I am going to make a very bold claim: so-called “alternative” families are near occasions of sin for children.
In order for readers to understand this claim, I will first define a few terms:
- Intact family structure (we have to understand the “intact” form before we can understand the “alternative” form)
- Alternative family structure
- Near occasion of sin
Definition of “intact family structure”
I define an “intact family structure” as when male/female couples put these three ideas together to form families:
God designed these three things to function together as a unified whole, not to be separated.
Regarding infertility: some male/female couples experience infertility due to no fault or actions of their own. I include those couples here, since their lack of procreation is not their doing but God’s. I leave that in His hands, and I know that He has a plan for them. I also include here married and infertile male/female couples who have caused their infertility but later realize their error in causing the infertility and turn from it.
Definition of “alternative family structure”
I define a “alternative family structure” as when adults create a family by separating one or more of those things from the others (marriage, sex, procreation). I exclude ethical adoption from the definition of “alternative family structure,” since its purpose is to find parents for children who need them, rather than finding/creating children for parents who want them as we see in the “alternative” form.
Definition of “near occasion of sin”
According to the Baltimore Catechism:
The near occasions of sin are all persons, places, or things that may easily lead us into sin.
Lying is sin, and having the structure of a family that fosters lying about what it is like to be separated from one’s parents, extended family, origins, and culture qualifies as a near occasion of sin, in my view.
One of the things I love about being Catholic is how we learn to make proper distinctions. That is what we are doing here, making proper distinctions.