Faith/Spirituality Forum: failing to raise kids Catholic

failing to raise kids Catholic QUESTION from Dave Conger on September 26, 2002 Dear Brother John-Paul,
Does the Church teach that it's a mortal sin for a Catholic to fail to get one's children baptized and raised Catholic? If so, why? I need to know so I can explain it to a Catholic friend of mine in a mixed marriage who has decided not to have her daughter baptized. Instead, she has decided to allow the daughter to wait and make that decision for herself.
What other reasons are there not to allow the child to wait and make that decision for herself (besides it possibly being a sin on the parents' part)?
Thanks and God bless, Dave
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on September 30, 2002 Dear Mr. Conger:
The Catechism of the Catholic Church says at paragraph 1652: By its very nature the institution of marriage and married love is ordered to the procreation and education of the offspring and it is in them that it finds its crowning glory.
To fail to raise the kids Catholic is to fail as a parent and is to have a failed marriage. We have a solemn OBLIGATION to raise our children in the faith. To deliberately refuse to do this is indeed a grave sin, I believe.
As for this stupidity of waiting until the child can decide for themselves nonsense, this is a royal cop out and, I believe, a form of child abuse.
How can a child make up his mind when he is older it he has not been given a foundation to stand on?
We MUST teach our kids our values. To not do so leaves our children wondering in the woods without a compass. Giving them our values NEVER prohibits them from rejecting those values later in life. We are not enslaving the children by teaching them the faith.
In reality we are liberating our children by teaching them the faith. By doing so we give them a compass for life that will allow them to navigate the woods of this world. With that compass they can find their way through the woods and after doing so still be free to choose a different forest.
But if we give our children no compass to begin with they will not have the foundational knowledge needed to navigate ANY forest and will be prey to all those whims of opinions that can lead people far away from truth.
I am not sure what to say to your friend other than to slap her upside the head for being silly.
I guess I would try to find the REAL reason for this non-sensical point-of-view. What is she afraid of?
Often times people develop opinions like this to avoid having to deal with God themselves. In reality they are NOT concerned about brainwashing the kid into a particular point-of-view, but are concerned about their own lack of faith and lack of motivation to deal with their own doubts and fears.
If she finds her own faith, she will pass it on to her child.
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