Author: Julie Rubio

A Mother’s Day Reflection: Mom Enough

A Mother’s Day Reflection With its controversial cover picturing a hip, sexy mom breastfeeding a toddler, Time magazine fanned the fires of the “mommy wars.” That, along with yet another disappointing Mother’s Day sermon, got me thinking again about parenting. The Time story, “Are You Mom Enough?,” focuses on Dr. Sears (a Catholic from St. Louis), who started the attachment parenting movement in the 1990s in response to the more regimented parenting style recommended by Dr. Spock and sleep training guru Dr. Ferber. Instead, Dr. Sears recommended responding quickly to babies’ cries, co-sleeping, breastfeeding, and baby-carrying. The article points out that though there is solid research to support the need of infants for secure attachment, there is not nearly enough data to conclude that bottles, strollers, bouncy seats, and cribs will ruin a child for life.  It calls for a bit less self-righteousness and a little more tolerance. Similarly, a recent article in the New York Daily News, “Call a Truce in the Mommy Wars,” asks working moms and stay at home moms to stop demonizing each other and recognize that, despite the battle ignited by the comments of Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen about Ann Romney, they have more in common than they think. As a Catholic mother, I appreciate the call for tolerance.  In the mid-1990s when my three boys were young, I was attracted to attachment parenting...

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Compendium Commentary – The Family: Community of Love and Solidarity

This post is part of’s commentary on the Catechism, Part III, Section One, Chapter Two (topics from the Compendium of Social Teaching), topic six “The Family. In Catholic Social Teaching, family is defined as “a community of love and solidarity, which is uniquely suited to teach and transmit cultural, ethical, social, spiritual and religious values, essential for the development and well-being of its own members and of society” (#229).  It may be useful to begin by noting what is not being said. Family is not a fortress where we can hide from the world, not just a place of comfort, not only directed to procreation, not even just a community of love.  Rather, the family is “the first and vital cell of society” (#211), where love and solidarity come together. The interplay between love and solidarity is present throughout the section of the Compendium on the family and is evident in its structure.  In part one, the origins of family in both nature and scripture are established and the family’s role in the formation of persons is introduced. Part two focuses on marriage as the foundation of the family.  Part three treats the “social subjectivity” of the family, or the ways it calls forth gratuity, nurtures life, and forms children in virtue.  The family’s active role in society is explored in part four, and society’s duty to support...

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JFK’s Speech: Should It Make Catholics Sick?

Last week, presidential candidate Rick Santorum defended his previous statement that he was sickened by John F. Kennedy’s famous speech to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association in 1960. Santorum referenced the following part of Kennedy’s speech: “I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute —where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishoners for whom to vote — where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference — and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.” As others have pointed out, context is crucial to understanding these words.  Kennedy wrote to convince Protestant ministers that, if elected, he wouldn’t be taking orders from Rome.  By linking the then common American prejudice against Catholics to earlier persecution of other religious minorities, he hoped to persuade these men of faith that religious discrimination of any kind was unworthy of them: “I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish; where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source . . . . For while this year it...

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