Family, Marriage and "De Facto" Unions


NOTES

1 SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL, Constitution Gaudium et spes, No. 47. [Back]

2 SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL, Constitution Lumen Gentium, No. 11; Decree Apostolicam Actuositatem, No. 11. [Back]

3 Catechism of the Catholic Church, Nos. 2331-2400, 2514-2533; Cf. PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR THE FAMILY, Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality, December 8, 1995. [Back]

4 JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris consortio, No. 80. [Back]

5 The humanizing and pastoral activity of the Church, in her preferential choice for the poor, has generally been directed in these countries at "regularizing" these unions through the celebration of marriage (or through validation or healing, according to the cases) in the ecclesial position of a commitment to the sanctification of Christian homes. [Back]

6 Different constructionist theories today hold different conceptions about the way in which society in their opinion ought to change by adapting itself to the different "genders" (think, for example, of education, health, etc.). Some support three genders, others five, others seven, others a different number, according to different considerations. [Back]

7 Both Marxism and structuralism have contributed to a different extent to the consolidation of this ideology of "gender" which has undergone various influences, such as the "sexual revolution", with postulates such as those put forth by W. Reich (1897-1957) regarding the call to a "liberation" from all sexual discipline, or Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979) and his invitation to experience all kinds of sexual situations (in the sense of a sexual polymorphism or indifferently "heterosexual" orientation - i.e., the natural sexual orientation or homosexual), detached from the family and from any natural end of differentiation between the sexes, as well as from any obstacle derived from procreational responsibility. A certain radical and extreme feminism, represented by the contributions of Margaret Sanger (1879-1966) and Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986), cannot be put on the margin of this historical process of consolidation of an ideology. In this way, "heterosexuality" and monogamy no longer seem to beconsidered anything but one of the possible cases of sexual practice. [Back]

8 This position has unhappily had a favorable reception in a good number of important international institutions, with the resulting damage to the very concept of family whose foundation is and must be marriage. Among these institutions, some organisms of the United Nations recently seem to support some of these theories, thereby avoiding the authentic meaning of article 16 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights which indicates the family as "a natural and fundamental element of society". Cf. PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR THE FAMILY, The Family and Human Rights, 1999, No. 16. [Back]

9 Cf. ARISTOTLE, Politica I, 9-10 (Bk 1253a). [Back]

10 Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2207. [Back]

11 Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris consortio, No. 18. [Back]

12 JOHN PAUL II, Allocution during the General Audience of December 1, 1999. [Back]

13 SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL, Constitution Gaudium et spes, No. 47. [Back]

14 "... beyond different schools of thought, there exists a body of knowledge which may be judged a kind of spiritual heritage of humanity. It is as if we had come upon an implicit philosophy, as a result of which all feel that they possess these principles, albeit in a general and unreflective way. Precisely because it is shared in some measure by all, this knowledge should serve as a kind of reference-point for the different philosophical schools. Once reason successfully intuits and formulates the first universal principles of being and correctly draws from them conclusions which are coherent both logically and ethically, then it may be called right reason or, as the ancients called it, orth(o-)s logos, recta ratio". JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical Fides et ratio, No. 4. [Back]

15 Cf. SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL, Constitution Dei Verbum, No. 10. [Back]

16 "The preaching of Christ crucified and risen is the reef upon which the link between faith and philosophy can break up, but it is also the reef beyond which the two can set forth upon the boundless ocean of truth. Here we see not only the border between reason and faith, but also the space where the two may meet". JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical Fides et ratio, No. 23. "The Gospel of life is not for believers alone: it is for everyone. The issue of life and its defense and promotion is not a concern of Christians alone". JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical Evangelium vitae, No. 101. [Back]

17 JOHN PAUL II, Allocution to the Forum of Catholic Associations of Italy, June 27, 1998. [Back]

18 PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR THE FAMILY, Statement on the Resolution by the European Parliament making de facto unions, including same sex unions, equal to the family, March 17, 2000. [Back]

19 ST. AUGUSTINE, De libero arbitrio, I,5,11. [Back]

20 "Social life and its juridical apparatus require an ultimate foundation. If there is no other law than civil law, then we must admit that some value, including those for which men have fought and considered crucial steps in the slow march toward freedom, can be cancelled by a simple majority vote. Those who criticize moral law must close their eyes before this possibility, and when they promote laws that go against the common good in its fundamental requirements they must take all the consequences of their actions into consideration because they can drive the society in a dangerous direction". Card. A. Sodano, Discourse during the Second Meeting of European Politicians and Lawmakers, organized by the Pontifical Council for the Family, Vatican City, October 22-24, 1998. [Back]

21  In Europe, for instance, in the Constitution of Germany: "Marriage and the family have special protection in the State system" (Art. 6); Spain: "The public authorities assure the social, economic and juridical protection of the family" (Art. 39); Ireland: "The State recognizes the family as the primary and fundamental natural group of society and as a moral institution endowed with inalienable and permanent rights that are prior and superior to all positive law. For this reason, the State is committed to protect the constitution and the authority of the family as the necessary foundation of the society and as indispensable for the well-being of the Nation and the State" (Art. 41); Italy: "The Republic recognizes the rights of the family as a natural society based on marriage" (Art. 29); Poland: "Marriage, i.e., the union of a man and a woman, as well as the family, fatherhood and motherhood, must find protection and care in the Republic of Poland" (Art. 18); Portugal: "The family, as the fundamental element of society, is entitled to the protection of society and the State and the attainment of all the conditions that will permit the personal realization of its members" (Art. 67).

