Europe’s most pressing problem

“Most urgently of all,” asked George Weigel in The Cube and the Cathedral, “why is Europe committing demographic suicide?” Weigel’s book was published almost fifteen years ago, but his question on Europe’s infertility is as urgent as ever—even more urgent now, in fact. Continue Reading...

Homeschooling a parent’s choice, not the state’s

Decades ago, when I was first ordained a priest, I shared a prejudice that many people hold: I thought homeschooling families were odd. I believed schooling children at home deprived such children of opportunities to be with other children causing them to be less able to communicate with others, socially awkward and reclusive and narrow in their experience and understanding of the world that they would one day have to grow up in and navigate. Continue Reading...

Demographic decline: Ben Franklin’s two cents

Not one of Benjamin Franklin’s better-known works, but one worth reading nonetheless, is a brief 1751 essay called Observations Concerning the Increase of Mankind, Peopling of Countries, &c. Franklin covers a lot of ground in just a few pages, and brings up quite a few ideas worth commenting on, but I wanted to highlight one paragraph and its relevance for the “birth dearth” we see in the West today. Continue Reading...

Judges: Parents must pay children’s bills into their 30s

Michael Rotondo rose to infamy earlier this year as the 30-year-old whose parents had to sue in order to evict him from their home. But across Europe, judges have ruled that parents must financially support their children well into their 30s, until they finish schooling – or until they find a job in the same field as their sometimes-esoteric degrees. Continue Reading...

Force fathers to stay at home? A warning from Europe

It was a curious sight to see a Wall Street Journal op-ed call for social engineering to change the way families choose to raise newborn babies. It was more curious yet to see right-leaning Catholics endorse the notion “in the name of conservative family values.” This is especially true, as Europe shows the manifest failures and harmful effects of their chosen policy. Continue Reading...

Alfie Evans and the UK’s paternalistic subversion of parental rights

Alfie Evans’s father wanted his son to remain on life support and be allowed to go to the Bambino Gesù Hospital in Rome for additional treatment. Earlier today, though, the UK’s Court of Appeal—the highest court within the Senior Courts of England and Wales—denied that request and upheld a previous ruling removing life-support for the British infant. Continue Reading...

Jennifer Roback Morse on the economic consequences of family breakdown

The 2018 Acton Lecture series got off to a great start yesterday with an address by Jennifer Roback Morse, a longtime friend and collaborator with the Acton Institute. She addressed how the breakdown of the family unit within culture generates significant problems, both socially and economically, and suggested some ways we can all work to address the issue going forward. Continue Reading...

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