In a recent interview, Antonio María Rouco Varela, the archbishop of Madrid, gives his opinion on contemporary transformations of kinship:

“Gay marriage has an impact on the public appraisal of the truth of family, and also some pedagogical consequences for future generations and for society as a whole. The belief that family is vital for the common good and for the safeguard of society can be lost. A young person needs to experience the love of a father and a mother, even for physical reasons. In the current state of psychological research, it is widely acknowledged that the loss of the unity of marriage — i.e. of a couple formed by one father and one mother — provokes suffering and distress. The human, spiritual, moral phenomena of the family should not be hampered with considerations or comparisons that deny this reality.” (from “La familia es la gran explotada, la gran víctima de la sociedad”, ABC, December 30 2007)

Now that everybody seems to be looking forward to express opinions about how traditional are traditional forms of kinship and how dangerous is their loss, it would be useful to have Maurice Godelier’s Métamorphoses de la parenté (Fayard, 2004) translated somewhere, for instance, so that people could catch up on how strange this priest’s point of view would be for some numerous and annoyingly traditional societies (such as the Baruya, just to start with) that, surprisingly, seem to have done quite well without that crap.

(On Godelier, see also a comment in That Said.)


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