Jobs shortage a barrier to family life, says Martin
THE Archbishop of Dublin has criticised the lack of a family friendly housing policy and said a shortage of jobs was hindering family life.
The Catholic Church must fight for housing policy and other social policies which support and defend the family, Diarmuid Martin (pictured) said.
"How can we talk of building healthy families in the future where there are so many young people who cannot attain employment?" he asked.
"We are witnessing again something we thought we had consigned definitively to the past, namely breadwinners in a family having no alternative but to emigrate to find work for their families left at home."
He told 150 delegates from parishes across Ireland and the UK who attended a conference on marriage and the family that the church "cannot stand aside from important debates about the defence of the family" as "a fundamental institution within society".
In an address at Clonliffe College at the weekend, Dr Martin called on the church "do more to support families in the public sphere."
Dr Martin suggested that many in the church were often intimidated into not speaking of a family ideal. He referred to marriage between men and women as a "unique mutuality".
Calling on the Catholic Church to keep the debate on the family going, he also urged the faithful to build a wide, broad consensus about the family.
At the same conference, Dr Tony Fahy described the change in the Catholic Church's mentality towards unmarried mothers, from rejection to social acceptance, as "a quiet revolution".
He linked this shift to Catholic pastoral practice and a realisation that harsh treatment of unmarried mothers pushed women towards abortion.