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Maria Perez wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • I would like to know if the Catholic Church believes that, although both parents are responsible in front of God for the spiritual up bringing of their family, if the ultimate responsibility in front of God, is on the father?


  { Although both parents are responsible for their children, is the ultimate burden with the father? }

Mike replied:

Hi Maria,

No, the responsibility can't be solely placed on the father, it's a team responsibility.

Traditionally, there are certain roles that a father is best suited for and certain roles that a mother is best suited for. Some of these roles can be biologically proven. e.g. physical strengthen, physical nurturing, etc.

It has also been shown that healthy children of Christian families are best raised with one father and one mother, both spiritually and psychologically.

Nevertheless, in our current culture, there are many single-parent households where either a man or woman has suffered the results of a divorce [and/or] separation.

The Church, in these cases and all cases, wants what is spiritually best for everyone involved. Although it can be difficult, when possible, both parents should strive to ensure the children receive the appropriate time, love and attention from each other parent.

Responsibility for the proper raising and catechizing of their children are a team responsibility shared between both parents; a responsibility both with be accountable for at their particular judgment. If a single parent finds [him/her]self in a situation where the other parent is not available, this does not obviate their responsibility to catechize their children with Catholic values.

I hope this helps,


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