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  #1  
Old Feb 14, '11, 7:26 pm
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Daegus Daegus is offline
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Default Is it a sin to "disown" a family member?

Ok, this whole situation is hypothetical and in no way reflects on anything I have experienced or anyone I know of. It's just something I started thinking about..

Now let's say a child comes out to his devout Catholic parents that he's gay and he is choosing to live an actively gay lifestyle and he refuses to repent of his sin. Because of this, his parents become absolutely enraged and decide to disown him and cut off all ties with him because he will not repent. The family will not talk to him, has cut him out of their will and will not change until the son decides to repent.

I would think of this situation as reasonable. Sort of like an incurred familial excommunication that the son willed for.

Would that be wrong? It's not like the family hates him and won't forgive him, but they simply want nothing to do with him because his sins bring great shame upon the family and he will not give up on his sins. The family agrees to "reown" (so to speak) him if he repents and comes back to them, but unless that happens then they will not.
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  #2  
Old Feb 14, '11, 7:30 pm
kentuckyliz kentuckyliz is offline
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Default Re: Is it a sin to "disown" a family member?

It is very uncharitable. If you think it's OK to reject or disown family members due to social shame, then when the gay son's teen sister gets knocked up, what are they going to do? Drag her to the abortion clinic and get themselves excommunicated, just to save face?

WWJD?
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  #3  
Old Feb 14, '11, 7:36 pm
ChiRho ChiRho is offline
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Default Re: Is it a sin to "disown" a family member?

It may sometimes be appropriate, but after every other alternative has been sought:

Quote:
15
"If your brother sins (against you), go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother.
16
If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that 'every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses.'
17
If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector.
Matthew 18:15-17
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Haydock's Bible commentary on John 15:14: You are my friends.-- A wonderful condescension, says St. Augustine, in our blessed Redeemer, who was God as well as man, to call such poor and sinful creatures, his friends; who, when we have done all we can, and ought, are still but unprofitable servants.
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  #4  
Old Feb 14, '11, 7:41 pm
kentuckyliz kentuckyliz is offline
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Default Re: Is it a sin to "disown" a family member?

That's a brother--which probably means someone you know at church, not even a blood relative.

That is not referring to your child.

WWMD?!

She stood there and bore the shame of her naked, mauled, apparently criminal, executed son.

Disowning your child will likely make them hate God, Jesus, and His Church even more, driving them deeper into Satan's arms...deeper into the arms of the gay culture that will surround and support and love-bomb them.

Don't disown, love bomb yourself as part of the battle.
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  #5  
Old Feb 14, '11, 7:42 pm
kentuckyliz kentuckyliz is offline
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Default Re: Is it a sin to "disown" a family member?

Do you think sin conquers love?
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  #6  
Old Feb 14, '11, 8:13 pm
ChiRho ChiRho is offline
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Default Re: Is it a sin to "disown" a family member?

Shunning was certainly accepted by early Christians. I don't think it should be dealt lightly, but sometimes the flock has to be protected against sinners, lest they be drawn astray.

Quote:
11
But I now write to you not to associate with anyone named a brother, if he is immoral, greedy, an idolater, a slanderer, a drunkard, or a robber, not even to eat with such a person.
12
For why should I be judging outsiders? Is it not your business to judge those within?
13
God will judge those outside. "Purge the evil person from your midst."
1 Corinthians 5:11-13

and as Aquinas says in Q 25 Art 6 of Summa,

Quote:
As the Philosopher observes (Ethic. ix, 3), when our friends fall into sin, we ought not to deny them the amenities of friendship, so long as there is hope of their mending their ways, and we ought to help them more readily to regain virtue than to recover money, had they lost it, for as much as virtue is more akin than money to friendship. When, however, they fall into very great wickedness, and become incurable, we ought no longer to show them friendliness.
but the task is different from those who are given to temptation and those who are more saintly,

Quote:
The weak should avoid associating with sinners, on account of the danger in which they stand of being perverted by them. But it is commendable for the perfect, of whose perversion there is no fear, to associate with sinners that they may convert them. For thus did Our Lord eat and drink with sinners as related by Matthew 9:11-13. Yet all should avoid the society of sinners, as regards fellowship in sin; in this sense it is written (2 Corinthians 6:17): "Go out from among them . . . and touch not the unclean thing," i.e. by consenting to sin.
__________________
Haydock's Bible commentary on John 15:14: You are my friends.-- A wonderful condescension, says St. Augustine, in our blessed Redeemer, who was God as well as man, to call such poor and sinful creatures, his friends; who, when we have done all we can, and ought, are still but unprofitable servants.
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  #7  
Old Feb 14, '11, 8:17 pm
EasterJoy EasterJoy is online now
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Default Re: Is it a sin to "disown" a family member?

Hooo, boy. That is a tough one for a parent, I'm sure. SSA isn't something that a person asks for. It is terribly difficult to cope with. If pressuring someone with the threat of withholding money or social contact would help the situation, that would be one thing. In this case, that is unlikely. So we're talking about isolating someone with a great cross to bear when isolation is not likely to bring about a positive change. It could really wound a child who is already very wounded, whether he realizes it or not. I don't think "tough love" covers the solution you're proposing.

