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Casti Connubii Pope Pius XI December 31, 1930 Quotations from the document are from: Various titles in the slides are taken from the Daughters of St. Paul edition of the official Vatican text.
Casti Connubii Introduction. Chaste marriage is the foundation of domestic society. oThe family is the basis of society (Familiaris Consortio 42). The importance and dignity of marriage is raised immeasurably: Christ raised it to the level of a sacrament. To achieve the desired fruits of a renewal of matrimony two things are necessary: oMinds illuminated with true doctrine of Christ. oChristian spouses fortified by grace shape all their ways of thinking and acting in conformity with the law of Christ. >leads to true peace and happiness.
Casti Connubii Introduction (continued). Causes of concern: oA great number of people are forgetful of the divine work of redemption either ignore or deny the sanctity of Christian marriage. oRely on the false principles, pernicious errors and depraved morals. It is the duty of the Supreme Shepherd to raise his voice as Teacher to lead the flock and preserve it from harm.
Casti Connubii I.Nature and Dignity of Christian Marriage God is the Author of marriage. oMan did not institute it or set the laws that govern it. oElevated to the level of a sacrament by Jesus Christ oImplications? “God is the Author of the perpetual stability of the marriage bond, its unity and its firmness” (CC 5).
Casti Connubii The role of free will. oA marriage can only arise from the free consent of the spouses. -A person chooses whether or not he/she wants to enter into marriage. oThe nature of marriage itself remains totally outside the free will of man. -Nothing contrary to the true nature of marriage can be expressed in the consent and have it remain a true marriage.
Casti Connubii The role of legitimate authority. oLegitimately constituted authority has the right and duty to restrict, prevent and punish base unions contrary to reason and to nature. oBecause marriage is a natural and primeval right, however, no authority can take away the right to it or to its principal ends. -God commands human beings to be fruitful and multiply (Gen 1:28).
Casti Connubii II.Blessings and Benefits of Matrimony. According to St. Augustine: offspring, conjugal faith, the sacrament. oSummarizes the doctrine of Christian marriage. Children hold the first place. oMan surpasses all creatures. oGod wishes men to be born to share in his creation, but most of all that they worship him and share in his divine life. oParents’ duties are not just to propagate, not only to educate, but to raise up fellow citizens of the Saints. oParents are the first and teachers of their children – oParents are the first and primary teachers of their children – a most serious and sacred duty.
Casti Connubii Conjugal Fidelity. oFrom the beginning God wished marriage to exist between one man and one woman. -Not always the case, e.g., Mosaic Law. -The Gospel restores marriage to the original and perfect unity, abrogating all dispensations. oChrist condemns polygamy, polyandry and adultery. oChrist forbids even lustful thoughts and desires. -Sermon on the Mount (Mt. 5:27-28). -Interiorization of the Law. -“You have already made an adulteress of her in your heart.”
Casti Connubii Conjugal Fidelity: Love of Husband and Wife. St. Augustine: “the faith of chastity blooms more freely when rooted in…the excellent soil of love of husband and wife which pervades all the duties of married life…” Love of Husband and Wife : oA holy and pure love. oAs Christ loved the Church (Eph. 5:21-33). oNot lust of the moment, but in the deep attachment of the heart – love is always expressed in action. oLove is shown in the mutual efforts spouses take to form and perfect each other in holiness/virtue. oInterior perfection as the chief purpose of marriage – blending of the whole life.
Casti Connubii Conjugal Fidelity: Love of Husband and Wife. St. Augustine: the “order of love.” oPrimacy of the husband with regard to wife andchildren. Ready subjection of the wife and her willing obedience. oHusband is the head and has the chief place inruling. Wife is the heart and occupies the chief place in love. oSubjection does not take away from the liberty that belongs to the woman – she is equal in dignity. oSubjection does not involve placement of the wife on a lower level than the husband – not servant but companion. oSubjection may vary in degree and manner may vary according to different conditions of persons, place and time. If husband neglects his duty, his wife takes his place.
Casti Connubii Divine charity is the key. “Let divine charity be the constant guide of their mutual relations, both in him who rules and her who obeys, since each bears the image, the one of Christ, the other of the Church” (CC 29).