Also in Constitutions around the world: Argentina: "...the law will decree ... the integral protection of the family" (Art. 14); Brazil: "The family, the basis of society, is the object of special protection by the State" (Art. 226); Chile: "The family is the fundamental nucleus of society ... It is the State's duty ... to give protection to the people and to the family ..." (Art. 1); People's Republic of China: "The State protects marriage, the family, motherhood and children" (Art. 49); Colombia: "The State recognizes, with no discrimination, the primacy of the inalienable rights of the person and protects the family as the basic institution of society" (Art. 5); South Korea: "Marriage and family life are founded on the basis of individual dignity and equality between the sexes; the State will use all the means at its disposal to attain this end" (Art. 36); The Philippines: "The State recognizes the Filipino family as the foundation of the Nation. In accord with this, it must promote intensely solidarity, its active promotion, and its complete development. Marriage is an inviolable social institution; it is the foundation of the family and must be protected by the State" (Art. 15); Mexico: "... The Law ... will protect the organization and the development of the family" (Art. 4); Peru: "The community and the State ... also protect the family and promote marriage. They recognize them as the natural and fundamental institutions of society" (Art. 4); Rwanda: "The family, as the natural basis of the Rwandan people, will be protected by the State" (Art. 24). [Back]

22 "Every law made by men has reason to be law in that it is derived from natural law. If, on the other hand, something is opposed to natural law, then it is not law but corruption of the law". SAINT THOMAS AQUINAS, Summa Teologica, I-II, q. 95, a.2. [Back]

23 JOHN PAUL II, Discourse to the Second Meeting of European Politicians and Lawmakers, organized by the Pontifical Council for the Family, Vatican City, October 23, 1998. [Back]

24 JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical Centesimus Annus, No. 46. [Back]

25 "As politicians and legislators faithful to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we commit ourselves to promote and defend the rights of the family founded on marriage between a man and a woman. This must be done at all levels: local, regional, national and international. Only in this way can we be true servants of the common good, both in the national and international fields". Conclusions of the Second Meeting of European Politicians and Lawmakers, organized by the Pontifical Council for the Family, Vatican City, October 22-24, 1998. [Back]

26 "The family is the central nucleus of civil society. It certainly has an important economic role, which cannot be overlooked, because it constitutes the greatest human capital, but its mission encompasses many other tasks. It is above all a natural community of life, a communitythat is based on marriage and for this reason it has a cohesiveness that surpasses that of any other social community". Final Declaration of the Third Meeting of Politicians and Lawmakers of America, Buenos Aires, August 3-5, 1999. [Back]

27 Cf. Charter of the Rights of the Family, Preamble. [Back]

28 JOHN PAUL II, Letter to Families Gratissimam sane, No. 6. [Back]

29 Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2333; JOHN PAUL II, Letter to Families Gratissimam sane, No. 8. [Back]

30 SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL, Constitution Gaudium et spes, No. 49. [Back]

31 Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2332; JOHN PAUL II, Discourse to the Tribunal of the Roman Rota, January 21, 1999. [Back]

32 Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Letter to Families Gratissimam sane, No. 7-8. [Back]

33 JOHN PAUL II, Discourse to the Tribunal of the Roman Rota, January 21, 1999. [Back]

34 Ibid. [Back]

35 Ibid. [Back]

36 Ibid. [Back]

37 "Marriage creates the juridical framework that fosters the stability of the family. It makes the renewal of the generations possible. It is not a simple contract or a private matter but rather it constitutes one of the fundamental structures of society which it keeps united in coherence". Statement of the Permanent Council of the French Bishops' Conference, regarding the legislative bill "Civil Pact of Solidarity", September 17, 1998. [Back]

38 JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris consortio, No. 19. [Back]

39 JOHN PAUL II, Discourse to the Tribunal of the Roman Rota, January 2, 1999 [Back]

40 "There is no equivalence between the relationship of two persons of the same sex and the relationship formed by a man and a woman. Only the latter can be described as a couple because it implies sexual difference, the conjugal dimension, the ability to exercise fatherhood and motherhood. Obviously, homosexuality cannot represent this symbolic whole". Statement by the Permanent Council of the French Bishops' Conference regarding the legislative bill "Civil Pact of Solidarity", September 17, 1998. [Back]

41 With regard to the grave, intrinsic moral disorder, contrary to natural law, of homosexual acts, see: Catechism of the Catholic Church, Nos. 2357-2359; CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH, Instruction Persona Humana, December 29, 1975; PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR THE FAMILY, Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality, December 8, 1995, No. 104. [Back]