If the family member were dealing drugs, in organized crime, or something like that, then yes, I could see cutting off family contact and threatening the loss of an inheritance might be a pressure that could add up to positive change. Drug dealers are also people who are more or less dangerous to associate with. In that case, I could see it. The farther I could get away, the better, just out of prudence. Not for engaging in homosexuality or adultery, though. I'd even hesitate to do it for a child who was a stripper or a prostitute, rather than a pimp. For someone who was an addict and had harmed the family by his or her addiction, it might also be a reasonable natural consequence for their choices. If you were to die, the money might be enough to put the child in an early grave.
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  #8  
Old Feb 14, '11, 8:30 pm
TheRealJuliane TheRealJuliane is offline
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Default Re: Is it a sin to "disown" a family member?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daegus View Post
Ok, this whole situation is hypothetical and in no way reflects on anything I have experienced or anyone I know of. It's just something I started thinking about..

Now let's say a child comes out to his devout Catholic parents that he's gay and he is choosing to live an actively gay lifestyle and he refuses to repent of his sin. Because of this, his parents become absolutely enraged and decide to disown him and cut off all ties with him because he will not repent. The family will not talk to him, has cut him out of their will and will not change until the son decides to repent.

I would think of this situation as reasonable. Sort of like an incurred familial excommunication that the son willed for.

Would that be wrong? It's not like the family hates him and won't forgive him, but they simply want nothing to do with him because his sins bring great shame upon the family and he will not give up on his sins. The family agrees to "reown" (so to speak) him if he repents and comes back to them, but unless that happens then they will not.
As painful as it would be to have a child in that condition, I could never shun my own son. I might not reward his choices, but I could never turn my back completely on him. Just as I would not turn my back if my son got a girl pregnant, or committed some criminal act. I would stay as loving as possible, pray a lot, and try to do what I could to help him, in whatever way. I think that is what Jesus would want us to do.
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  #9  
Old Feb 14, '11, 8:30 pm
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Daegus Daegus is offline
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Default Re: Is it a sin to "disown" a family member?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kentuckyliz View Post
Do you think sin conquers love?
Hey.. Thanks for your responses but I think you are getting a little bit passionate about this when it was only a hypothetical scenario.
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  #10  
Old Feb 14, '11, 8:47 pm
EasterJoy EasterJoy is online now
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Default Re: Is it a sin to "disown" a family member?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daegus View Post
Hey.. Thanks for your responses but I think you are getting a little bit passionate about this when it was only a hypothetical scenario.
Maybe for you. For some, it is very real.
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  #11  
Old Feb 14, '11, 8:53 pm
Catholic90 Catholic90 is offline
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Default Re: Is it a sin to "disown" a family member?

A mother should love her child unconditionally.

(a father should do so as well).
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  #12  
Old Feb 14, '11, 9:23 pm
Steadfast love Steadfast love is offline
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Default Re: Is it a sin to "disown" a family member?

The pamphlets at church say: be willing to let wayward children leave but always keep communication open. After all wouldn't it be better to have a prodigal child then no child at all?
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  #13  
Old Feb 14, '11, 9:46 pm
lovemybatman lovemybatman is offline
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Default Re: Is it a sin to "disown" a family member?

Worrying about "bringing shame upon the family" to the point where you would disown someone who didn't behave perfectly is, to me, prideful and selfish. I don't think the Jesus who told parables of the one shepherd risking 99 sheep to find just one wayward sheep would really be okay with that. To me this is sinful.

If a family member puts the rest of the family in danger (is in a gang, drug dealer, etc.) or has harmed the family or someone else in a serious manner (such as physical or emotional abuse), or something of that nature, it would make sense to end contact or "disown" that person, hopefully after trying to get them help by taking them to the police or counseling if possible.

Living in a way that is not Godly or which you do not agree with, such as coming out as gay or living with someone before marriage, is not in my opinion something worth disowning a child over. That person is just going to become convinced that they never needed God anyway, assuming that they had that much of a problem with the faith to begin with. Is it so hard to say, "I will always love you and accept you, even if I do not agree with your choices" and to keep the lines of communication open?
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  #14  
Old Feb 14, '11, 10:37 pm
PrayHarder PrayHarder is online now
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Default Re: Is it a sin to "disown" a family member?

I think I heard a case like this on Mother Angelica's Q&A show. To summarize, she said that you cannot condone or approve of sinful behaviors and lifestyles. But at the same time you must love them for he/she is your family. You have to let them know that you will still embrace them with open arms in their times of need.

I see it much like the Prodical Son parable. The father let the son go out and make mistakes but welcomed him back when the son saw the errors of his ways.
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  #15  
Old Feb 14, '11, 10:56 pm
Suni Moon Suni Moon is offline
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Default Re: Is it a sin to "disown" a family member?

OF COURSE IT WOULD BE WRONG!
I... I can't even start on this subject, I can't offer clear, advice here because...
For crying out loud! What religion do you claim to be a part of?

Love them, embrace them! There's no justifying what you just suggested in that post, no justifying it AT ALL.

You should be ashamed of yourself for EVER thinking that's okay.
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He uses tools.
Science does not take faith out of the equation.
I believe in science, psychology, and everything else we've discovered since the dark ages.
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