Children don’t Belong in a Cry Room and Neither do You

The question of whether loud or unruly children should attend Mass with their parents has been extensively debated. Everyone has an opinion. As a father of four children (who endeavors to attend mass with my kids on Sundays, and also as regular daily communicants), I have my opinion, too. But my opinion is not the point; rather, this article examines whether cry rooms or nursery care are part of Tradition, and applies the significance of the objective facts to answer the question that children belong at Mass.

There is no precedent for the “cry room” or nursery care in the Catholic Church. You can go to the ancient churches of Rome, the Holy Land, or anywhere else the Church began to flourish after the Edict of Milan, and you will not find a cry room anywhere.

You can visit catacombs and graveyards and other clandestine places where early Christians gathered before Constantine’s conversion, and you will not hear tales of the nursery care offered during Mass. You can, however, imagine the particular danger of a crying baby in that situation!

You will not read accounts of such things contained in the writings of Origen or St. Justin Martyr. There is nothing in Canon Law or the Catechism on the use of nurseries or crying rooms. Yet, in the Acts of the Apostles, you can read about Cornelius and his whole household (arguably consisting of at least one or two children) who were baptized at the prompting of the Holy Spirit (Acts 10). Before baptizing, Peter didn’t say, “You grownups can stay, but the children have to go outside.”

From the earliest times in the life of the Church, children — the love due them from their parents, their right to receive education and formation in the faith — were important priorities that commanded protection and support from the structures of the Church. James Hitchcock, historian and author of History of the Catholic Church, writes about marriage in the very early Church: “Marriage was also honored in the high value the Church placed on children, against a pagan society in which unwanted babies were put out to die of exposure. The begetting of children was always considered the principal purpose of Christian marriage, so that abortion and contraception were condemned from the earliest times.” (p. 29)

We also cannot ignore Our Lord’s own words: “Let the children come to me, do not hinder them.” (Mark 10:14).

The contrast is clear: pagan societies were free to remove children from public life when doing so was convenient or expedient, but the Church commanded an entirely different, and counter-cultural approach to the raising and care of children. Children, babies, and young families have been elemental to the survival and growth of Christianity throughout the ages. The cry room or nursery has no historical connection to the Christian life; it is the product of the technological age and protestantism.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “The catechesis of children, young people, and adults aims at teaching them to meditate on The Word of God in personal prayer, practicing it in liturgical prayer, and internalizing it at all times in order to bear fruit in a new life. Catechesis is also a time for the discernment and education of popular piety. The memorization of basic prayers offers an essential support to the life of prayer, but it is important to help learners savor their meaning.” (CCC 2688). In other words, “practicing” in “liturgical prayer” requires attendance at liturgy! My three-year-old can recite the Our Father, not because I taught it to him, but because he’s heard it recited over and over, both during Mass and at home in family prayer.

Also, “In a very special way, parents share in the office of sanctifying ‘by leading a conjugal life in the Christian spirit and by seeing to the Christian education of their children.’ (CCC 902, CIC, can. 835 s 4). We educate our children by modeling the practice of Christian worship. Children can benefit from witnessing the devotion of their parents, family, and siblings in the context of liturgical celebration.

This is not to say that parents do not have a duty to expect good behavior from their children, according to what is reasonable for their age, while they attend liturgical celebrations of the Church. Bringing children to mass carries an obligation to avoid deliberately distracting others, and parents should always try to discern when it is more appropriate to move a child who is causing a disruption.

As a side note, my personal experience is that the only way children learn how to behave at Mass is by going to Mass, over and over again. We take them out when they misbehave, but the goal is to remain in the pew with them.

Children belong at Mass. Period. Efforts to remove children for “special liturgies,” “CCD”, “religious ed”, “nursery care” — or whatever else — is not in keeping with the traditions of the Church or its precepts. Loud children and their parents (whose sin is that they have dutifully brought their kids to Mass) should not be relegated to segregated, soundproofed rooms for the convenience and comfort of people who complain about the noise or distraction at the expense of the good of the whole community.

