The Church should use next year’s World Meeting of Families to highlight the need for more family-friendly economic models, a leading economist has said.
“The World Meeting of Families should be about families in the practical everyday circumstances, the hustle and bustle of what life is for all of us,” UCD’s Prof. Ray Kinsella told The Irish Catholic, praising Tuam’s Archbishop Michael Neary’s comments in his Reek Sunday homily on Croagh Patrick on the detrimental effects of western economic models on family life.
“We have a malign economy, an economic model that is destructive,” agreed Prof. Kinsella, continuing, “we need to rebuild a healthy vision of what a family can do in a healthy economy.”
Describing excessive employers’ demands on parents’ time as “a form of corporate theft”, the UCD economist noted how divorce rates in, for example, the US, are often driven by spouses lacking time together, with children being deprived of the presence of their parents in their lives.
Prof. Kinsella said the economic and social price of these pressures can be tracked through, for instance, budgetary expenditure on such areas as childcare when a more obvious solution would be to help parents care for their own children.
“We accept the damage and we socialise the costs,” he said, adding that ahead of the Church gathering, there should be a focus on how “the most precious thing you can give – the most precious resource we have – is time”.