Casti Connubii Sacrament: Indissolubility. oSt. Augustine called marriage a sacrament which denotes the indissolubility of the bond and the hallowing of the contract between husbands and wives by Christ. -Marriage becomes a vehicle of grace to the spouses, the Christian community and the world. oChrist restored the primeval law regarding marriage: -“What God hath joined together no man can put asunder” (Mt. 19:6). -“Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and the one who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery” (Lk. 16:18).
Casti Connubii Sacrament: Indissolubility. oChrist restored the primeval law. -Even in the state of nature, before it was raised to the level of a sacrament, marriage was divinely instituted and carried with it a perpetual and indissoluble bond that no civil law can remove. >Marriage among unbelievers. >Rare exceptions based in divine law (CC 35). oMystical signification of Christian marriage. -Union of Christ and the Church. -As the bond of Christ with his Church cannot be dissolved, so the bond of spouses is likewise inseparable.
Casti Connubii Sacrament: Benefits of Indissolubility. oA positive guarantee of stability. oA strong bulwark in defense of loyal chastity: an aid against enticements to infidelity. oA calm sense of security – freedom from fear. oThe dignity of both man and wife is maintained and mutual aid is assured. oTraining and education of children is a united effort. oBenefits to society: virtuous life, integrity, happiness and well-being of the nation. -The family is “the first and vital cell of society” (FC 42). -As the family goes – so goes society.
Casti Connubii Sacrament: Sacramental Graces. oNatural love is perfected. oConfirmation of the indissoluble nature of the union. oSanctifies the spouses. oAssistance in understanding, knowing intimately, adhering firmly, willing effectively, and successfully putting into practice the aims and duties of the married state. oCooperating with this grace enables spouses to easily bear the burdens and duties of their state in life; failure to cooperate leaves a largely unused talent in spouses. oBy the graces of the sacrament, spouses are strengthened, sanctified and in a manner consecrated. oJust as apostasy does not take away Baptism, adultery does not remove the sacrament of marriage and/or bond.
Casti Connubii III.False Theories. Errors: oWritings, theater, novels, cinematographs: shameful vices: divorce, adultery etc… oPromotion of books with a veneer of science that advocate an emancipation from “old-fashioned and immature opinions” to which is relegated the traditional doctrine of Christian marriage. oDeceits of the enemy. >Extremes of unbridled lust. >Those striving to ride a “middle course” who advocate concessions be made regarding certain precepts of the divine/natural law.
Casti Connubii Denial of Divine Institution. oLies at the source of the evils attacking Marriage. oAdvocates of the idea that marriage is not divinely instituted promote the following ideas: -Laws, institutions, customs by which marriage is governed are man-made and thus changeable. -Marriage was merely a means to produce new life and of gratifying a vehement impulse. -The idea of permanence and procreation in marriage may have been used from time to time throughout history, to safeguard spouses or encourage offspring, however, these elements are not deemed to be absolutely necessary – solely an invention of human intellect and established by the will. -“Temporary” or “experimental” unions promoted.
Casti Connubii IV.Vices Opposed to Christian Marriage. Contraception: frustrating the marriage act to avoid children. >Weary of children. >Wish to gratify sexual desires w/o burden. >Difficulties associated with children re: the mother or family circumstances. *In the modern day, parents often see children either as a burden or something to be idolized (their own self-worth is wrapped up in their child[ren], e.g., sports, education etc…).
Casti Connubii Contraception. But no reason, however grave, may be put forward by which anything intrinsically against nature may become conformable to nature and morally good. Since, therefore, the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children, those who in exercising it deliberately frustrate its natural power and purpose sin against nature and commit a deed which is shameful and intrinsically vicious. (CC 54). oSome Christian churches depart from the uninterrupted Christian tradition on contraception at this time. -Anglicans - Lambeth Conference 1930.
Casti Connubii Contraception. Pope Pius XI reiterates the Church’s traditional teaching : Any use whatsoever of matrimony exercised in such a way that the act is deliberately frustrated in its natural power to generate life is an offense against the law of God and of nature, and those who indulge in such are branded with the guilt of a grave sin (CC 56).
