Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Interview With Kansas City Prelate

KANSAS CITY, Kansas, JUNE 12, 2006 (Zenit) - Benedict XVI's trip to Spain for the World Meeting of Families next month will only confirm the pontiff's evident concern for the renewal of the family.

So says Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, a member of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Marriage and Family.

Archbishop Naumann, 57, shared with us how the Pope has shown that the state of the family is a priority during the first year of his pontificate.

Q: Pope Benedict XVI has made few international trips, but he has decided to be present at the upcoming World Meeting of Families in Valencia. What does it tell us about the importance he places on the family?

Archbishop Naumann: His decision to attend the World Meeting of Families is a public affirmation of the invaluable worth he places on the family. We have already seen in just the year since his election that renewing the family is a priority of his pontificate.

His first encyclical, "Deus Caritas Est," gives much attention to the love between a man and a woman, how human love, especially eros, must be connected to divine love and the good of children, and the important role of love in the public life.

And since the family is the first school of love, we can infer that a healthy family is essential to a healthy society.

With all of this is Pope Benedict's constant interest in uniting questions of the social order with a vigorous pursuit of truth. To be a well-ordered society the truth of the family must be upheld.

So, his decision to attend the World Meeting of Families is consistent with his interest in defending the proper relationship between truth and love within the family.

Q: Does the Pope have a "theology of the family"?

Archbishop Naumann: I would not necessarily say that Pope Benedict XVI has his own theology of the family, but that he teaches with unique clarity the mind of the Church.

His new role as the universal pastor of the Church means that he is not out to suggest his own way of thinking, but to simply propose in new ways what the Church already believes.

Pope Benedict's teaching on marriage and family is obviously consistent and in harmony with the teaching of Pope John Paul II. We must, therefore, read Pope Benedict within the context of John Paul II.

If anyone hopes to understand the mind of Pope Benedict relative to the family, he or she needs to spend time with the writings of Pope John Paul II, especially "Familiaris Consortio" and his "Letter to Families."

That being said, Pope Benedict is making some important applications, especially as to the situation in Europe, about the decline of the family's unique role in culture, and how a European culture separated from its Christian roots is harmful to family life.

He recently affirmed that marriage is one of the issues that Catholics cannot allow any compromise. This should not be surprising, but it does suggest that this issue is very much something that concerns him.

Q: Is there anything in the then Cardinal Ratzinger's writings or background that may provide a clue to his pastoral plan at the meeting?

Archbishop Naumann: Again, I would first suggest that we can get insight into Cardinal Ratzinger's thinking by looking at the writings of Pope John Paul II.

As prefect for Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Ratzinger reviewed and contributed to the official writings of John Paul II. The two of them had a very close relationship and it is reasonable to think that they influenced each other.

Aside from his collaborations with Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict spoke many times with his own voice about the dignity of marriage and family.

A few years ago, when then Cardinal Ratzinger addressed the Italian Senate, he identified three areas of concern for Europe -- one of which was the legal status of the family. He argued that Europe would no longer be Europe if the status of the family was essentially changed.

From this I think it is safe to assume that he will vigorously defend a Christian understanding of the family. Christian people have a responsibility to stand against the dissolution of marriage and the family, and I imagine the Pope will remind the Church of her role as a defender of the family.

We see in his motto, "cooperators veritatis," that he is especially concerned with truth. He believes the family, as well as being a place of love, is called to be a school of truth.

Civilization must be founded on truth, and it is within the Christian family that truth is first lived and experienced. The relationship of the family to truth and love within culture is a theme that he has touched on in the past; whether he brings it up explicitly, it colors his entire approach to the subject.

Q: It appears that the nations of Europe are aggressively trying to redefine the family. What can philosophers and theologians do to combat this trend?

Archbishop Naumann: This is a critical issue facing the Church today. More and more, traditional marriage is under attack in Europe.

The European Union, in particular, is pressuring all its members into abandoning the traditional definition of marriage and family. Europe is turning into a culture that is growing more hostile toward traditional marriage -- not just in practice but also in law.

