In this recent interview on CNS, Pope Benedict is quoted during a meeting with Brazilian bishops.
He said as divorces increase and cohabitation is on the rise, the children in these situations are “deprived of their parents’ support and become victims of malaise and abandonment, thus spreading social disorder.”
Children need concrete fixed points of reference such as having one set of parents who will always be united as a family, the pope said.
He said divorce is sabotaging the traditional sense of an extended family by creating too many “parents,” such as stepmothers and stepfathers.
I can’t help but wonder whether this “too many parents” problem could extend to adoptive families in which birth parents are involved early on in the child’s life. Only time will tell whether the “open adoption” trend will have the same effect as the presence of step-parents in families in which the parents are divorced (as opposed to widowed).