As a church we are very good a building hard, physical institutional infrastructure. As faithful communities have for generations built parish churches, presbyteries and parish halls etc sometimes with the sweat and toil of individual parishioners.
We established many schools and colleges, building them to high standards and rightly so. We built hospitals and hospices, age care facilities, seminaries, refuges.
We do this because we know they are important to our mission. We are very good at physical institutional infra-structure, but for decades we have neglected the core of our non- physical institutional infrastructure;Matrimony. Marriage is the vocation most adult Catholics spend their adult lives,trying to faithfully live.We make visible to the world, the invisible reality of the Fathers unconditional love ingrounded incarnate ways. Our sacrament is more beautiful than anything man can build And yet if marriage was a physical institution,we would see it as a neglected, uncared for broken, crumbling building. A building that has been taken for granted. Its beauty and awe no longer like St Peters Basilica in Rome, is now a dilapidated, crumbling edifice.
This building is still defended by a few but it is largely dumbed down and undermined by a world increasingly questioning its purpose and relevance. We who understand both thesacramental importance of marriage, and its social public good, defend its presence
and speak to its purpose, but few see it in its true glory because we have left it in such disrepair.
And now, to carry the analogy a bit further, the local council has turned up and told us our precious building is no longer safe and violates regulations and stand ready to tear it down. They tell us that not only must it go in its current form but that new regulations will not let us rebuild it once torn down. And so we are faced with the harsh reality years of neglect, despite the best efforts of Pope Saint John Paul II and his monumental catechesis.
We either rapidly
reinvest in this infrastructure or lose it for generations. And like any physical asset school, church , or a seminary , every few decades we have to reinvest and rebuild.We have to do so not from our annual maintenance budget butfrom our capital. Not batting an eye lid at this for our hard infrastructure, indeed we get quite excited about it. One diocese I know spent over £800,000 on refurbishing its seminary chapel but gave nothing in comparison to marriage and family life ministry or theology of the body development in schools.
Against the ever increasing cultural Marxist onslaught of same sex “marriage” and gender ideology we must fight for authentic matrimony like we have never fought before….otherwise…what is the point of the new evangelisation at all and where is to be found amoris Laetitia –the joy of love?