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« Hand Holding During the Our Father at Mass? | Main | Jimmy Carter Condemns Pro-Abortion Stance of Democrats »

Thursday, November 03, 2005


John Goss


My wife and I were brought up in the Church during the 50's & 60's so this business of hand holding during the Our Father is quite annoying. We've taught our four children to refrain from this non-Catholic custom.
Just for the record, shaking hands for the sign of peace punches our buttons too.
Bring back the Latin rite!

John & Sylvia Goss
El Monte, Calif.


More than likely it is selfishness. Financial reasons are a pretty weak argument since over half the things we deem necessary are just the opposite. My wife and I pray that we will be blessed with a large family, so far so good. Number 4 is due early December. To boot we are in our mid-twenties. So 12 isn't that unreasonable. I think things in Europe will change soon enough (I hope and Pray). All the pro-death mongers will eventually go extinct and the pro-lifers will be all that is left. So don't fret, pray.

B Chan

For us (a childless couple in early '40s) the reason we defer conception (by not having relations) is due to a lack of health insurance. My wife works for her family business ( = too small for health care benefits) and I am a self-employed author and artist ( = irregular paydays). Non-group health insurance is incredibly expensive, plus most private insurers refuse to write policies that cover prenatal, OB/GYN, and postnatal care. We'd love to have a bunch of kids, but with no health insurance the idea seems irresponsible at best. I do not want my child's first day of life to be spent in the indigent ward of County General. I suspect we are not alone in our reticence to reproduce due to lack of health insurance.


B Clan, I don't mean to sound harsh but, no health care is a lame excuse. Work for Walmart part time and do your art and crafts part time. There are ways to beat the system of fincial woes. Think about this, kids have been born for the past several thousand years without health insurance.

Hey this could be your next book, "Have a child without health insurance, It can be done!" I won't even charge you for the idea. I hope you and your wife can figure something out and experience the joy a child brings.

another carol

Health insurance can be a major concern for some however I hope I can encourage you that having children without the best health care can be done. In most cases, if the mom and child are healthy, the costs are kept at a minimum. If the mom has health issues, it can be more difficult. I know of people who have rearranged their job situation, and therefore other major areas of their life, just to work for health insurance so they could that in place to start a family. The family was their goal and they made the necessary changes to make that happen. I know high taxes make it hard for families too, but I wonder if the majority of people who don’t want kids feel that way because they don’t want the ‘hassle’. Hassle translating into not having vacations or other luxuries.


Kids give you tax breaks. Even uncle Sam knows the importance of children. Thats why you get deductions and a tax credit at the end of the year. In some cases uncle sam is accutally paying you. As for vacations we still go but probably not the kind you are talking of. We're campers in tents not the rolling home.

Kids don't cost you a million dollars, things do.

Paolo da Varese

I'm Italian, 38 years old; my 4th son, Andrea (Andrew), is coming and will be among us in a few days.

Life could be easier here, for a fairly large family like mine: my wife and I decided it would be better if she stayed home with the children, so there's only my wage - at least 40 percent goes in taxes and then there are bills, etc. But we are happy, joyful: the Divine Providence never left us and always gave the necessary help.

Sometimes I'm worried thinking of the future, but our lives are not in our hands and we're created not only for this world but for God's heaven, so I tell myself: "Let's take the risk, if you want to know Christ's love". Furthermore, there are - and there were - a lot of men and women who live in conditions much worse than ours, and I want to be worthy of their respect - not of the yuppies.

Indeed, I know many couples longing for a family and worried by real economic problems; indeed, the Italian state is the worst in Europe regarding family support. But it depends on what you hope from your life, on your horizons, on the meaning you discern in the family (from what call it originates), if you will embark in a wonderful and generous adventure or merely struggle to conform to the social convenience. This, the state cannot do.

Ciao, Paolo

PS: anyway, Thanks BXVI!


Judging by the people I come in contact with professionally, most people seem more interested in living in mini-mansions and driving huge SUVs than in having children. It is decidedly NOT financial.

John Jakubczyk

A lot of it is the perception that having a large family will overwhelm the person or the couple. At least that seems to be the first comment made when people are informed that my wife and I are raising 11 chldren. Years ago, there would be raised eyebrows and disgusted looks when I would take my 4 or 5 to the store. Those reactions and commnets I attributed to prejudice and stupidity. Now the response is more awe and "how do you do it?". I tell them my wife is amazing. ( Always makes points with the wives - and its true.)
Part of the difficulty is the sense that with two wage earners, any reduction by one staying home would create financial hardships. I see this more as a perceived fear build upon those stories in the Sunday magazine telling us that having a child will cost a zillion dollars over the next 18 years.
Another component is the 'contraceptive' mentality that has removed God and faith from the "baby-making" process. There is no genuine discussion among young people in general about the role of God in their marriage. As a result having children is soley the couple's idea. Having postponed children until "this or that," the reasons to wait become more compelling and the fear factor then sets in. Only when the 'ticking clock' forces the issue does one see the conversation begin. Ironically for many new moms the first child will prompt a deep and natural desire to have another. It is then that society's pressure tell the couple to stop before they are overwhelmed.
So the underlying reason is a lack of faith in the providence of God. Certainly there are prudential reasons for couples to postpone or avoid having a child at a given time or under certain circumstances and Church teachings recognize the role of the couple in making those decisions. Promotion of Natural Family Planning is important for those who see that grave need to address those situations. Fundamental to all of this is to remember that Our Lord seeks our free cooperarion in the bringing of new souls into the world so that they may come into relationship with Him.

Kirk H. Sowell

Right intention, but there is misguided statism here - the expansion of the welfare state has itself been a major cause of the breakdown of the family, including the birth dearth. I think that part of the reason has to do with the way it undermines the male role in the family - thus no man, less desire to have children - and partly to do with the increase in social security. Regardless of the cause, fertility has dived everywhere that the welfare state has risen.

I think the problem has more to do with culture than economics. Some commenters have already made this point. If people do not think of having children as a central part of life, it won't matter what the state pays.

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