Helen Alvaré Is Leading Catholic Anti-Contraception Voice | Interdependence vs Attachment in Marriage
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Helen Alvaré is a law professor at George Mason University, an advisor to Pope Benedict XVI’s Pontifical Council for the Laity and a former spokesperson for and current advisor to the US Conference of Bishops.
Professor Alvaré is a fellow at the conservative Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, New Jersey, where she focuses on issues of “conscience”. She is one of the “circle of experts” for the National Organization for Marriage’s Ruth Institute, which aims to shape public opinion on college campuses and elsewhere about “marriage as the proper context for sex and childrearing,” writes Sarah Posner, senior editor of Religion Dispatches, for Salon.
The accomplished mother has now positioned herself as the leading female voice against birth control, authoring an open letter to the Obama administration ‘Women Speak for Themselves’.
Vatican Scandal Continues
Pope Benedict’s butler may be under arrest but fresh letters suggest that the scandal is not over.
Three new Vatican documents were sent to ‘La Repubblica’, amidst denials in the Holy See that top clerics are orchestrating multiple informers. AP writes:
“The truth can be found at the top of the hierarchy,” the source said in a letter accompanying the documents, apparently accusing one of Pope Benedict XVI’s personal secretaries, Georg Gaenswein, of allowing secrets to slip out.
The documents reveal deep strife within the Vatican and furor over the Church’s tax problems, child sex scandals and negotiations with hard line traditionalist rebels. A group of cardinals finds Pope Benedict to be weak, continues AP, and they want their man in charge. Besides Mr. Gaenswein, the sources point to Cardinal Bertone as part of the problem.
Interdependence vs Attachment
Psychologist David Schnarch is a pioneer in the movement of redefining intimacy in long-term relationships and reinvesting marriage with passion that often fades. “It’s easy to have hot sex with a stranger,” Schnarch explains to Pam Weintraub, writing for Psychology Today. “But passionate marriage requires that you become an adult.”
Becoming an authentic adult means going against the whole drift of the culture. It specifically means, among other things, soothing your own bad feelings without the help of another, pursuing your own, and standing on your own two feet. Most people associate such skills with singlehood. But Schnarch finds that marriage can’t succeed unless we claim our sense of self in the presence of another. The resulting growth turns right around and fuels the marriage, enabling passionate sex. And it pays wide-ranging dividends in domains from to to work.
Schnarch rejects what he sees as our culture’s over-emphasis on attachment, arguing that it reduces marriage to the pursuit of safety, security and compensation for childhood disappointments. Attachment keeps us from growing up, from pursuing essential drives for autonomy and freedom.
Interpendence that is based on mutual maturity, confidence and freedoms to grow is the cement of strong marriages, Schnarch argues. It inspires confidence to meet individual goals and those of others and is based on adult strengths that are flexible and balanced in equilibrium.
DOMA Struck Down
In striking down part of the Defense of Marriage Act last week, Boston’s First Circuit United States Court of Appeals didn’t rule in favor of gay marriage. The ruling marked the first time a federal court ruled against the 1996 law, guaranteeing a trip to the Supreme Court. The three-judge panel includes two Republican appointments. Read on at the NY Times
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