Uhhhh…….what? It’s a sin to allow kids two and up to sleep with parents? July 25, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, huh?, Interior Life, Saints, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
Does anyone have any idea what Church law or Doctrine St. John Vianney is referencing below?
You should never have your children sleeping with you from the time they are two years old. If you do, you are committing a sin. The Church did not make this law without reason. You are bound to observe it………
…….Still, my dear brethren, there are fathers and mothers who are so little instructed in their religion or who are so indifferent to their duties that they will have sleeping with them children from fifteen to eighteen years of age, and often brothers and sisters together……..
……But I will return to the subject and repeat to you that all the time that you allow your children to sleep with you after they have reached two years of age, you are offending God…..
Now, on the recommendations of solid priests, I agree with the following:
- Children above a very young age, perhaps a bit older than two, should not sleep together if possible
- Brothers and sisters especially above 3 or 4 or 5 (depending on the children) should not sleep together
- Yes it would be rather ridiculous to have a 15 or 18 year old sleep in the parent’s bed. That is disordered, certainly, and could prove disastrous.
- It is probably desirable not to have children sleep with the parents at all if it can be avoided, but when mom is exhausted and the baby wants to eat all night sometimes it just sort of happens by osmosis. Whether there should be a “cutoff age” I think depends very much upon the child.
But what I do not comprehend is where this becomes a sin, or upon what basis. There has been a tendency at times among certain moral rigorists to hearken back to obscure Old Testament Scripture, find some obtuse or inappropriately understood statement, and from that attempt to impose a hard law on the faithful. However, there are few if any occasions that I can think of where the Church itself – beyond some small school or moral theologians – actually accepted these very specific “regulations” as Doctrine and imposed them on the entire Church as a matter of conscience, bound to be accepted upon pain of sin.
Would it be a sin, for instance, if the four year old frightened by a thunderstorm wants to crawl into bed with mom and dad? My wife and I have hit upon the expedient of letting them build a little bed out of sheets and blankets on the floor next to our bed, but, sometimes, the child is just too frightened/excited for that to work. So, is it sinful only as a normal practice, or in every case? Do you just throw the kid out and tell them to toughen up, buttercup? That seems not only unreasonable, but uncharitable.
I was a bit offended when I read the introduction to the book The Sermons of the Cure’ of Ars that asserted that some lingering Jansenism may have crept into the Cure’s sermons, but having read the book, I’m not entirely certain that assertion was wrong. There are a number of times the holy Cure’ claims that certain actions – dancing, for instance – are always sinful, when, plainly, they are not.
Of course, St. John Vianney was serving souls in a very different time and place. He had taken over the care of souls who had been long abandoned to fend for themselves, more or less, and received no solid moral guidance for decades. In that case, some toughness or rigorism may have been called for.
It’s a bit strange to say, but while with some Saints, especially the Doctors of the Church, one can take pretty much every thing they say as golden, with some other Saints, some caution may be advised, based on the particular time and place in which they carried out their apostolate and any extremities that may have been called for in that environment. Something to keep in mind.