380 • Part III. Christian Morality: The Faith Lived
communities. Jesus spoke of the difference between serving God and the
state when he said, “Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and
to God what belongs to God” (Mt 22:21). Catholics have the duty to
vote, to participate in the political arena, and to help shape society in
light of Catholic teaching.
THE CHARTER OF FAMILY RIGHTS
In his apostolic exhortation
On the Role of the Christian Family in the
), Pope John Paul II cites a list of
rights of the family. Among those rights, we note the following:
1. What is a family?
A man and a woman united in marriage, together with
their children, form a family. This institution is prior to any
recognition by public authority, which has an obligation
to recognize it. It should be considered the normal refer-
ence point by which the different forms of family relation-
ship are to be evaluated. (CCC, no. 2202)
2. What are the basic elements of filial love?
Children owe their parents respect, gratitude, just obedi-
ence, and assistance. Filial respect fosters harmony in all
of family life. (CCC, no. 2251)
3. What is expected of parental love?
Parents have the first responsibility for the education of
their children in the faith, prayer, and all the virtues. They
have the duty to provide as far as possible for the physical
and spiritual needs of their children. (CCC, no. 2252)
FROM THE CATECHISM