“Erroneous Autonomy” and the Family

I am at the Catholic University of America—just for the day!—to take part in this conference on “erroneous autonomy,” talking about the family.

In the brief panel presentation I will give, I end up here:

screenshot2017-01-10at8-41-33am“In the end, family is not just one topic to be discussed. It is indispensable, in so far as the family is the chief school of interdependence. The family is the place that human persons are apprenticed in relationship and interconnection—or not. It is the place that this vision is established, and the place that all the necessary related skills—attending, responding, asking for help, sacrificing for others, etc.—are nurtured.

It is deeply unfortunate that attention to Pope Francis’s recent encyclical, Amoris Laetitia, has focused almost exclusively on the question of communion for the divorced-and-remarried, since there are much more fundamental issues at stake. If we want to address erroneous autonomy at the root, and look constructive and fruitful ways forward, this topic and this encyclical demand our further attention.”


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