CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn

The uniqueness of the marriage bond

  • July 2, 2015

“Marriage is not just any relationship between human beings,” wrote the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. “It was established by the Creator with its own nature, essential properties and purpose. No ideology can erase from the human spirit the certainty that marriage exists solely between a man and a woman, who by mutual personal gift, proper and exclusive to themselves, tend toward the communion of their persons. In this way, they mutually perfect each other, in order to co-operate with God in the procreation and upbringing of new human lives.”

This is from a document called “Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions of Homosexual Persons.” St. John Paul II, then pope, ordered its publication in 2003. It was signed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and Archbishop Angelo Amato. You can find it online, along with other important documents about marriage, including Casti Connubii (1930), Humanae Vitae (1968), Familiaris Consortio (1981) and Mulieris Dignitatem (1988). These are not as easy to read as, say, the detective novel on your bedside table, but they are well worth the effort, and Wikipedia offers helpful summaries.

I bring these documents to general attention because over the last weekend in June, which began with the American Supreme Court imposing a new definition of marriage on the United States, I was astonished to see Catholic friends and acquaintances veiling their Facebook profile photographs with rainbow flags.

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