The traditional institution of the family within Roman Catholic Christianity and
Christianity in general is in an invidious position in contemporary society, partly
because it lacks an agreed definition in a fluid global context. The church is an
institution in which families subsist and which both needs and bolsters the family
unit for its own existence and stability. However, all major churches seem to be stuck
in outdated traditional modes of understanding which are exclusive and cause great
distress to many who do not conform to them. The Roman Catholic Church has
recently inaugurated a discussion of pastoral challenges currently facing family life.
This is an attempt to evaluate critically its initial findings through deconstructing the
traditional notion of family on which the Church teaching seems to rely.