Casti Connubii Contraception. Directive to Priests: We admonish, therefore, priests who have the care of souls, in virtue of Our supreme authority and in Our solicitude for the salvation of souls, not to allow the faithful entrusted to them to err regarding the most grave law of God; much more, that they keep themselves immune from such false opinions, in no way conniving in them. If any confessor or pastor of souls, which may God forbid, lead the faithful entrusted to them into these errors or should at least confirm them by approval or by guilty silence, let him be mindful of the fact that he must render a strict account to God, the Supreme Judge, for the betrayal of his sacred trust, and let him take to himself the words of Christ: “They are blind and leaders of the blind: and if the blind lead the blind, both fall into the pit” [Mt.15:14] (CC 57).
Casti Connubii Contraception. Holy Church knows well that not infrequently one of the parties is sinned against rather than sinning, when for a grave cause he or she reluctantly allows the perversion of the right order. In such a case, there is no sin, provided that, mindful of the law of charity, he or she does not neglect to seek to dissuade and to deter the partner from sin. Nor are those considered as acting against nature who in the married state use their right in the proper manner although on account of natural reasons either of time or of certain defects, new life cannot be brought forth. For in matrimony as well as in the use of the matrimonial rights there are also secondary ends, such as mutual aid, the cultivating of mutual love, and the quieting of concupiscence which husband and wife are not forbidden to consider so long as they are subordinated to the primary end and so long as the intrinsic nature of the act is preserved (CC 59).
Casti Connubii Contraception. oThe Holy Father acknowledges the difficulties and sufferings experienced by couples in the rearing of their children. o“God does not ask the impossible…do what you are able to pray for what you are not able that He may help you.” -Counters the Jansenist heresy which believed that some commands of God were impossible of fulfillment even by the just who wished to follow God completely. oIn the end, the Holy Father reiterated moral precept that one cannot do an evil to achieve a good. “There are no possible circumstances in which husband and wife cannot, strengthened by the grace of God, fulfill faithfully their duties” (CC 61).
Casti Connubii Other Actions Against Offspring: Abortion. oTaking the life of the offspring hidden in the mother’s womb. -Very grave crime no matter what reasons given. -The life of mother and the life of the child are equally sacred. -It is never morally permissible to take innocent human life. -Some physicians (and many others) seek to encompass the death of unborn innocents through misguided pity.
Casti Connubii Other Actions Against Offspring: Sterilization. oSought as a means to avoid pregnancy – abortion believed to be available if this (or other contraceptives) fails. -See: Janet Smith “The Connection between Contraception and Abortion” in re: Planned Parenthood v. Casey. oSpouses who “are party to such practices…are not spouses at all; and if from the first they have carried on thus they have come together not for honest wedlock, but for impure gratification; if both are not party to these deeds, I make bold to say that either the one makes herself a mistress of the husband, or the other simply the paramour of his wife.”
Casti Connubii Other Actions Against Offspring. Sterilization: Eugenics. oSeeking means to produce strong, healthy children is not contrary to right reason; however, putting the aims of eugenics before the aims of a “higher order” is morally problematic. -Public authority wishes to prevent those who would, through heredity, likely produce defective children from having such children. -Possibly through legislation. -Private individuals have no right to do this either. o“Those who act in this way are at fault of losing sight of the fact that the family is more sacred than the State and that men are begotten not for the earth...but heaven (CC 69).”
Casti Connubii Every sin committed as regards the offspring becomes in some way a sin against conjugal faith, since both these blessings are essentially connected (CC 72). -Move to specific focus on sins against conjugal faith. Errors Concerning Conjugal Faith. Adultery. oDesire to countenance modern ideas/moralities which advocate third parties in marital relationships. oGreater freedom in feeling and action promoted. oBelief that a monogamous marriage cannot satisfy a person throughout his/her life. oTraditional beliefs are considered obsolete or too narrow.
Casti Connubii Emancipation of Woman. Three-fold liberation of women from a perceived inequality of the sexes: 1)Physiological – freedom from duties/burdens of being a wife and mother. 2)Social – freedom to engage in business activities and public affairs. 3)Economic – freedom over and above or even against the wishes of her husband to involve herself in her own affairs.
