Fathers should be given more recognition for their important role in holding society together, the head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales has said.
Labour MP David Lammy has also urged for more ‘father-friendly’ policies, declaring that all “evidence shows that active dads are good for children”.
Meanwhile the author of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres, has hit out at ‘political incorrectness’ making fathers seem irrelevant.
The Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, praised fathers for their role in reducing crime and improving their children’s school grades and social behaviour.
In a speech at a summit in London to discuss ‘family friendly’ policies, he urged politicians to take every opportunity to support fathers and celebrate fatherhood.
He said: “Committed, faithful fathers are good for their children – for their educational achievement, psychological well-being and their social behaviour.”
And added: “The powerful and positive influence fathers can have on the formation of tomorrow’s good citizens is a precious gift which we must take every opportunity to support.”
David Lammy, MP for Tottenham, said: “Children, particularly boys, who grow up without fathers are more likely than their peers to be involved in crime, heavy drinking and drug use; have low educational attainment; suffer low self-esteem and anger issues; and, ultimately, become poor parents themselves.”
Writing in The Observer newspaper, he said: “Active dads make a positive contribution: they are good for children and they are good for mothers.”
Best selling author Louis de Bernieres criticised family courts for treating fathers as mere sperm donors.
In a letter to The Sunday Telegraph on the occasion of Father’s Day, he argued that the vital role of fathers had been left out of literature for new parents and from teaching at school.
He wrote: “In schools nobody tells boys that fathering is the most important and responsible thing they will ever do, nor that, when done well, fatherhood bestows upon you the deepest, most satisfying and fun relationships of your life.
He concluded: “The only explanation for this neglect is terror of the political incorrectness of offending single mothers, and the general mythologising of fathers as irrelevant and feckless abusers.”