The good of the whole community requires that the Church remain an extension of the family. Mass is the Sunday Dinner for the Family Church. We cannot expect children and their parents or caregivers to become mere spectators, watchers, of the Sacred Liturgy, rather than full participants, because doing so is a terrible kind of dis-invitation, a violation well beyond that of the “kid’s table” for holiday meals.

Children have always been, and should always be present at liturgical celebrations. Their presence, especially in overwhelming numbers, is a sign of the great blessings showered by God upon His people. The most joy-filled, spiritually enriching celebrations of the Eucharist that you can find often involve the prominent presence and participation of young people and children. It does not matter if you attend the Mass in the Novus Ordo or the Extraordinary Form, when young people are present, Jesus is happy, because the growth and life of the Church is something that ensures a healthy, dynamic and living faith for future generations.

When our Holy Father told our young people at World Youth Day to go make some noise, he did not also say, “but only in the cry room.”

Children belong at mass, and so do you!

[NOTE: We are in the final days of voting for Beer Camp, please vote for me.]

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125 thoughts on “Children don’t Belong in a Cry Room and Neither do You

  1. Every Mass is a gift… A living sacrifice… A holy time to be with our Lord… It’s absurd to go against the Gospel and say children shouldn’t be there. If a misbehaving child is bothering you, say a prayer for him/her and his/her parents… And then one for yourself to be more loving. Unconditional love is a choice. I would hope that people at Mass would make the choice to be like Jesus and welcome children with open arms…. And, by the way, children who don’t go to Mass and appear to not have been hurt by that doesn’t mean they weren’t affected or hurt. After all, they missed the intimate presence of Our Lord for weeks, months or years. And break up the family to go to Mass? The family that prays together stays together – Mass is the greatest form of prayer. Sad that people want to take that opportunity away from families…

    • I applaud this blog. I have, even though, i too have used the cry room, four sons under the age of 8, (and not for myself..hehehe) have felt and thought even though there is a glass to see and the sound system to hear did not like the separation that the cry room can create. Jesus as you said would call us out of the cry room if He was here and in fact your blog is doing just that. Of course that would mean until some people get “use to the idea that the children are more than being something to see”, there will probally be more stares then acceptance initially from some. Still, that abeing said, just like Lazarus coming out of the tomb, there was joy at that resurrection and there was a message that this too can bring the love of Jesus fulfly to all of the family the body of Christ as we called and then create the Church as our Father intended. Praying for this to stir a flame as our beloved Pope has spoke of.

  2. I have six children who r well behaved and a few weeks back during mass the lady in front of me turns around and says, “you know there is a cry room in the back” . Kids were not being naughty whatsoever. I simply said thanks for theinfo

  3. There may be no precedent for the crying room, but there also were not immunizations that caused autism in former times. I am a widow and without either a babysitter or a crying room, I can not attend Mass with my 23 year old autistic daughter. She has had to be with me briefly in the main church and believe me she often has the entire congregations eyes fixed on her and not the priest. How about when she ran, screamed and threw herself down on the floor because she was a little bored? The volume of her voice can at times compete in decibel’s with the priest’s using a microphone or the choir’s. There was also the time when she was younger that she ran around the entire church and between the priest and parents holding the baby being baptized four times with me running after her until some observant and clever gentleman got the idea to help me catch her..

    Crying rooms are for the parents! They are a tremendous relief! Pure charity! You can worship with out having to control your child’s every moment. In the church you are continuously conscious of what your child is doing. My daughter mostly sits and behaves in her chair in the crying room but she does have her moments of extremely loud and distracting behavior. If you can manage having your children among the congregation, that is ideal, but if not I would not feel guilty. We have pews in the churches in modern times. Once upon a time most of the congregation stood for hours at a time. There are still many churches in Greece where there are few chairs or pews and these are reserved for the elderly. No one complains about bringing in pews inside our churches, that they go against historical precedent.

