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Young Women Should Not Leave
Their Family Homes

Facing the rising tide of feminism in society along with the seductions of worldly pleasures, Pius XII warns against moral dangers in an allocution to young women. He indicates a threefold danger: first, for the young women who leave their homes and families to have careers and be independent; second, for marriages; and third, for all society.   This sound advice of the Pope - unfortunately forgotten today - should orient the lives of every Catholic family, above all, if is a conservative or traditionalist family.

Pope Pius XII

Here we will address the triple danger that characterizes our times.

For the woman - First of all there is the danger that regards woman. We will identify it in its extreme form. You know the fate of those young women - especially in large cities – who leave their families as soon as they become adolescents to look for jobs. It is an enticing mirage: complete independence, the possibility to spend money freely, liberty without restraints, the facility to make new friends, go to movie theaters and engage in sports, to leave with friends for enjoyable outings on Saturday and return on Monday, thus escaping the vigilance of family members. The high salary they frequently make is, however, many times the price paid for the loss of their innocence and purity.

And what happens to the natural aptitudes reserved in women in order to found a family? They are dissipated in pleasure and guilt.

Naturally, along with this entourage of lax and unhappy youth, there is another group of those who are increasingly less affected by this great evil and even those who, amid all the dangers, know how to preserve themselves pure and strong.

It would be an illusion, however, to imagine that this sad extreme [the lax youth] is found only in faraway places and the large cities of the world. Unfortunately you can find them among our good people and see the fatal road they are following.

For marriage - From this comes a new danger for marriage. The young women described above generally are not chosen for marriage, and still less for marriages that follow the law of Christ. Often they themselves reject it as a kind of prison. How many other young women are contaminated by this same evil, although in a lesser degree!

On the other hand, how can the young man who lived a dissolute life in his youth be faithful to his wife and have a holy and chaste marriage? You know the ideal of Christian newlyweds that we have tried to teach to newly-married couples who come to us. How can this ideal shine and prosper, if its presupposition, a Christian way of life and culture, is increasing tending to disappear?

For society - Finally the third danger refers to society, which always received its strength, progress and honor from the healthy and virtuous family. If one destroys its religious and moral foundations, the doors are opened to the worst damages to the institutions and the country.

(On the Apostolate of Girls in the Renewal of Society,
Speech to the Italian Feminine Youth of April 24, 1943
Documentos Pontificios, Petrópolis: Vozes, 1954, nn. 13-15)


Posted February 7, 2009

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