40. The family, cell of Christendom
1. For the Phalangist, Christian human society is not an assemblage of individuals, all foundling children and itinerants without home or country, who have committed themselves to the Church of their choice in an optional contract that can be terminated at any time. It is a community of dynastic, patriarchal families, profoundly attached to a land, to a house, to property, and to tradition. And their Christian faith is the first of these traditions and the most concretely involved in their temporal existence.
Continuity of supernatural life in Christian society is assured by the priestly ministry, but fundamentally it is maintained by the family institution. In Christendom each of us receives and accepts as a whole the double heritage of birth and baptism, the life of grace and the life of human civilisation, with all their obligations and benefits inseparably bound up together, goods of body and heart, of soul and mind, land and language, a patrimony both human and divine.
2. In Christendom, families are the primary and most stable social powers, in some ways sovereign, and every authority is bound to respect them. Although families receive all that is necessary for their Christian life from the parish priest, it is nevertheless for them, under the responsibility of their heads of family, to organise and conduct the Christian life according to their traditions. Thus schools, corporations, mutual benefit societies and hospitals naturally pertain to heads of families, for all paternity comes from God.
3. It is the families that are Christian by tradition and of a strong patriarchal authority, united and numerous, which at the heart of the parishes preserve the faith and the virtues, even unto heroism and holiness. The clergy must not make itself their masters, but their defenders, their guides and servants, for it is from these families that priestly and religious vocations come, great missionary vocations, and an abundance of new generations of Christians.
Families remain but the priest passes. Evil entered our old Christendom through a “ democrat ” clergy which with cunning and violence attacked traditional family institutions to replace them with more manageable militant movements, which were strong to destroy, but powerless to build anything and hopelessly sterile. The Phalangist will restore the family, beginning with his own.