    I am sorry to rant on this but I guarantee you that if I were to start bringing my daughter with me to Mass at my mother’s parish where there is no crying room and they have told me “oh, we love children, we want them in the church, we aren’t bothered.” they would build a crying room for me within in a month or at least get a volunteer team to babysit so I could attend Mass without my daughter. When babies shriek the parent’s often have to take their children outside of the building to quiet them. I would much prefer the parents to be able to take the children in the crying room and rock or nurse the child and still perhaps be able to concentrate on the Mass.

    Write a few rules in the crying room asking for parents not to feed their children, and for the parents to remember they are at Mass and not a social club The parents should hold their children to about the same standards of behavior inside the crying room as among the congregation but when the baby is crying or the toddler is fussy, we parents can be more relaxed and attentive to the Mass than we can be among the congregation.

    • Sorry to break the news to you but autism has been around for thousands of years. Unfortunately we didn’t hear much about this because autistic people were shunned or worse. Please stop with your uneducated ill informed propaganda about immunizations. There is a reason our life expectancy isn’t 40 anymore. Thank you and enjoy your crying room.

      • Oh my Carol. May God bless you..an attack on this woman is not necessary. Peace to you.

      • Carol…reading some blogs on Christian charity might suit you quite well. No need for the rude personal attacks.

      • You don’t have to be mean to this lady who has an autistic child. Although I do not agree putting children in the cry room, there are some extreme cases like this autistic child which needs to be separated in a cry room.

      • My main purpose for posting was not for a discussion on autism causes. It was for people to consider that consider that some parents very much appreciate the crying room and that some things that change are not always for the worse. I am not offended by crying babies in the congregation. I love seeing large families, our future, but I do not want to discourage all parents from making use of the crying room especially if they prefer it. I only think that the behavior in the crying room should otherwise reflect the level of reverence in the rest of the church.

        With respect to autism and its causes, I also do not want to suggest that all cases of autism are caused exclusively by immunizations, nor that is was never present in ancient times. It was first described in 1944 by Dr. Kanner. What I can assure is that, at that time, it was extremely rare and this was NOT due to either ignorance or shunning. There has been improvement in autism detection but that runs concurrently with what is widely recognized as an autism epidemic and, no critic of vaccines being a cause of autism, can tell you what causes autism. There is a tremendous correlation between the number of immunizations given to young children and the instances of autism in the population. When I was still in elementary school (the 60′s) children received the DPT and the Rubella shot and smallpox. The rate of autism was 1/10,000. Now there are 49 doses of 14 vaccines by age 6, and 69 doses of 16 vaccines by age 18, and our incidence of autism is 1/50 children. Early detection and labeling does account for a small portion of the statistics but nearly everyone admits that there is an epidemic of autism. The reason that the vaccine and autism link has been studied is that so many parents have reported that there child under the age of 3, was talking and social, received a round of immunizations, had a severe reaction, and fairly quickly developed regressive autism. I have been to plenty of meetings of parents with autistic children who had undeniable reactions, damage, and some who were paid compensation. A child may have being talking, social, and reciting nursery rhymes, received an immunization, had convulsions, and promptly began exhibiting autistic symptoms that got progressively worse over the next weeks. Even the CDC has removed their statements that there is no link. They have removed their statement and changed it to: “There is some evidence that the critical period for developing ASDs occurs before birth. However, concerns about vaccines and infections have led researchers to consider risk factors before and after birth.” So, while even the CDC has admitted that it is possible there could be a link you discount it. And the parents who have the documentation of an almost immediate reaction with a progressive onset of regressive autism symptoms occurring almost immediately, you also reject out of hand.

