Thoughts on Fr Ripperger?


He certainly has opinions! They are just that, his opinions. I would take them with a grain of salt.


It can be hard to convey tone when writing on social media, so please assume I am not being confrontational. Also, bless you for being so inclusive with your kinder girls who want to be moms. I do, however, think @MagdalenaRita has a valid point. An honest question: Do you think the response is the same when they are in, say, 6th grade? 8th? 12th? I hear an awful lot of “what a shame” or “she couldn’t do anything else anyway” comments in the teacher’s room when girls express their wish to be a good wife and mother in the upper elementary and beyond.

I work in a very diverse district with much higher than average poor, immigrant, ESL students. And yes, the standards we teach are obsessed with “college-readiness”. Again, with all due respect, college is not the only way to be successful or to live a happy life. Indeed, a bachelor’s degree is becoming obsolete in many fields and ever more money and education is required. The student clinicians I train very often find themselves 80,000+ in debt, no guarantee of employment for their final externship/certification phase of requisite training and no way to apply their 6.5 years of post high-school education without that externship and certification. They wait tables, live with their parents and agonize over how long they will be in limbo. I would never discourage a student from a college (or graduate school) education, but I don’t think we do the best we can for ALL students with such a push to college readiness. Nonetheless, I digress. The topic is about Fr. Ripperger and the current point is about women working.

A common issue :wink:

Exactly. A categorical claim would be something like “All working mothers are committing a mortal sin”. To add the phrase “without a sufficient reason” makes it NOT a categorical claim. We need to be careful we understand the vocabulary we are using. To use it incorrectly does damage to your point because it can be easily dismissed on the basis that it is not as you present it. And yes, I speak from experience :wink:


At the risk of repeating myself, I believe this statement to be a warning against teh popular view of “I have to be MORE than JUST a wife and mother to really be successful in life”. As if the ability to buy more things than the next guy is the sole determinant of success. I don’t see how you could even begin to argue that this sentiment isn’t well expressed within especially American society, particularly among women who have a college education and look down upon those who have made different choices. I get it…I WAS one of those women once upon a time…

Me, too :wink: My only concern would be if he listed what he presented as an exhaustive list of “sufficient reasons”.

The Church does not tell parents how to parent. But it’s very clear that children are a blessing and should be treated as such. Their needs should not be dismissed lightly to serve an adult’s wants.

I do agree, though, that I would be more comfortable if he had said “It is a sin” rather than “It is a mortal sin”, but that is my preference, which comes from someone not well-versed in theology and having the grace of priesthood.

Does the judge say it’s his own opinion when he interprets the law? Does the doctor say it’s his opinion when he explains a medical procedure? Priests are well educated in the law and in theology. They certainly are NOT infallible, but they are both better versed in theology and interpretation of Church teaching as well as recipients of a grace laypersons do not have, which means we need to carefully reflect on what they say, opinion or not. I think it would be absurd for priests, trained in Church teaching, to preface everything they say with “In my opinion”. That is for the layperson to do.


I’m surprised no one has responded to that yet. Women are very tired at the end of a day when they work full time. Just the same as men are. She too would like to come home and recuperate from the day but the bulk of caring for the home goes to the mother. There are exceptions and men who help out, definitely, but it is very difficult to wear two hats at the same time. Something usually gives and it is usually the home.

That is what I figured you meant but it is not misogynistic to encourage mothers to care for their children and home. It is biblical.

Exactly what is happening here in this thread.

He is very good about having quotes from saints, Church documents and Scripture in his talks.


Does that mean that people in charge of science classes at Roman Catholic schools will all be going to hell since they are not teaching geocentrism?


Fair enough if that’s what you think he’s trying to say. I don’t see that, personally.

If Fr Ripperger is stating something is a mortal sin, then yes, I would expect that to be supported by the CC. I don’t believe that’s an absurd position to take at all. But what he says is not supported by the Church at all and so making such a statement without prefacing it with the warning it is only his opinion is irresponsible, IMO.


