Author shares advice on Catholic response to postmodern thinking about family


Catholic author and adviser for Franciscan University’s Anscombe Society shared his perspective Nov.17 on how to defend the church’s truth in the postmodern world, especially through fatherhood.

Brandon McGinley said that many changes have occurred in modern societal thoughts about the family, and with an uprooting of the social, economic and political norms today, it can be confusing to decide how best to defend church teaching about the family.

McGinley said that the postmodern approach that children are consumer items to be subjected to planned production is becoming the new norm in families.

He also said that this philosophy is at the root of many issues involving the family, including same-sex marriage and surrogate motherhood.

He said these conflicts encompass a “false choice between tradition and progress,” and he said that universal principles and morals must be applied to protect the natural family.

McGinley, asking the audience to defend virtue and not tradition, said that the best fathers do not focus on being what is perceived to be a “good father.” Rather, they focus on just being good, which is to pursue virtue and holiness authentically, he said.

The audience found this advice useful.

Junior Ben Kohring said that he liked McGinley’s approach of “finding a middle ground between tradition and progress.”

McGinley also suggested living in neighborhoods and communities with those who share Catholic beliefs about the family to witness to their truth.

Freshman Michael Scanga said that he enjoyed this “idea of fostering community as a way to build (natural) family life.”

Franciscan University’s Anscombe Society is dedicated to educating about and defending the thoughts of Catholic philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe, who constantly protected church doctrine on the family and marriage. Meetings are held every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in the St. Margaret Room.

McGinley is the author of “The Joys and Challenges of Family Life: Catholic Husbands and Fathers Speak Out.”

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