        Our government agencies no longer protect as they once have. The FDA used to be independent and now they allow the pharmaceutical companies to do their own trials on their own drugs! The pharmaceutical industry is a huge and powerful industry. Do you not believe that they have vested interests in trying to disprove any possibility of immunizations triggering some cases? Money is a factor for the industry and even for some doctors. I remember reading in the 90′s an article in Money Magazine. At the time the whole cell Pertusis vaccine was available cheaply and with a much higher profit margin than the safer partial cell vaccine. Many physcians favored the lower cost but more problem causing vaccine because they made a margin of $15/ shot vs. only $5/shot on the more expensive but safer partial cell vaccine. Infants in the USA don’t even need the hepatitus B vaccine, and Gardasil is being provided to adolescent girls without parental notification and consent in some states. If we question the media with regards to their criticism of our Catholic Faith why do we accept every word that comes from the mouth of the pharmaceutical industry? I am not here to recommend no immunizations, but to recommend making an informed decision about how many and what immunizations to give to your child and don’t rely on the government and industry to protect in all cases.

    • AMEN! We always left our littlest ones with relatives. There is more than one mass to go to so we also split up going to different ones to be able to keep the little ones out of someone else’s ear shot and attention. Mass is for any over the age of 6-8 when they can attend it properly. Babies have no place in the mass where they obstruct the attention of those who should be attending it instead of just being there. Cry rooms are for those who have no one to leave their little ones for care at that time.
      I have seen some come with 4-5 children and the whole hour was doing baby sitting. Mass is for a reason and not to be disturbed if possible. Some adults are almost as disturbing as little children. Mass is to be attended, not just a place to sit one hour on Sunday to meet your obligation!!

  4. I am reminded of when I was told by someone that many churches in Rome did not have kneelers and that we should therefore not install them in modern churches (i.e. let’s not bother to kneel because they clearly were not doing it in the past). But just because there were (and are) no kneelers in some of these ancient churches, it does not follow that Christians did not kneel. They simply knelt on the ground. And so just because there is no cry room does not mean that Christians did not take their child outside or to the far back of the church. I agree with the woman who states that removing extremely disruptive children from church, particularly at the consecration, can often be an act of charity for the other folks wishing to worship.

  5. As a father of 6, and now grandfather to 13, I rejoiced when there was a cry room in the Church available to me. I relaxed more. My children learned to behave and treat the Mass properly. When we could attend without a lot of fuss, we moved to the interior section. I don’t think disrupting an entire congregation is necessary myself.

  6. It’s an interesting question. I’ve lived in Western Europe and attended Catholic Masses and do not recall ever hearing wailing babies or whining toddlers. I’ve only ever seen adults and occaisionially older children. Seems children are not present at mass. Where are they and with whom? It could be that taking children to Mass is a custom only in this country. I’ve no idea where it came from but certainly not from it’s European origins. Perhaps taking children to church started with the Protestants.

    • In most hispanic countries and in the Philippines, parents bring their children so I don’t think it’s true that it was started by the protestants

  7. I think the author is missing the point. God is everywhere…that includes a crying room.
    To think otherwise is absurd and really gets caught in the whole false message that human “inclusion” is more important than respect to the Blessed Sacrament. It is a premise that unfortunately has permeated our Church…our needs, comfort, “community,” etc. is more important, and deserve more respect, than God.

    Case in point. I have 4 children. I have 4 active children. My youngest was walking at 8 months. AT age 3, she would no more sit in a pew than fly to the moon My second…same. built to move. My third. Autistic. Yes. Self-talking, hand flapping, toe walking. And my fourth…6 and getting there. As the other three learned to behave respectfully, we sat together in the main church. No big deal. We heard the same prayers, saw the same Mass, and fulfilled our weekly obligation in the same way as the people in the main church.

    My point is: Out of respect, I wouldn’t CONSIDER disrupting the Priest, or others around me, because I was being “discriminated” against behind a pane of glass. Think about this, folks. Same church; pane of glass. My family and I are there for GOD..to thank, worship, praise…you get the point.

    ‘Nuff said.

