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Chapter 28. Fourth Commandment: Strengthen Your Family • 379

and education. Since the family is the domestic church, it is fitting that

parents always encourage their children to make life decisions with seri-

ous consideration about the best ways to live out their faith. Parents,

by their own faith and commitment to the Church, create an environ-

ment in their homes that is conducive to helping children begin to think

about a religious vocation. They should not hesitate to invite a son or

daughter to consider becoming a priest or a vowed religious. In particu-

lar, parents should always encourage and support a child who is discern-

ing such a call.


Authority, stability, and a life of relationships within

the family constitute the foundations for freedom,

security, and fraternity within society. The family is the

community in which, from childhood, one can learn

moral values, begin to honor God, and make good use

of freedom. Family life is an initiation into life in society.

—CCC, no. 2207

The family and society need to work together to defend the good of each

human being. The state should encourage responsible initiatives for fam-

ilies and should provide them with all the economic, educational, politi-

cal, and cultural assistance they need to exercise their responsibilities.

Civic authorities should defend and protect the family as created

by God and based on the permanent and exclusive union of a man and

woman in marriage. The first obligation of civil authorities is to estab-

lish laws that reflect and protect proper moral order. If the governing

authority attempts to impose a law contrary to the moral order, then the

citizens have a moral obligation to seek to try to change the law. If that

fails, they should refuse to obey such a law.

The Church, too, has the mission and obligation to critique and

challenge any civil laws, societal organizations, or political structures

that infringe upon or deny the fundamental rights of human persons and