Daycare as grave matter


On another thread it was claimed that a certain popular “traditionalist” priest teaches that it is a grave sin for a mother to put her children in daycare without true grave necessity. I didn’t get any answers on that thread so I decided to pose the question here. For those who subscribe to this view, does it only apply to the modern Western phenomenon of working mom’s / profit daycares, or are traditional practices of getting grandma to help or hiring a live in nanny, as still very popular in predominantly Catholic Latin America, also seen as gravely sinful?

Frankly, I think it’s an absolutely ludicrous notion… but it’s apparently held by some here so I’m curious…


Although I don’t really have a strong opinion on the matter, never having pondered the question personally, I can say that I think a mother who is able to care for her child should. I wouldn’t call it sinful for a mother who is very busy with work to hire a nanny or send her children to daycare, but if a mother was simply being neglectful and choosing not to deal with her children because she doesn’t want to, therefore shoving her children off on somebody else, I could see that as reaching sinfulness. As far as I’ve ever really considered it, I think a mother’s first priority should be her children, but in the society we live in today, that’s sadly not always possible.

Disclaimer: I’m not a parent, nor will I be any time soon. Take what I say with a grain of salt.


I totally agree. I think if a priest really said that he is absolutely clueless!!


New mom here, having to put by beloved precious baby in full-time daycare soon, so I thought I’d drop my two cents:

I can’t speak for all mothers, but I can speak for myself and my friends that dropping kiddo off at daycare while we have to work is a heart-wrenching, torturous, tear-inducing ritual that I’d frankly rather drag steel needles through my cheek than endure. However, my son has to have a home, food, and clothing so it’s a horrible necessity. I can’t imagine many mothers feel much differently.

Chalk another number up for believing this priest is clueless on this one.


Well, if it feels that way, then we can trust that it’s being done for the right reasons! :slight_smile:


That honestly means a lot to hear. I doubt myself all the time. Thank you. Truly! <3


Well you’re welcome! :smiley:

Prayers heading your way. Wish I could offer advice, but never having been a mother, I don’t really have any to give.

God bless!


So, can anyone who disagrees with the priest please describe what the Church and the Theologians teach is the wife’s obligation in regard to the sacramental contract of marriage?

What does a woman owe her husband and children in justice?

Let’s begin there.

If the answer is anywhere near- “She owes her husband to raise his children herself, and the children have a right to be so raised” and this duty is neglected, would that put it more in the category of grave sin?


If we start with this premise, you would have to explain why employing a daycare or nanny or grandmother to help with child raising equates to the mother “not” raising her children.
You would further need to explain why sending children to school for 6+ hours a day is acceptable while daycare is not… unless the Catholic Church is also wrong in establishing schools? Daycare, after all, is really just school for very young children. My 2.5 year old son’s vocabulary has skyrocketed since we put him in daycare. (I’m the father for the record).


I will let the priest speak for himself, Fr Chad Ripperger is an exorcist and a psychologist who has upwards of 10,000 exorcisms under his belt. He’s no slouch. He is a former member of the FSSP and is creating a society for exorcists. He regularly provides spiritual direction on sanctity.


If we are going to point fingers it should be at societies that don’t support new parents and babies. Having a little one myself I’m pretty shocked at how mothers of 6 week olds are often forced back to work, mine was tiny at 6 weeks and wanting to feed very frequently and it would have been pretty gut wrenching to put her in daycare at that age.


I cannot provide where the Church teaches that chocolate is not a mortal sin. Such a ludicrous claim must be on the part of the one making it. We have the catechism. Childcare is not listed as a mortal sin. The burden of proof is always on the part of the one making an outrageous claim.

Perhaps the OP might link where she heard this claim. If it is a only a Youtube thing, then I would not worry one bit about it. I would rather stick to what a priest that knows you can help you with. Always follow the Church, not the cult of personality that has even affected priests today.

I found this article by him, if this is the priest in question.

Parental obligations are primarily with respect to the end and not the means. In other words, the begetting of children is ordered toward the child’s perfection and if a particular means will aid more and guarantee the arriving at that perfection more than another, parents ought to employ that means.

I find it ironic that the very point of the article, that the parent is the primary educator of the child, not only precludes the state as the one to make primary decisions, but also internet priests. He seems to get this, which is why I seriously doubt he would ever make such claims or discernment on behalf of parents.


Today on How to Shame Mothers Who Dare to Work for a Living


Why can’t fathers stay home and care for the children? Mothers are not the only persons capable of taking care of children. Many women have no choice. They have to work.
Daycare is not a sin.


The duties of parents

[2221] The fecundity of conjugal love cannot be reduced solely to the procreation of children, but must extend to their moral education and their spiritual formation. "The role of parents in education* is of such importance that it is almost impossible to provide an adequate substitute."29 The right and the duty of parents to educate their children are primordial and inalienable.30

[2222] Parents must regard their children as children of God and respect them as *human persons . Showing themselves obedient to the will of the Father in heaven, they educate their children to fulfill God’s law.

[2223] Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children. They bear witness to this responsibility first by creating a home where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity, and disinterested service are the rule. The home is well suited for education in the virtues . This requires an apprenticeship in self-denial, sound judgment, and self-mastery - the preconditions of all true freedom. Parents should teach their children to subordinate the "material and instinctual dimensions to interior and spiritual ones."31 Parents have a grave responsibility to give good example to their children. By knowing how to acknowledge their own failings to their children, parents will be better able to guide and correct them …


I don’t think it’s a sin to put kids in daycare. But personally I would never do it. I think the best place for a young child is at home with a parent. Or at least a grandparent.


I think what’s important is to take care of children as the will of god and it’s the parents duties to do so each according to the circumstances, with prudence,and as a good Catholic.May be the Priest is talking about the,neglecting mothers without proper genuine reason, they put their children in daycare centers


Agree with this.


Fair enough, but I really believe that the lack of stimulation in daycare affects children negatively. I would never put my child in there.


If it is not written in the Catechism as ‘grave matter’ then it is not a mortal sin ‘ordinarily,’ and would only be grave matter if a mom was deliberately unnecessarily avoiding very long lengths of time having to spend any time rearing her own kids, out of lack of affection/ love.

If it is a necessity for work, etc. obviously it is okay

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