Pope Benedict has said, however, that either Europe is Christian or there is no Europe. The fight for the family, which is part of the fight for Europe's Christian identity, will determine whether Europe continues to exist as we know it.

It is the responsibility of the laity to engage the emerging European culture and political order to remind Europe of its heritage and the dangers of abandoning the values that held Western civilization together through some very difficult periods of history.

Philosophers and theologians must show the errors of an absolute secularization of European culture and provide coherent reasons to protect the family from being redefined into nonexistence.

Europe has tragically suffered through countless wars, but the cultural war we see today and the growing widespread antagonism toward Christianity imperils the very soul of Europe in ways that Europe has to date been able to resist.

This is no more evident than in the battle for marriage and the family, which is seen in the growing societal acceptance of anti-family forces such as contraception, divorce and homosexuality.

It is up to the Church, especially those who can influence the public debate, to fight against a secular Europe, and uphold the dignity of traditional, Christian values.

Q: The Pope has made several pronouncements criticizing same-sex unions. What are his reasons behind his conviction that they are not an acceptable form of the family?

Archbishop Naumann: Same-sex unions are not marriages. The attempt to put same-sex unions on equal footing with marriage is a direct attack on the family, and the Pope is right to speak out aggressively in defense of traditional marriage.

Marriage, by its natural purpose, is directed toward the complementary union of the man and the woman and the gift of children; homosexual relationships seek to remove sexuality from these goods.

Marriage is not a convenient arrangement by which two individuals seek self-gratification. It is ordered toward the gift of self, both in the form of the spouses to each other and in the raising of children.

Same-sex unions are a violation on the moral order. The premise of same-sex union is homosexual activity of the participants. Homosexual activity violates the natural law, clear biblical teaching and the consistent teaching of the magisterium of the Catholic Church.

The effort to give societal approval to same-sex unions, consciously or unconsciously, undermines traditional marriage by equating it with sinful behaviors. While in fact, traditional marriage is an opportunity to imitate the love of Jesus for his spouse the Church.

Q: How do you think Pope Benedict conceives of the family's role in the re-evangelization of Europe?

Archbishop Naumann: My impression is that he believes that there cannot be a re-evangelization of Europe without a defense and renewal of the family. The two are intimately connected.

His encyclical suggests that love is the source for hope. If there is to be a re-evangelization of Europe it will come through love, which is born from the family.

Contact

Catholic Online
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000

Email

info@yourcatholicvoice.org

Keywords

Family, Benedict, Naumann, Spain

More Catholic PRWire

Showing 1 - 250 of 4,719

A Recession Antidote
Randy Hain

Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

The Why of Jesus' Death: A Pauline Perspective
Jerom Paul

A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell

My Dad
JoMarie Grinkiewicz

Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell

Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Catholic Online

Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Catholic Online

Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
Catholic Online

State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Catholic Online

Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
Catholic Online

2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Catholic Online

Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Catholic Online

Franchising to Evangelize
Catholic Online

Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Catholic Online

Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Catholic Online

Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Catholic Online

Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Catholic Online

Full Circle
Robert Gieb

Three words to a deeper faith
Paul Sposite

Relections for Lent 2009
chris anthony

Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell

World Food Program Director on Lent
Catholic Online

Moral Clarity
DAN SHEA

Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Catholic Online

A Prayer for Monaco: Remembering the Faith Legacy of Prince Rainier III & Princess Grace and Contemplating the Moral Challenges of Prince Albert II
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe

Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Sally Connolly

Glimpse of Me
Sarah Reinhard

The 3 stages of life
Michele Szekely

Sex and the Married Woman
Cheryl Dickow

A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Cheryl Dickow

Modernity & Morality
Dan Shea

Just a Minute
Sarah Reinhard

Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Hugh McNichol

Edging God Out
Paul Sposite

Burying a St. Joseph Statue
Cheryl Dickow

George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Catholic Online

Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell

Action Changes Things: Teaching our Kids about Community Service
Lisa Hendey

Easter... A Way of Life
Paul Spoisite

Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Hugh McNichol

Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Hugh McNichol

Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Catholic Online

Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Catholic Online

Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Catholic Online

Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Catholic Online

Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
Catholic Online

Holy Saturday...anticipation!
Hugh McNichol

Priestly Identity: Crisis and Renewal (Part 1)
Catholic Online

Al Qaeda...afraid of Benedict's message!
Hugh McNichol

Benedict XVI...calling all to hope...
Hugh McNichol

Perfect Women
Cheryl Dickow

Papal Palm Sunday Address - 'Enough With the Bloodshed'
Catholic Online

Spotlight on China
Catholic Online

Papal Homily for Palm Sunday
Catholic Online

Holy Week...Holy Time!
Hugh McNichol

Mary and Motherhood
Cheryl Dickow

The Void
Paul Sposite

Islamic violence wounds the global community!
Hugh McNichol

The Seven New Deadly Sins!
Hugh McNichol

Catholic benefits include Catholic principles!
Hugh McNichol

Remembering Father Alfred Kunz
Matt C. Abbott

David vs Goliath
Theresa Lisiecki

Happy Lent!
Paul Sposite

Diplomacy...Vatican style!
Hugh McNichol

Sub umbra Petri! (Under the Shadow of Saint Peter)
Hugh McNichol

Cuba...a neonascent Church!
Hugh McNichol

Kids in Conflict
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On the Writings of St. Augustine
Catholic Online

The Relevance of Lourdes at 150
Catholic Online

Hillary...what would Saint Norbert say!
Hugh McNichol

Lent...questions, answers and involvement!
Hugh McNichol

Mary, Mother of all Humanity, Hic et Nunc!
Hugh McNichol

Catholics...WAKE UP!
Hugh McNichol

Catholic Brotherhood with the People of the Covenant
Hugh McNichol

Have mercy on us O Lord! - Ash Wednesday
Hugh McNichol

Vote early, vote Catholic!
Hugh McNichol

Christ, our global Alpha and Omega!
Hugh McNichol

Being Catholic means...total affirmation of being Catholic!
Hugh McNichol

Seeing the World through New Eyes
Sarah Reinhard

Emulating the Angelic Doctor!
Hugh McNichol

Priests defend, commend Archbishop Raymond Burke
Matt C. Abbott

Saint Paul...a continued example of radical conversion!
Hugh McNichol

A renaissance of faith, reason and global cooperation....
Hugh McNichol

Cardinal Rigali's Homily at Life Vigil
Catholic Online

Angelus: On Christian Unity
Catholic Online

Silencing the Pope
Catholic Online

Papal Homily on Feast of Christ's Baptism
Catholic Online

Education and Gender
Catholic Online

The ignominy of Roe vs. Wade
Hugh McNichol

Papal Message for World Day of the Sick
Catholic Online

Angelus: On Christian Unity
Catholic Online

Benedict XVI's Planned Lecture at La Sapienza
Catholic Online

Pope's Letter to Jesuits' 35th General Congregation
Catholic Online

Fr. Cantalamessa - Behold, the Lamb of God!
Catholic Online

That We May Be One, and Never Lose Heart
Catholic Online

Sowing Hope in Sierra Leone
Catholic Online

God-incidences are the gift of kairos moments
Mary Regina Morrell

St. Augustine's Last Days
Catholic Online

Liturgy: When There's a Medical Emergency
Catholic Online

Marriage and Celibacy: Love's Link
Catholic Online

Developing a Global Catholic Awareness
Hugh McNichol

Rooms in My Father's House
Cheryl Dickow

Resolutions for New Year 2008
Chris Anthony

Keep teaching Holy Father!!!
Hugh McNichol

Dangers of anti-Catholic academic extremism....
Hugh McNichol

The liturgy war
Matt C. Abbott

Some Answers to a Few Common Questions about Vocations
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Developing a Global Catholic Awareness
Hugh McNichol

Christmas reflections
Chris Anthony

The Lasting Contribution of The Servant of God Pope John Paul II
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

