6.20 How are family, society and state related? Does social media disrupt families? Why should I care about world news if I already care for my neighbour?
A family is a small society in itself. Society is firstly an accumulation of family cells, a community of individuals in constant social interaction. The state is the politically organised community in a given territory. The state has an elected government which has specific authority to assure peace, freedom, and justice in particular. Both family and state have their own specific responsibilities. The principle of subsidiarity aims at a just division of tasks and responsibilities with human dignity and the participation of everyone in mind.
Social media offers great communication opportunities. In their families children should learn how to avoid the dangers of social media. Following the news helps you to be close to people who may need your help, and certainly need your prayer. It can help you realise that we are here with all humanity, and have to live together on this earth, given to us by God.
What is the nature of the family in the plan of God?
A man and a woman united in marriage form a family together with their children. God instituted the family and endowed it with its fundamental constitution. Marriage and the family are ordered to the good of the spouses and to the procreation and education of children. Members of the same family establish among themselves personal relationships and primary responsibilities. In Christ the family becomes the domestic church because it is a community of faith, of hope, and of charity [CCCC 456].
What place does the family occupy in society?
The family is the original cell of human society and is, therefore, prior to any recognition by public authority. Family values and principles constitute the foundation of social life. Family life is an initiation into the life of society [CCCC 457].
What are the duties that society has toward the family?
Society, while respecting the principle of subsidiarity, has the duty to support and strengthen marriage and the family. Public authority must respect, protect and foster the true nature of marriage and the family, public morality, the rights of parents, and domestic prosperity [CCCC 458].
If a family uses [online media] to be more connected, to then meet at table and look into each other’s eyes, then it is a resource. If a Church community coordinates its activity through the social network, and then celebrates the Eucharist together, then it is a resource... This is the social network we want, a network created not to entrap, but to liberate… where unity is based not on ‘likes’, but on the truth, on the ‘Amen’, by which each one clings to the Body of Christ, and welcomes others [Pope Francis, World Communications Day, 24 Jan. 2019].