Lol this can not be serious? Please tell me it’s not serious. A mortal sin to support heliocentrism? I honestly don’t know what to say to that.


Yet, in the cradle of Christianity, families were large extended families. Families had servants, a wetnurse caring for infants was common. Young children spent most of their time with the women of the household, however, it was not just mom on her own. These groups of children did call each other brother and sister yet they were cousins, the children of the servants, etc.

Men would travel to different pastures if they were farmers, to sell goods if they were tradesmen, and those were not just “8-5” or “two nights in Phoenix at the Hampton Inn” trips. These trips lasted months or years.

Not one of those verses spoke of the modern idea of mom + dad and children with no familial support and no servants/help, a mortgage payment of $1,000 per month, a car payment, insurance, food costs. Only the very very poor had no servants, but, they still had extended family and the community was commanded to help support that family.

Proverbs 31 “Ideal Woman” ran a household with servants, did real estate investing and was an artisan who was marketing her works. Not a 33 year old lady with 4 kids under 5, dad gone for 12 hours each day trying to get a meal on the table, breastfeed and potty train.

We need to understand that living as a family has changed and morphed in our modern world, and we are paying the price for smashing the extended family model.


How long is that video? Because your quote took him about 3 seconds.

Also, the quote is purposely vague as to raise a possibility and reinforce that possibility, lending authority to whoever might be needing it in their personal reflection. Woman themselves can appreciate the quote when pondering having more children or pursuing a double-time career. Thus it can be liberating for someone who needs that exact statement. And it isn’t categorical in the exact sense I just explained, the semantics of appearance when something is overstated - the man knows doctrine enough not to contradict it, so any interpretation has to factor that much in (IT’S WRITTEN IN BETWEEN THE LINES). But I guess, fewer and fewer people read books these days…Goes without saying…


I don’t know Fr. Ripperger, but my take on ultra-traditionalists in general, particularly those who seem to be internet celebrities, is that they often take extreme positions (or at least phrase a normal position in the most abrasive terms possible) in order to provoke a reaction from the mainstream and thus bolster their credibility as brave truth-tellers or whatever.

Or better still, if he had said something like, “In our status-obsessed and careerist culture, it’s good to reflect on whether we are appropriately prioritizing our familial obligations.” That’d be a great thing to ponder. Just declaring something to be a sin, especially a mortal sin, is irresponsible, especially for a priest who cultivates a large internet following.

And to the extent that anyone is shaming women who want to be stay-at-home moms, I think we’d all agree that that is wrong. Fr. Ripperger could have easily made that point without phrasing it as some kind of mortal sin.


The full video is around 24 minutes: The quote I highlighted is around 17-18 minutes in.

He argues something that is not taught by the CC. Saying something is a mortal sin without sufficient reason is not Catholic teaching.


Well, then be my guest and go look at pope Francis saint Martha homilies because plenty of what he says is oblique and indirect.

Your argument is based on 1 single sentence taken from a live speech change “it is” for “can be” and it works. It’s known -very well so- that even pope Francis has made mistakes/slips in live speeches - and the media sure likes to blow those out of proportion. The fire&brimstone homilies are based on parallel principles - so address that.


I started a whole thread on this and never received a satisfactory answer. Why is it wrong to send a child to daycare / preschool, but OK to send a child to school?
My son spent the first 2.5 years of his life at home with his grandma (while my wife and I worked). He’s now in preschool and has thrived in terms of development, speech, etc. Evenings and weekends and holidays is still a lot of parent time.


This is very true. I am a working mother and I hate it. I would much rather be an “at home” worker. Our house constantly looks like a clothes, dog/cat hair, paper bomb just went off. I am exhausted when it is time to cook, clean, make dinner, do homework, set up for the next day, get my son to bed and get him to sleep. I have to get him up, dressed, fed, medicated and out the door (which is a full time job as he has high functioning autism) BEFORE I even set foot in the workplace. And yes, my husband does his best but he was not raised, nor is there a consistent societal expectation, to take exactly 50% of all that needs to be done. Sorry guys, you do things we can’t and we NEED you both as husband and father, but if you’re honest most wives run and do and just cope more than men do. And yes, there are exceptions…it’s not a categorical statement :wink:

Often, it’s the home, yes. Sadly, it is also often dedicated, present time with their children. It is very, very difficult to be present and nurturing when you are exhausted and have already given the freshest of what you have earlier in the day. For some mothers, maybe they really CAN do it all. Who am I to judge? For the rest of us, we work because we have to but are exhausted and saddened/feel guilty about what we know we aren’t providing.