  8. I call our cry room the Holy Family Room. It is a better than average space that is upstairs and gives an amazing view of the church and its beautiful stained glass windows. We get an eye level view of this beauty that those below will never see if they don’t go to the room. We have 4 young children and it is the best place for our family to be together for Mass without disrupting others. I choose to see our presence there as a way to ensure that we do not interrupt the solemnity of the Mass, while ensuring that our family stays together and the children experience Mass. It saddens me that many people believe that we are being banished from the Mass. W are not. -

  9. I applaud cry rooms. Being able to attend Mass, is always a blessing. I myself have been grateful for “cry” rooms which have allowed me to attend Mass away from the cologne, perfume, long-lasting-laundry detergent which overwhelm my nervous system. When a cry room can allow me to be with the Church Family instead of home alone, I Praise God.

  10. How are they not full participants because they are in a different section of the church? They are still in the church. As long as you can hear and see the Mass, you are a participant. I think the use of the crying room should be totally at the discretion of the parent, without shame or guilt, whichever choice they make. Some children are more well-behaved than others – let parents decide what is best for them and their families. Heaven forbid they should make a politically incorrect choice either way. How silly.

  11. Churches in the 50s in the US did not have cry rooms. However, many of the older churches had vestibules where parents could go with a screaming child and therefore, didn’t have to take them outside. When they started to build churches without vestibules, the cry rooms became a necessity to avoid having to go outside. Unfortunately, the cry rooms have become play rooms. Children should be in church if possible, but that doesn’t mean the parents should let them act like it’s play time at home. Generations of children have gone to Mass without cheerios and toys. We don’t need these things in church now, but we need parents who will teach the children how to behave in church. Unfortunately, there are some parents who think we should tolerate anything their children do in church. If a child is old enough for Holy Communion in the non-Eastern rite churches (I am talking age 7 or older), the child is old enough to know how to behave in church. Of course, the child’s behavior often mimics the adults, so if the adults are talking loudly and joking in church and bringing in the adult version of the sippy cup (water bottles), the children will do the same.

  12. A great topic! Cry rooms can be a necessary “evil”. I agree children should attend Mass, but the parents need to be proactive when it comes to dealing with the behavior of their children. It is hard for little ones to sit still for long periods of time. But they need to learn little by little. The fathers need to take more of an active roll, too. I attend a TLM and many fathers ignore their children’s behavior, expecting the mother to deal with it all…and when families have children every 18 months to two years, the mother can get overwhelmed and frustrated. I’ve seen dads portray themselves as the pious, stalwart father–focused and attentive to the Mass while his children are
    crawling around him, making faces, doing children things and the mother pulling her hair out trying
    keep a lid on it all before it blows up in their faces. I feel sorry for the mom’s who have husbands who are like this. The family is trying but it seems the mother gets all the blame if something happens. These couples who have these issues need to “tag team”, plus the dad becomes an equal in the enforcement of proper behavior.
    Another point…it is the SACRIFICE of the MASS for heavens sake. I don’t think Our Lord
    minds if children are present…they were probably present at His crucifixion. And if they die before the age of reason, they are considered saints. I’ve heard people say stuff like “This is MY Mass. I don’t want children crying at MY Mass.” “Don’t disrupt MY Mass!” These are the same folk who sit in the same pew at every Mass, and “own” it. They are the same folks who can’t recite the Rosary in unison with the rest of the parishioners or sing loud, out of key and drag the rhythm, But, they won’t give a hoot about you outside of Mass. These folks have other problems that they need to address first rather than complain about others.
    I “lived” in a cry room for three years with two babies 14 months apart from each other. I was so self conscience and didn’t want to be one of those mothers who sat in the front of church with their families, and every few minutes paraded down the aisle with their babies to nurse and comfort them. They seemed more of a distraction than the occasional baby shriek. I finally realized that I was being unfair and needed to focus on my own spirituality and the MASS, an not on the behavior of everyone else. Families are families, kids are kids, and babies…well are babies. Those that are so hung up on the ‘feelings” and ‘environment’ of the THEIR MASS- need a life. The Mass is NOT about YOU anyway. Start with offering to help out those families with little children and offer to help out during Mass somehow. Hold a fussy baby, or comfort a toddler. Your positive influence and example just might help a lonely timid young family who only want to do the will of God and needs support.
    So what if the churches in Europe didn’t have kneelers or cry rooms. There were probably no heated bathrooms with changing stations, or water fountains, or carpet, or audio systems, ‘private pews’, or any of the modern amenities we enjoy. And I would guess the people who attended Mass then had the same kind of problems with their children too, and still managed to keep the Faith and many managed to become saints in spite of the inconveniences. St. Pius X lowered
    the age of children to receive the sacraments based on their age of reason, and that can be different for each child. How are they to learn to appreciate the mystery and holiness of the Mass if they are never allowed to experience it until they can “sit still and behave”? Is that a requirement for salvation? How are they to learn charity and compassion if all they get from other parishioners is nasty glowering stares and sour remarks. How are parents ever to teach virtue and reverence for the Mass if they get criticized for bringing their children it?

