Our World Needs Men to Become Fathers to the Fatherless

By Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone

This Father’s Day, we are still burying bodies and healing wounds from the latest round of mass slaughter of our schoolchildren in Uvalde, Texas. In a recent letter to Congress, I joined Archbishop Paul Coakley, Bishop Thomas Daly and Archbishop William Lori in a letter calling on Congress to adopt reasonable gun control legislation as part of the solution: 

“We urge all members of Congress to reflect on the compassion all of you undoubtedly feel in light of these tragic events and be moved to action because of it. There is something deeply wrong with a culture where these acts of violence are increasingly common. There must be dialogue followed by concrete action to bring about a broader social renewal that addresses all aspects of the crisis, including mental health, the state of families, the valuation of life, the influence of entertainment and gaming industries, bullying, and the availability of firearms. Among the many steps toward addressing this endemic of violence is the passage of reasonable gun control measures. In this, we implore you to join the Holy Father who, in his continued expression of grief over the tragedy in Texas, declared, ‘It is time to say “no more” to the indiscriminate trafficking of weapons.’”  

But as important as such policy changes are, we also know they aren’t enough. We know we are having trouble as a society raising boys to be good men. These shooters are all men, mostly young, disconnected from their families, seduced by a culture that does not offer them a clear pathway to achieve a strong and powerful masculine identity that is protective and productive. Our culture glorifies men as powerful villains, but not as loving fathers. In despair, often mentally ill from childhood trauma, these young men turn to murder-suicide as a way to feel powerful for a moment. This is always the false promise of the devil: “It is better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.”  

What does a Catholic priest, some might ask, know of fatherhood? Think for a moment. Spiritual fatherhood is not just a metaphor: It is the transformation that all men must go through to rise above boyish temptations and become good men. To be good fathers, we must first become spiritual fathers, not just bodily begetters…

Continue reading at the National Catholic Register.