you should ask her where she came up with the choice thing? I doubt it was her own idea…. So that would be a good line of questioning to pursue.

And I agree, the forces are there to separate parents from teens and children. That is the whole point of our Parenting Teens: Building Strong Futures; Daughters Forever, Sons Forever, etc.


Linda Kracht 
Fortifying Families of Faith 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Another scandal, more hand wringing, assurances from the Church that they will try harder... The result is that people lose faith in their church leaders and it affects their faith in God. That's the truth. That's the problem. What's the solution?

While it is unlikely that the majority of the faithful will serve on the panel to investigate sexual misconduct by priests, we ought to. After all, we are the faithful in the pews who year after year support the Church with our time, talent and treasure. We are also the ones who want to protect our children from abuse of any kind. We are also the source of tomorrow's priests. We have a lot to give We have a lot of reasons to make sure this stops happening.

In light of that these are my suggestions, concerns, and solutions.

1. It's time to start admitting that clergy misconduct is a whole lot more than misconduct. It is SIN with a Mortal consequence. It destroys lives of faith. It is sin that shrinks membership into the church. It is sin that fails to evangelize.

2. Its time to admit that clergy misconduct gets its start long before the actual incident of pedophilia or adultery takes place.

3. It's time to admit that few parishioners want a priest to act as minister when he is mired down by personal temptations and problems.

4. It's time to admit that failing to admit the truth is always problematic.

Long ago a priest friend told me that the Bishops and priests who seem to hide behind sanitized press releases and lack courage to fully support all aspects of authentic, orthodox life and love issues fail to do so because they have been compromised by some personal sin. This could explain the lack of leadership in and outside of the church.

5. It's time to admit that clergy misconduct includes downloading pornographic images of any kinds.

6. It's time to admit that clergy visits to brothels, hot spots in the city, chat-rooms,etc. is an act of clergy misconduct. It is not just playing with fire as suggests Fr. McDonough. It is an act of misconduct that ought to be punished immediately.

7. It's time to admit that a priest's  sexual encounter with any person, any age of person, any time, any place is an act of clergy misconduct. But acts of pedophilia are even more heinous because it involves a minor who is young, impressionable, and vulnerable. Priests take the vow of permanent chastity and we can rightfully and righteously hold them to that standard - no matter how perverted our general society is getting. We have to have priests willing to live differently if we are to teach others how to love. 

8. It's time to change the language and the words used to describe the misconduct.

9.  It's time to change the way church leaders inform seminarians about the consequences of the misconduct. For example, several years ago, I asked our parish assistant priest what/how the seminary trains them  with regard to sexual scandals. This is his reply: "They tell us to make sure we never involve a parishioner!" My reply: a priest preparing a young couple for marriage would never tell either person to make sure any adulterous affair didn't involve someone they knew! Why any seminary training would suggest the above, explains the problem - partly.

Also there is no way to give proper feedback when a young seminarian is assigned to a parish. Why are there not proper channels that we can rely on to offer the feedback - both positive and negative.

10. Corporations have long instituted a policy of inspecting all computer usage among employees for inappropriate usage. The Diocese ought to institute the same scrutiny of the priests' computers, laptops, iphones, any internet access points.  The first offense is punishable immediately and appropriately - removal from ministry.

11. Provide clergy living accommodations in which priests are held accountable to each other. The priests ought to live with other priests.

12. Security cameras ought to be installed in each office.

13. Accountability to everyone is necessary. Priests need to be protected from loneliness by instituting regular community discussions about these matters. It's not happening now according to more than one priest source.

Simple solutions for complex problems. These work.