No more bobble-head Jesus'!
Hugh McNichol

Pope's Address to Baptist World Alliance
Catholic Online

The Virgin Without Sin
Catholic Online

Cardinal Vingt-Trois on His New Mission
Catholic Online

Archbishop Forte on Religion & Freedom: Part 1
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On St. Chromatius of Aquileia, Pope, Benedict
Catholic Online

Pope's Address for Consistory of Cardinals
Catholic Online

Trafficking in Lives
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict - On Hope
Catholic Online

The Hidden Costs of Gambling
Catholic Online

A Vital, Life-Giving Message
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Christianity's Contribution
Catholic Online

Youth and Fashion's Modest Twist
Catholic Online

Papal Homily at the Consistory
Catholic Online

Love, Marriage and Happy Kids
Catholic Online

The Virtue of Obedience: Our Duty, Our Crown
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Vere dignum et justum est!
Hugh McNichol

Pope's Address to Bishops of Kenya
Catholic Online

Democracy in Danger in Venezuela
Catholic Online

The Life-Sapping Human Virus
Catholic Online

'You Alone Are The Lord': A Brief Summary of Catholic Teaching
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Sacred Time...Come Lord Jesus!
Hugh McNichol

How Christ-like are we in our lives?
Chris Anthony

A Retreat for Today's Christian Woman
Cheryl Dickow

Pope Benedict - On Trust in God
Catholic Online

God and Caesar Seen From Down Under
Catholic Online

Praying the Luminous Mysteries for our Clergy
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Culture's Pressure on Our Girls
Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle

Papal Message on the Common Good
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - St. Jerome on the Bible
Catholic Online

What Every Parent Should Know About 'The Golden Compass'
Catholic Online

Cardinal Poupard on 'Populorum Progressio'
Catholic Online

A Richer Liturgical Translation: Interview With Bishop Roche
Catholic Online

U.S. Bishops' Statement on War in Iraq
Catholic Online

The 'Golden Compass' is no treasure for children
Mary Regina Morrell

Bishop Skylstad's Address to U.S. Bishops' Fall Meeting
Catholic Online

Rewarding Failure
Catholic Online

On St. Martin of Tours
Catholic Online

Undermining Parents
Catholic Online

God...our theological E.F.Hutton!
Hugh McNichol

The Secular Vs. Religion?
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On St. Jerome
Catholic Online

The Scourge of Poverty
Catholic Online

Sons and Daughters of God...EQUALLY!
Hugh McNichol

On Zacchaeus the Tax Collector
Catholic Online

Why Dads Matter
Catholic Online

Archbishop Chaput on Citizenship and Evangelization
Catholic Online

God Created Man for Life, Not Death
Catholic Online

Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for November
Catholic Online

Imposing 'Tolerance'
Catholic Online

A Turn to the Fathers: Interview With Father Robert Dodaro
Catholic Online

Evangelizing a Digital World
Catholic Online

Women Religious on Human Trafficking
Catholic Online

John Crosby on Von Hildebrand's Understanding of the Person
Catholic Online

Chicago law firm fights for civil rights, against death culture
Matt C. Abbott

On the Call to Martyrdom
Catholic Online

Media Benefits and Dangers
Catholic Online

Fr. Cantalamessa - The Pharisee and the Publican
Catholic Online

Aborting Viable Lives
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On St. Ambrose of Milan
Catholic Online

'You Alone Are The Lord': A Brief Summary of Catholic Teaching
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Prostitution: Legal Work or Slavery?
Catholic Online

Address of Holy See on Religious Liberty
Catholic Online

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin on 'Populorum Progressio'
Catholic Online

Escaping Poverty: Interview With Archbishop Silvano Tomasi
Catholic Online

Christ's Parable About the Need to Pray Always
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On St. Eusebius of Vercelli
Catholic Online

Recovering subtle signs of our Catholic Identity!
Hugh McNichol

On Peace, Missions and Justice
Catholic Online

Congratulations to His Eminence John Cardinal Foley!
Hugh McNichol

Giving Ourselves Completely to Mary
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

