TRADITION, FAMILY and PROPERTY
Tradition is the experience of previous generations handed down in customs and values. Tradition strengthens families, while the family is a natural transmitter of tradition. Tradition gives us a sense of belonging and identity. It guides us as we plan for the future; it tempers progress, helping progress to serve the authentic needs of the human person.
The family is the basic social unit of society. Individuals enjoy optimal conditions for self-development within the supportive framework of a natural family. The family is based on the permanent union of one man and one woman who accept children joyfully as the fruit of their love and as a gift from God. The nucleus of a family is parents and their children. This is surrounded and supported by the wider family: grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and in-laws. This ‘extended family’ is a vital force in society.
Families develop links with other families to form communities. Authentic community life is impossible without strong families and Catholic social teaching. Family and community are the natural settings for personal development and give to individuals a sense of identity and well-being.
Private property, a basic human right, encourages personal initiative and gives us material conditions to develop our potential. Private property provides stability and independence to families as they grow and develop down through the generations. Private property enables the resources of the earth to be used in harmony with individual and community needs. The sad experience of collectivist systems has shown that a lack of individual personal property causes social stagnation, loss of initiative and the wasteful use of the earth’s resources.