  13. I am from Western Europe. I grew up in the 1960′s. Ann, I can assure you people always brought their children to mass. It was always something that was done. My parents are from Ireland and England and for a long time ( the 1500′s – 1800′s) families couldn’t attend mass for fear of persecution, but certainly, when they were allowed, they went – parents and children.
    However, the Church in Europe is facing an enormous crisis of faith. Many people I knew in the 1990′s were choosing to not have children (or maybe 1), coupled with the fact that secularism had taken hold of society and people were leaving the faith in droves. I didn’t know many people of my age (when I was in my 20′s) who actually attended mass when I lived in so-called Catholic Italy. My husband is Italian, and when we visit Italy each year we see many beautiful churches, but very few people praying inside them, and, as you noticed, not many children, if any. It is sad and alarming.
    At my parish in Wa state I go to daily mass and there are many people who attend with their children. Everyone is happy to see this, and I guess if one of the kids is distracting you can offer it up to Jesus. Let us pray for a mass conversion and more vocations. God bless.

  14. I think we need to have a more balanced attitude on this issue. Many people feel they need the cry room and are grateful for it while others are looking for a more flexible congregation toward the fidgetiness of their children. The cry room is a nice option for a family and their level of comfort. Sometimes it can be a necessity as unfortunately, there are some parents who have not taken the time to discipline their children and have lost complete control over them. These children make it difficult for worship. Then there are the uptight folks who expect children to sit like statues and are unwilling to tolerate the slightest movements. It would be better if when we came to mass, we were less self centered and more focused on the needs of those around us. If your neighbor’s needs are more important then your own, parents will control the disturbances of their children and the others will be more understanding towards children who are behaving respectfully with difficulty sitting still.

    • Agree.. If my child was out of control I would head to the cry room. Honestly, how many 2-year-olds understand what the mass is about? I completely agree that this becomes a self-centered issue, “it’s all about me” attitude. Let parents who want to use the cry room out of respect for others do so.

    • Amen. Beautifully stated. Taking the extreme position on this (like taking the extreme position on whether the “correct” rite is the novus ordo or extraordinary form) is so counter-productive and just further divides our people. The key, as you mentioned, is to stop being so self-centered, and both sides (curmudgeons who expect perfection from kids and parents who don’t discipline their kids well) need to practice more humility.

  15. Phyllis sorry for you that you had that missed opportunity to bring your little ones to mass by your choice. You will be held accountable. I take my 3 and 1 year olds daily to Holy Mass because they BELONG there. If they belong at a playground how much more do you think they belong to Jesus.

  16. How many of you would patiently sit through a movie, a classical concert, a speaker at an engagement, etc. with a crying, unruly child next to you??? I applaude the responsible parents who make the conscious decision to respect others surrounding them as well.

