Helen M. Alvaré is an Associate Professor of Law who, prior to joining the George Mason faculty, was an Associate Professor at Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law. Professor Alvaré chaired the commission investigating clerical abuse in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and is an advisor to Pope Benedict XVI’s Pontifical Council for the Laity, as well as an ABC News consultant.
…Churches, too, of course, have a massive role to play. It is a bit shocking, in fact, they have not played it to the hilt by this time in our nation’s marriage crisis. Judeo-Christian traditions after all, explicitly teach that humans can come to “glimpse” God via the experience of a loving marriage. They need to take seriously the duty this implies to minister quite actively to marriage, to divorced couples, and to the children of both. “Nuclear families” are part of church and geographic communities, not self-sufficient fortresses whose boundaries may never be breached. Marriage is both a private and a public reality. Churches have the scriptures and the theology to grasp the “public” aspect better than most secular institutions today. Nothing is holding them back from acting on their understanding. The report, Does the Shape of FamiliesShape Faith?, is another, and an important call to action.