Amen! Not to mention it is also scientifically sound. Children have evolved to depend on joint care from mothers and fathers, not on people hired to care for them.

Seems that way :wink:

While not infallible, these are excellent references and should be considered carefully and not rejected out of hand because it is not the popular sentiment du jour.


This thread is not about Pope Francis. And Fr Ripperger’s statement was not oblique and indirect in the slightest.

I’m addressing what Fr Ripperger has said. Nothing more, nothing less. He did not say “can be”. And from the remarks surrounding the sentence in question, he did not intend to say “can be”. Nothing has been blown out of proportion.


It’s not, categorically. If that’s what is in the best interests of your child, then go for it. If you were putting your child in daycare just so you could sit at home eating cookies and napping, that would be a different analysis.

The important thing is that YOU make this decision in consultation with your wife, after thoroughly reviewing your individual situations, your child’s needs, the suitability of the daycare, your family budget, and a million other factors unique to your situation. If after prayerfully considering all of that, you believe it’s in everyone’s best interests to use daycare, do it. Don’t let internet busybodies who don’t know squat about your life tell you you’re a bad parent.


Completely agree knowing and being with your extended family is an excellent thing. I also agree, mothers used to have their aunts, their own mothers, sisters and cousins to help with those large families.

Yes, they did. Having a husband that travels for sometimes long periods of a time for a living, not quite that long but I can relate a little bit.

True, many people were not wealthy at that time. Some had servants and some didn’t.
Many of these things that are costing us so much today are due not to necessity but to want, materialism and commercialism. There are those that need to work, yes, absolutely and I think we keep missing that Father said, “without a grave reason”.

The workings of the Proverbs 31 woman can not be compared to the “career woman” of today. You can call it real estate investing and marketing as if it is the same as todays career woman but it doesn’t compare with the modern woman of today. The modern woman who was told to go and “find herself” and that without a career she is wasting her life.

The Proverbs 31 woman did what she needed to do to care for her home and family, that is why she had no fear in the winter.

Most men do not work 12 hours each day, some do, and there are two ways to look at caring for 4 kids. “I have to care for 4 kids” or “I am blessed to care for 4 kids”. Coming from someone who prayed for more children but wasn’t so blessed, I would take and rather hope mothers look at it as “I am blessed to care for 4 kids”. Scripture says children are a blessing.

Agree, we did smash the extended family model and sadly the smashing of the family continues.


The idea that men should go out and work in a factory while women stay home is NOT a traditional Catholic notion. The norm of the 1800s to 1950s that Father and other traditionalists seem to promote is a complete and utter novelty. In the so called “golden age” of Catholicism, the average man and woman BOTH worked in and around the home. Medieval peasants didn’t stray far. The woman may have been more likely to cook, milk the cows, collect eggs etc while the husband was more likely to work the field behind the house… but both worked at home. It seems traditionalists often take the social (secular) norms of the 1950s, as the last pre-VII era, and declare them to be “Catholic traditions”.


$1000 a month strikes me as laughably cheap for large parts of the country. We live in an area where the median home price (for a modest house in a decent neighborhood, not a palace) is probably close to 700k. Have fun with your six jobs, dad.


And again, I think we’d all agree that that is wrong. Women who are stay-at-home moms are not wasting their lives, and they shouldn’t be shamed. On the contrary, they should be commended. Raising kids is a hard job.

But you’re over correcting. Just like it’s wrong to make a blanket statement that women should always work outside the home and that any woman who doesn’t is squandering her potential, it’s wrong to make a blanket statement that any woman who works is per se a bad mother.

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