In At the Heart of the Family, Father Oreste Benzi’s last book, which was published posthumously, he wrote: “God created man to make humanity. It is not good for man to be alone, to exist as a separate reality; it is good when man is Adam, that is, doing humanity.”
Father Benzi said “it is not good for man to exist as a separate reality,” that is, as an individual, as a subject self-centered on their needs, impulses, and their subjective desires. Human beings are “beings in relation”, communion, and collaboration. Life itself takes shape through the complementary relationship of two people, a man and a woman, who become one flesh. The complementary nature of differences is vital, it generates life at all times, and lies at the basis of a sane, truly free, and fully aware identity and personality formation, the latter being educated to love themselves and the others, knowing, accepting, appreciating differences. Thus, it educates people and mature citizens, adults who have a peaceful relation with society. Inside the family, one learns the value of the human being, of every person, each one as an equal subject of rights and duties, unique, individual and exceptional, with different roles and responsibilities in the family itself and in society.
The family grounded in a steady union of a man and a woman, open to procreation as the fruit of love and the gift of their own difference in communion, makes humanity, that is, society. This anthropological principle is simply and obviously natural, and it should lie at the basis of every other side of social life and civil organization. The family is the first cell of the social organism: a new human being is born from the union of a male gamete and a female one; the same way society is born from marriage between a man and a woman.
The family is the embryo of society. Reminding about it should be almost trivial. Yet, it is not trivial at all. What is currently happening with the arrogance that characterizes the unusual legislative path of the Cirinnà bill, is a true attack on the family, that is, on the heart of Western civilization and humanity. This bill is a nuclear bomb ready to explode in our society: it represents an attack on the very core of society.
Defending the family how it is and how it cannot be means defending the human being and humanity as a whole. The family, in fact, is the heart of society. The living cell, the founding core, the first natural community. It is the cornerstone on which we build the legal, organizational, and administrative structures of civil society. Or at least, this is how things should be. A legal system which is not based on nature, which denies and contradicts it, and is not grounded in religious ethics becomes arbitrary. It changes according to ephemeral moods and ideologies, imposes itself with the dictatorship of the majority in the Parliament, which often does not match – as it happens in this case – the majority of the population, and transforms desires, individual interests and subjective claims into rights.
The family is a public good, not a private interest. It exists and is recognized in children’s priority interest, because they are the supreme good of humanity and the future of our society. The family, as a natural society founded on marriage between a man and a woman – that is, their union of love and mutual support, which is stable and state-recognized, open to generativity without claiming it – is a social, not an individual right. It is not just a matter of freedom. Freedom to love each other, support each other, provide for each other’s care and the needs is recognized and protected by the law. Whereas creating a lawful pseudo-marriage, which twists the whole legal, organizational, cultural, ethical, and anthropological order of our society.
The word love is overused, but little practiced, to put it in the words Pope Francis repeated more than once. Often, it hides too much selfishness, and many individual interests. Love is self-giving, hence, also sacrifice and renunciation. It is not possession. Those who claim their right to parenting treats children as if they were objects to be possessed, to have, to obtain, to conquer, maybe even to buy in order to satisfy their own needs and desires. They cannot give up on their desire and need for the good of their potential son, whose most important good consists in having a family, that is, a father and a mother. A sane family, obviously, but a family. Parenting does not mean only loving one’s children and providing for their basic needs, it entails also social responsibility: the child has to be introduced in society, in the complementarity of differences.
This law functions as a weapon used to occupy and devastate the holy land of human rights, expropriating children to meet the desires of the adults. Behind the legal and political game, there is a more important game, and we risk losing it. They want to impose a concept of human being as a single individual who relates to the others and to the world in function of taking and a dominating. Thus, the very idea, value, and purpose of society and law itself fall into crisis. The latter no longer serves to regulate the relations between people with equal rights who live together, but protect the private interests of different individuals, according to moods, cultural and political fashions, honors or desired honor of the politicians who have power at a given moment.