Cardinal: Stay-at-Home Moms Need to Be Paid
Pontifical Council President Urges Family-Friendly Economics
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ROME, MARCH 1, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The president of the Pontifical Council for the Family is stressing the importance of work done by those in the home and suggesting economic compensation for it.
Cardinal Ennio Antonelli called for financial and professional perks to encourage families when he spoke on "Family and Business, Vital Cells of Society," at a meeting of the Catholic Union of Businessmen and Executives (UCID) in Rome.
His proposals were reported last Friday in the Italian edition of L'Osservatore Romano.
During his address the Italian cardinal stressed that "domestic work deserves economic recognition."
He also said that "numerous families deserve special reductions and financial facilities," pointing to the examples of France and Germany where "families with three children pay €2,000 [$2,720] or €3,000 [$4,080] less."
The Vatican official noted that raising a family and seeking a career outside the home are compatible for women, but he urged support services: day care centers in businesses and neighborhoods, and for the elderly and handicapped, other social services.
He also pointed out the importance of offering women a "variety of opportunities in professional work: part-time work, telework, flexibility of hours and vacations."
Cardinal Antonelli cautioned against the price paid by marriage and family when women see careers and social success as the path to self-fulfillment. And he pointed out the negative effects when dads are absent from families.