Casti Connubii Emancipation of Woman. oA false emancipation. -Exaltation of self to the detriment of the family. -Opposed to the Christian ideal of the complete giving of love. oDebasement of womanly character and motherhood. -Husband loses a wife. -Children lose a mother. -An essential element of care and watchfulness over the family is lost. >Woman is the heart. -Eventual reduction to slavery: she becomes a mere instrument of man.
Casti Connubii Emancipation of Woman. This equality of rights which is so much exaggerated and distorted, must indeed be recognized in those rights which belong to the dignity of the human soul and which are proper to the marriage contract and inseparably bound up with wedlock. In such things undoubtedly both parties enjoy the same rights and are bound by the same obligations; in other things there must be a certain inequality and due accommodation, which is demanded by the good of the family and the right ordering and unity and stability of home life (CC 76).
Casti Connubii Emancipation of Woman. In accord with social and economic conditions, public authority may adjust the rights of married women to the needs and requirements of the time. Provided that the following considerations are taken into account: oThe essential order of the family remains intact. oProper concern for the needs and dignity of women. oGood morality. oThe welfare of the family. oThe unchangeable authority and wisdom of God.
Casti Connubii Initial Comments on Divorce. Errors of Modern Society: 1.Based on compatibility as opposed to true and solid love. -The basis of marital and conjugal happiness is reduced to a certain “vague compatibility of temperament” called sympathy. -When the feeling “sympathy” is gone, the marriage ceases.
Casti Connubii Initial Comments on Divorce. Errors of Modern Society: 2.Denial of the sacramentality of marriage. -Marriage belongs entirely to the profane and civil sphere. Civil marriage should stand for the marriage contract. >Religious acts are merely an addition or a concession to the superstitions of people. >No reproach for mixed marriage. -Marriage should be freed from any indissoluble bond. >Complete divorce should be sanctioned by law.
Casti Connubii This religious character of marriage, its sublime signification of grace and the union between Christ and the Church, evidently requires that those about to marry should show a holy reverence towards it, and zealously endeavor to make their marriage approach as nearly as possible to the archetype of Christ and the Church (CC 81). Mixed Marriage. oCanon Law (1917 Code) forbids marriage b/t a Catholic and members of schismatic or heretical sects. oDanger of the Catholic party falling away from the faith. oForbidden by the divine law (CCL 1060). oDispensations are possible when dangers are avoided. oUnlikely that the Catholic party will not suffer some detriment from this type of marriage.
Casti Connubii Legalized Divorce. oNeo-Paganism re: marriage – taken out of its true context. - Call for “new” and “humane” legislation that attacks the indissolubility of the marriage bond and the recognition of divorce. -Three reasons advocating divorce legislation: 1.The innocent party should be able to separate from the guilty party. >Even against the guilty person’s will. 2.The good of the children demands it. >Deprived of a proper education. >Adversely affected by marital discord. 3.The common good of society demands it.
Casti Connubii Taken purely from a standpoint of human intellectual ability, these are not completely unreasonable demands.
Casti Connubii Legalized Divorce. It is believed by many in modern society that the reasons given for divorce are conclusive and proof of the necessity of allowing divorce. Marriage is considered a private contract, and like other contracts should be left to the decisions of both parties to dissolve it if deemed necessary.
Casti Connubii Despite the reasonableness of a secularly based understanding, however, the promotion of divorce is ultimately flawed and detrimental to the sanctity of marriage and the dignity men and women.
Casti Connubii The Law of God. oConfirmed by Christ, divorce is forbidden; no secular power can loose the bond that is indissoluble. -Even in the case of adultery. -Separation can be allowed for a just cause – this does not sever the bond of a valid marriage.
Casti Connubii Evils of Divorce. oWhere the marriage bond remains intact, marriages are contracted with a sense of safety and security; an atmosphere where divorce is easily obtained, insecurity and anxiety is present. oEvils of divorce: 1.Strength of goodwill and cooperation among spouses is weakened. 2.Infidelity is more easily accepted. 3.Obstacles to the birth, rearing, education of children. 4.Seeds of jealousy, quarrels are sown. 5.The dignity of women and their position in civil and domestic society is attacked – slaves of men’s lust.
