Social Media, Marriage and Family (Part IV of IV)

07-27-2014Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As marriage and families are attacked, many can feel helpless. What can you do if you feel this way? Pray! Pray as a couple and pray with your children. Bring your family to Mass every week. Mass is the highest and most excellent prayer. Secondly, I think the answer is accountability—bring marital issues into the light. Ignoring problems will only make it worse. If you find yourself in a dangerous place, go to confession. Find friends to hold you to the highest ideals. If you feel like your inappropriate use of technology is an addiction, groups like SA (sex addicts anonymous) are a tremendous help. We also have counselors to which we can refer you. Don't wait. Act now.

At St. Joan of Arc, we are blessed with a beautiful marriage preparation program. The couples WHO help prepare others for marriage do an incredible job and I am so grateful for their work. Please pray for them and their families. We are also blessed to have a wonderful couple who are available for marriage counseling. Dr. Gary and Alberta Pizzitola are located here in our parish. They are available to help couples put their marriages back together. Above all, if you have been hurt, DON'T GIVE UP TOO QUICKLY. Try to fix it! Trust me when I say that divorce is most times far worse. In addition, as a Catholic, I believe that the question is not "How hurt am I by my spouse's sinfulness?" But rather, "Is my marriage sacramental or ordained by God?" If it is, fight for your marriage. Don't let the world take it from you.


Social Media, Marriage and Family (Part III of IV)

07-20-2014Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Last week, I touched on the issue of the internet and infidelity. This week's thoughts are from an article about data released be the American Association of Trial Lawyers. It shows that 81% of all divorce cases in the last year used some form of evidence from a social media site when presenting their cases. Sixty-six percent (66%) of the offenses were on Facebook! Let's be clear: talking with someone of the opposite sex on social media can be infidelity and inappropriate.

Of course, there is also the scourge of pornography which most definitely effects marriage. Consider this: every second 28,258 internet users view pornography. That translates into over 40 million users in the United States alone. Further, more than 45% of Christians admit that pornography is a problem in their home. In my experience as a confessor and pastoral minister, I find these statistics to be low. It is everywhere and involves men AND women—-movies, pictures, chat rooms, erotic reading, texting and so on.

At this point, I can hear people saying, "Oh Father, lighten up!" But far from being prudish, I am out to protect marriages that are populated by husbands and wives and children who suffer tremendously. If marriages suffer,, then families suffer. If families suffer, then society suffers.

Next week I will address some of the possible solutions for husbands and wives who desire to keep their marriage and family strong.

God bless,
Fr. Don Kline, Pastor


Social Media, Marriage and Family (Part II of IV)

07-13-2014Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Marriage, as God intended, is under attack every day. These attacks are from those who wish to redefine marriage so they can justify their own secular agenda. Their agenda is contrary to God's plan for marriage. What is even more troubling is that those who oppose this agenda are marginalized or vilified by those who support redefining marriage.

Nevertheless, sometimes we are our own worst enemies. That is, the erosion of traditional marriage and family often stems from how carelessly it is lived. Sometimes, we need to face facts about our behaviors that jeopardize marriage.

For example, when I was first ordained, I noticed that many reports of infidelity that I dealt with on a pastoral level resulted from ill-advised behavior in bars. It isn't rocket science. People hit a marital rough patch. They travel for work. They stop for a nightcap after a long day and make a stupid decision. For this reason, in pre-marital counseling, I advise couples to stay out of bars without their spouses.


Social Media, Marriage and Family (Part I of IV)

07-06-2014Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We need to be praying for the preservation of Marriage as God has defined marriage. There is a lot of misinformation offered by very well-meaning but misguided individuals and groups telling us that marriage can be defined in ways that are against God's plan for married life. To be clear, God does have a definition of marriage. The Church teaches us that:

  • Marriage is the lifelong partnership of mutual and exclusive fidelity between a man and a woman ordered by its very nature to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of children (see CCC, no. 1601; CIC, can. 1055.1; GS, no. 48).
  • The bond of marriage is indissoluble – that is, it lasts "until death do us part." At the heart of married love is the total gift of self that husband and wife freely offer to each other. Because of their sexual difference, husband and wife can truly become "one flesh" and can give to each other "the reality of children, who are a living reflection of their love" (FC, no. 14).
  • Marriage between a baptized man and a baptized woman is a sacrament. This means that the bond between husband and wife is a visible sign of the sacrificial love of Christ for his Church. As a sacrament, marriage gives spouses the grace they need to love each other generously, in imitation of Christ.