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Benedict XVI’s warning to fathers about addiction to media

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Philip Kosloski - published on 06/16/23

Pope Benedict XVI saw the "invasion of media" into a father's life as a barrier to a child's understanding of fatherhood.

It’s extremely common in today’s culture to see a nice little family surrounding the dinner table, entirely distracted by their smartphones. Each member of the family is in their own world, engrossed by the screen in front of their eyes.

While this might seem like a normal part of modern life, Pope Benedict XVI saw this as an obstacle to our understanding of fatherhood.

He explained his thoughts in a general audience in 2013.

It is not always easy today to talk about fatherhood, especially in the Western world. Families are broken, the workplace is ever more absorbing, families worry and often struggle to make ends meet and the distracting invasion of the media invades our daily life: these are some of the many factors that can stand in the way of a calm and constructive relationship between father and child.

The reason why media can impact a child’s view of fatherhood is because it can often lead to a distant, uninvolved father.

[E]ven imagining God as a father becomes problematic without credible models of reference. It is not easy for those who have experienced an excessively authoritarian and inflexible father or one who was indifferent and lacking in affection, or even absent, to think serenely of God and to entrust themselves to him with confidence.

In today’s media-addicted world, it is possible to be physically present in the same room as your children, but to be entirely absent.

While modern technology offers us many benefits and can connect us to people around the world, at times it can distract us from our own family across the dinner table.

Tags:
FatherhoodPope Benedict XVI
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