    N

    • It’s all about Jesus. Parents bring children to Holy Mass because sadly the Holy Mass attendance by adults is at a low. 23% of Catholics attend Holy Mass. Will YOU be selfish with Jesus and not tolerate crying babies and complain? JACK said it best if you are disturbed by a crying baby you are a heretic. Don’t complain. Help!! Help!!! Christian work can be done at your convenience right at Church. Help that mother with the six children. If you are not helping you are hurting so it is best to stay quiet and not complain about a crying baby.

  17. Pingback: » From the Mouths of Babes…. Practical Catholic Junto

  18. Reblogged this on Katherine Chiriboga and commented:
    I wonder if my parents felt like this guy, because I don’t remember ever going to any cry room.
    The chapel we attend does not have a cry room. I am secretly glad that we don’t even have the option to use it.
    I am sorry though for our fellow church goers… I am sorry that my daughters are full of the spirit and want the whole parish to know.

  19. THANK YOU!!! AND, they don’t need to eat Cheerios or Cheese Crackers either!! Then maybe we can get rid of the Spandex Pants, & “Daisy Duke” shorts, especially when worn by “Eucharistic Ministers”!!

  20. Pingback: Pope Francis agrees: Children Don’t Belong in Cry Rooms, and Neither do You | Quartermaster of the Barque

  21. I really appreciate your thoughts and encouragement, I have three kids under five, and we do bring them to Mass, which happens to be pretty traditional, but with a lot of families attending… but based their personalities, honestly I am afraid that they associate Mass with boring, and prayer at home and other opportunities to encounter Christ as fun and engaging. I deeply desire my kids to encounter Christ at Mass, and so we are hoping to begin a Children’s Liturgy of the Word–to have a time that is more accessible for the kids 6 and under… I am so happy when I see young families at mass, but it can truly be a service to the parents and a tool for evangelization to have things in place to aid and support families who come to mass. And pastors and parishes can determine their specific needs.

    Also I will say that children have not always been at Mass in the context as it is, in my grandparents generation, babies were not taken to Mass… and in the early Masses were held in homes, and an entire church filled with pews were a protestant invention. A friend of mind joked: “whoever invented pews didn’t have kids.” I personally love the current tradition set-up when I attend mass by myself or just with my husband, but it does make it difficult when you add young children in the mix. Food for thought.

  22. Pingback: Vasectomy and the Catholic Church: Search Engine Q&A | Quartermaster of the Barque

  23. Excellent article! I will need to send it to a good number of traddie churches.

    The one and only disagreement I have isn’t even from your opinion but a quote:

    “The begetting of children was always considered the principal purpose of Christian marriage…”

    This is not actually true. I have never found any authoritative teaching that procreation is the first end of marriage. On the contrary:

    1. John Chrysostom explained to couples about abstinence for the sake of fasting and prayer. He said that when they “performed the marital act” again the ability to have children was not a requirement as it wasn’t “the principal end of marriage”, which gives us insight into the traditional position on NFP. (lest anyone get any ideas, this is the same Chrysostom who condemned contraception as “probably worse than murder”… I love John Chrysostom :) )
    2. Francis De Sales in his “Introduction to a Devout Life” listed the three ends of marriage in order from most to least important. Procreation and rearing of children, while indispensable, was number three.

  24. I stopped utilizing the cry room a long time ago, when I looked up from trying to wrangle my preschooler and kindergartener, to find the entire congregation had risen for the Our Father, while NO ONE in the cry room had. They were all too busy chatting during the homily, mostly about what they were going to do after church – all while their children ran amuck and unchecked. Those little people I was wrangling are now adults, and their 3 younger siblings have been coming to Mass with me the first Sunday after coming home from the hospital. We sit toward the front because short humans with short attention spans want to see what is happening. They were prone to better behavior because they weren’t prevented from seeing the action up front by a bunch of tall grownups who thought they didn’t belong in the sanctuary anyway.

  25. Pingback: More Fodder for the Cry Room Debate | Quartermaster of the Barque

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