Irish Bishop Christopher Jones has claimed that children from broken home are ‘born losers; and grow up to be ‘dysfunctional adults’.
The Bishop of Elphin, who serves as the president of the Catholic Church’s marriage care service Accord, made the claim based on 17 years working with social services in Sligo.
Bishop Jones says he has based his opinion on the damage he has seen wrought on children as a result of marriage breakdown.
He denied that he was criticizing single parents. “Many of them are making heroic efforts,” said Bishop Jones.
But, speaking to the Irish Independent, he maintained that:
“The greatest good would come ultimately from the family in marriage.”
As demand for Accord’s service grows on an annual basis, Bishop Jones told the paper that the breakdown of married life could result in social unrest and even violence.
He also claimed that the risk to society from the disintegration of family life was not simply the church’s view but was backed by extensive social research.
“Some marriages break down for unavoidable reasons and in those cases, compassion ought to be our overriding response,” said the Bishop of Elphin.
“During my time in social services, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, I worked closely with families who, for the first time, found themselves isolated on newly built estates, without the support of their wider family circle.
“The husband was away all day and the mother was left with the children. In many cases, children were born into a family that was not secure and they were denied love at an early stage.
“Many of them were born losers. They had no start in life in terms of a loving relationship. In my experience, children who are denied love at an early age are denied a sense of self-esteem and self-worth.”
The Bishop also claimed that children in such circumstances encounter problems later in life.
“They grow up disturbed and dysfunctional,” added Bishop Jones.
“When a culture of marriage weakens, an ever-growing number of children will never experience the inestimable value of being raised by a loving, married mother and father.
“This is not to say that children cannot thrive outside of the marital family but if we really value childhood, then we must do what we can to try and ensure that children are raised by the fathers and mothers who bring them into the world.”
The Bishop also outlined his opposition to the concept of same sex marriages, just days after 5,000 people marched in Dublin in favor of marriage equality for same sex marriage.
“Giving same-sex marriage the same status would undermine marriage in my view,” he stated.
“In the eyes of the Catholic Church, same-sex cohabitation is not marriage and it never could be. Marriage is life-giving and between a man and woman.”