Stolen Childhood (Part 1)

November 11, 2008

Dear Friends and Benefactors,

Childhood is a time of sowing.

Raised within a family that takes care of him, the child receives from his parents an intellectual, psychological and moral structure that forges the man he will be tomorrow. A man is no more than the ripe fruit of all the seeds sown in his heart during his youth. Sheltered from the changing winds of the world, his intelligence learns to judge, his heart to love and his senses to discern beauty. Those uniquely important years leave an indelible mark upon his soul.
Nonetheless, this invaluable time is hardly allowed to exist any more. It has gone away or, to be more precise, it has been stolen.

To begin understanding this, we must first stress that tradition is not an exclusively divine or religious reality, but is rather the essential framework of society. It is the subtle but necessary bond that connects one generation with another, forms the countries and weaves the history of man, who is the heir to all these human riches accumulated throughout the centuries. If a man is able to remain standing amidst the storms of life - man, a frail "thinking reed," as Pascal said - it is only thanks to the immemorial treasures that generations have transmitted to one another with infinite respect.

Unfortunately, in the name of a false and impossible equality, the wretched movement triggered by the Revolution has destroyed this sacred chain, this succession that formed man and enabled him to live as a man, heir to the virtues of the generations that had preceded him. A 20lh-century French author, Andre Gide, thought it witty to utter a sinister cry of hatred: "Families, I hate you!" - a cry that is nothing else but the most authentic expression of the revolutionary spirit that preaches that man must liberate himself, from the moment of his birth, of the sacred family bonds which supposedly keep him in a slavery unworthy of a free being. The Revolution can be proud of its work and boast of having created a new type of man: an exaggerated individualist whose arrogance is a facade that barely hides his immense poverty. Without past, without future, such a man vegetates in a dull present - a young savage indulging his instincts.

But nature mocks revolutionary subtleties and continues its work: the young savage one day finds that he himself has become a father! No longer connected to that sacred chain of tradition, what will he transmit to his children? Can one imagine a more sinister tragedy? This, alas, is the tragedy of our time...

Do we measure the extent of the damage done by this disaster, to which we usually hardly pay any attention? The broken chain not only causes an irreparable rupture between generations, but it is within families that the most serious consequences are found today.

The sacred bond that must connect the child to his father will never be established, since no one can transmit what he did not receive. We are also increasingly confronted with another strange and painful situation: a fatherhood that is simply restricted to the material order and that will never be able to develop in the spiritual order. The child, although having a father, is essentially an orphan and will remain such his whole life!

But the sacred bond of fatherhood does not disappear alone. The shipwreck of paternity causes the no less painful ruin of maternity. The wife is capable of being mother in all the width and breadth and beauty of the term only when she can support herself on her husband, because from the exercise of fatherhood she draws the no less noble exercise of motherhood. Indeed, maternity can be exerted only in intimate union with and submission to paternity. The wife is the heart of the family and the husband is the head; but one cannot love unless one first knows. The order of the heart is certainly more beautiful and deeper than that of the intelligence, but it is dependent on it.

When paternity flounders, the wife is left only with her maternal instinct. This instinct is a beautiful reality, but by itself it cannot be the source of the maternal affection indispensable for the formation of the child. Such instinct will be sufficient to give the child the care required in his infancy, but it will never be able to give him the true maternal affection that surrounds and supports and goes well beyond the simple material care given to the very small. That affection will be irreparably missed by the child in his youth and during his whole life.

In our next letter we will talk about the practical consequences for the child of this absence of spiritual paternity and maternity and the deficiencies that it causes in his formation as a man. For the time being, we would like to underline how much this absence affects even the very life of the spouses. Marriage is, indeed, ordered by nature towards the child, not to simply having a child as an end in itself, but especially to his education. If the parents cannot attain this end because of their own deficiencies of education, their mutual relation will be itself distorted and will wither with the passing of time. On the other hand, if the parents, faithful to their vocation of father and mother, harmoniously unite their efforts in the work of education, their mutual love will deepen and will sanctify them... and their children will receive its fruits.

We do not pay sufficient attention to the corrosive destruction of the natural tradition that weakens the family and annihilates the sacred and vital bonds that must exist between parents and their children. The cruel absence of these bonds will prevent the child from harmoniously developing between a father whom he should admire as a model, and a mother to be respected and whose unfailing affection teaches him to renounce himself and answer such love with a generous love of his own, pure and strong.

The Revolution, by taking away his childhood, has stolen from the child his most invaluable good, leaving him deeply wounded for his entire life.
In Christo Sacerdote et Maria

Fr. Yves le Roux

[Edited for layout only by Vox]
True, but very idealistic.

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