The 'Courage' to go 'Beyond Gay'
Matt C. Abbott

When Bioethics Turned Secular
Catholic Online

Confession Comeback
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On Hilary of Poitiers
Catholic Online

Reemergence of Global Catholic Identity!
Hugh McNichol

Father Cantalamessa on the Leap of Faith
Catholic Online

Month of the Rosary
Catholic Online

Why Technology Needs Ethics
Catholic Online

Cardinal Lozano Barragán on Future of Health Care
Catholic Online

How Can Catholics Understand Mary as Co-Redemprix, Mediatrix of All Graces and Advocate?
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

New Saint Book is Visually Stunning and Filled with Detail
Lisa M. Hendey

Papal Homily in Velletri
Catholic Online

Wednesday'a Audience - On St. Cyril of Alexandria
Catholic Online

Father Cantalamessa Analyzes Relationship
Catholic Online

Holy See Address to U.N. General Assembly
Catholic Online

Homily From Red Mass in Washington
Catholic Online

Pope Remembers Cardinal Van Thuân
Catholic Online

The brave monks of Myanmar
Chris Anthony

Faith in Politics
Catholic Online

On Lazarus and World Hunger
Catholic Online

Fighting the Good Fight: Resisting Temptation
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Media frenzy buries U.N. goals

Holy See Statement on Climate Change
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On Chrysostom's Social Doctrine
Catholic Online

China's Seven Sorrows
Catholic Online

Vatican Message to Muslims for Ramadan
Catholic Online

Father Cantalamessa on the First World and Lazarus
Catholic Online

Angels, God's Messengers in a world of fragile peace and Broken promises!
Hugh McNichol

Memo to Mrs. Clinton: Why Not Baby Bonds When Life Begins?
Deacon Keith Fournier

Reorienting the Mass
Catholic Online

Report Card on Religious Freedom
Catholic Online

On Wealth and Poverty
Catholic Online

A Response to Hitchens' 'God Is Not Great'
Catholic Online

Vetoing children's health care?

The ideal family
Joseph Sinasac

Who does the judging?
Dennis Heaney

One mistake away

The Big House ban

In praise of the parish

Text of the USCCB statement for Respect Life Sunday 2007

The Outstanding Purity of Our Blessed Mother
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Educated flock

Religion and politics

Facing a door to the future
Dennis Heaney

A long debate

Who Are the True Progressives?
Deacon Keith Fournier

Petraeus offers a dose of reality

Insurgence
Robert Storr

Papal Address at Vespers
Catholic Online

Papal Coat of Arms Still Relevant
Catholic Online

Benedict XVI's Address at Heiligenkreuz Abbey
Catholic Online

On Loving Jesus as Mary Did
Catholic Online

Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos on 'Summorum Pontificum'
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On the Trip to Austria
Catholic Online

Father Cantalamessa on the Joy of Fatherhood
Catholic Online

Commentary on Artificial Hydration and Nutrition
Catholic Online

Vatican on Nutrition to Patients in Vegetative State
Catholic Online

Benedict XVI's Q-and-A Session With Youth in Loreto
Catholic Online

Take a Risk, Follow Your Call: the challenge of a lifetime!
Sisters of Bon Secours

Papal lessons

Family matters

Lessons from a tragedy
Dennis Heaney

Shopping blues
Joseph Sinasac

Marriage Breakdown: Expensive and Divisive
Catholic Online

Her darkness was a warning

The Light of Mother Teresa's Darkness - Part 2
Catholic Online

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 58:9-14
9 Then you will cry for help and Yahweh will answer; you will call and he ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 86:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Prayer Of David] Listen to me, Yahweh, answer me, for I am poor and ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 5:27-32
27 When he went out after this, he noticed a tax collector, Levi by name, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 13th, 2016 Image

St. Catherine de Ricci
February 13: St. Catherine was born in Florence in 1522. Her ... Read More