Casti Connubii Evils of Divorce. Leo XIII …the destruction of family life…is brought about more by the corruption of morals than by anything else…once divorce has been allowed, there will be no sufficient means for keeping it in check with any definite bounds. Great is the force of example, greater still that of lust; and with such incitements it cannot but happen that divorce and its consequent setting loose of the passions should spread daily and attack the souls of many…(Arcanum Divinae Sapientiae, 1880).
Casti Connubii V.Remedies. Getting Back to the Divinely Ordered Plan. Whatever things have deviated from their right order, cannot be brought back to that original state which is in harmony with their nature except by a return to the divine plan (CC 94). -When you are at the brink of the precipice, the most progressive direction is to back away from the chasm – Peter Kreeft.
Casti Connubii Getting Back to the Divinely Ordered Plan. oThe chief obstacle to acknowledging and accepting the divine plan of God is unbridled lust. …man cannot hold in check his passions, unless he first subject himself to God, this must be his primary endeavor, in accordance with the plan divinely ordained. For it is a sacred ordinance that who ever shall have first subjected himself to God will, by the aid of divine grace, be glad to subject to himself his own passions and concupiscence; while he who is a rebel against God will, to his sorrow, experience within himself the violent rebellion of his worst passions (CC 97).
Casti Connubii Getting Back to the Divinely Ordered Plan. Self Mastery. oWe are to master our passions (with the grace of the Holy Spirit) not be mastered by them. In essence, we are often slaves of our passions. The reality of self-mastery is mentioned as well by Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II. Surrender/Subjection of Self to God oFirst Commandment. -God is God, there is no other. oFirst Beatitude. -Acknowledgment of our true place before God. -Humble compliance and reverence for our Maker.
Casti Connubii Getting Back to the Divinely Ordered Plan And how wisely this has been decreed St. Augustine thus shows: “This indeed is fitting, that the lower be subject to the higher, so that he who would have subject to himself whatever is below him, should himself submit to whatever is above him. Acknowledge order, seek peace. Be thou subject to God, and thy flesh subject to thee. What more fitting! What more fair! Thou art subject to the higher and the lower is subject to thee. Do thou serve Him who made thee, so that which was made for thee may serve thee. For we do not commend this order, namely, ‘The flesh to thee and thou to God, but Thou to God, and the flesh to thee.’ If, however, thou despisest the subjection of thyself to God, thou shalt never bring about the subjection of the flesh to thyself. If thou dost not obey the Lord, thou shalt be tormented by thy servant” (CC 98).
Casti Connubii Getting Back to the Divinely Ordered Plan. oIt is a great mistake and an underestimation of the problem to think that an understanding of the modern sciences, e.g., biology, psychology, studies in heredity, etc… can curb the carnal desires of human beings. -The saints consistently tell human beings to flee from sexual temptation because it is overpowering. …we must all the more pay attention to those things, which appertain to marriage where the inordinate desire for pleasure can attack frail human nature and easily deceive it and lead it astray; this is all the more true of the observance of the divine law, which demands sometimes hard and repeated sacrifices…(CC 102).
Casti Connubii Remedies. Ask for divine assistance. oFrequent the sacraments. oIncrease devotion and submission to God. Obedience to the teaching of the Church. oNot only solemn pronouncements, but also decrees of the Ordinary Magisterium. Complete instruction for marriage. oThe faithful should be well instructed (words and written materials – using plain and strong argumentation). Remote and proximate preparation for marriage starts in the home with the promotion of chastity.
Casti Connubii Remedies. Choose a partner who will be “a great help in leading a Christian life,” not one who will be “a great danger and hindrance” (CC 115). oAsk for the prudent advice of parents. The State has an obligation to do provide the system that allows families to prosper. oLiving (family) wage. oPrinciple of subsidiarity. The State also has an obligation to enact laws that protect chastity. Religious authority plays an important role in enlightening the minds of people to the Truth. In this sense, Church and State work together. Laws of the State are in accord with morals.