42 JOHN PAUL II, Discourse to the Participants in the XIV General Assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Family, June 4, 1999; Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Angelus, June 19, 1994. [Back]

43 Cf. PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR THE FAMILY, Statement on the Resolution by the European Parliament making de facto unions, including same sex unions, equal to the family, March 17, 2000 [Back]

44 "It cannot be overlooked that, as some of its promoters acknowledge, this legislation constitutes a first step toward, for example, the adoption of children by persons living in a homosexual relation. We fear for the future as we deplore what has happened". Statement by the Chairman of the French Bishops' Conference after the promulgation of the "Civil Pact of Solidarity", October 13, 1999. [Back]

45 JOHN PAUL II, Angelus, February 20, 1994. [Back]

46 Cf. Note of the Permanent Commission of the Spanish Bishops' Conference (June 24, 1994) on the occasion of the Resolution of the European Parliament of February 8, 1994 on equal rights of homosexuals and lesbians. [Back]

47 JOHN PAUL II, Letter to Families Gratissimam sane, No. 11. [Back]

48 Ibid., No. 14. [Back]

49 Ibid., No. 17. [Back]

50 Charter of the Rights of the Family, Preamble, D. [Back]

51 Ibid., Preamble passim and Art. 6. [Back]

52 Ibid., Preamble B and I. [Back]

53 Ibid., Preamble C and G. [Back]

54 Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Letter to Families Gratissimam sane, No. 9-11. [Back]

55 JOHN PAUL II, Allocution, December 26, 1999. [Back]

56 Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris consortio, No. 21 and Letter to Families Gratissimam sane, No. 13-15. [Back]

57 Charter of the Rights of the Family, Preamble, F; Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris consortio, No. 21. [Back]

58 Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical Evangelium vitae, Nos. 91, 94. [Back]

59 Charter of the Rights of the Family, Preamble, E. [Back]

60 JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical Evangelium vitae, No. 92. [Back]

61 Charter of the Rights of the Family, Preamble, H-I. [Back]

62 Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris consortio, No. 23-24. [Back]

63 Cf. Ibid., No. 25. [Back]

64 Cf. Ibid., Nos. 28-35; Charter of the Rights of the Family, Art. 3. [Back]

65 Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris consortio, No. 20; Charter of the Rights of the Family, Art. 6. [Back]

66 Cf. Charter of the Rights of the Family, Art 2, b and c; Art. 7. [Back]

67 Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris consortio, No. 36-41; Charter of the Rights of the Family, Art. 5; JOHN PAUL II, Letter to Families Gratissimam sane, No. 16. [Back]

68 Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris consortio, 42-48; Charter of the Rights of the Family, Art. 8-12. [Back]

69 Charter of the Rights of the Family, Art. 1, c. [Back]

70 JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical Veritatis Splendor, No. 4. [Back]

71 JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical Evangelium vitae, No. 20; Cf. Ibid., No. 19. [Back]

72 JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris consortio, No. 6; Cf. Letter to Families Gratissimam sane, No. 13. [Back]

73 Cf. COUNCIL OF TRENT, Sessions VII and XXIV. [Back]

74 JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris consortio, No. 68. [Back]

75 Code of Canon Law, Canon 1055, 1; Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1601. [Back]

76 Cf. SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL, Constitution Gaudium et spes, No. 48-49. [Back]

77 Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Discourse to the Roman Rota, January 21, 2000. [Back]

78 SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL, Constitution Gaudium et spes, No. 48. [Back]

79 Ibid. [Back]

80 Cf. Code of Canon Law and Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, 1983 and 1990 respectively. [Back]

81 Cf. SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL, Constitution Gaudium et spes, No. 49. [Back]

82 Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris consortio, No. 68. [Back]

83 Cf. Ibid., No. 81. [Back]

84 JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical Veritatis Splendor, No. 93. [Back]

85 Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Allocution during the General Audience of September 5, 1979. With this Allocution, the Cycle of catechesis began known as the "Catechesis on Human Love". [Back]

86 "Christ does not accept the discussion on the level which his speakers try to introduce it; in a certain sense, he does not approve the dimension they try to give to the problem. He avoids becoming involved in juridical-legal controversies and instead makes reference twice to the beginning'". Ibid. [Back]

87 "It must certainly be admitted that man always exists in a particular culture, but it must also be admitted that man is not exhaustively defined by that same culture. Moreover, the very progress of cultures demonstrates that there is something in man which transcends those cultures. This 'something' is precisely human nature: this nature is itself the measure of culture and the condition ensuring that man does not become the prisoner of any of his cultures, but asserts his personal dignity by living in accordance with the profound truth of his being". JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical Veritatis Splendor, No. 53. [Back]

88 Natural law "is none other than the light of the intelligence instilled in us by God. Thanks to this, we know what must be done and what must be avoided. God has given this light and this law in Creation". SAINT THOMAS AQUINAS, Summa Theologica, I-II, q. 93, a. 3, ad 2um. Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical Veritatis Splendor, No. 35-53. [Back]

89 Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical Veritatis Splendor, No. 62-64. [Back]

90 Through the grace of marriage, the spouses "help one another to attain holiness in their married life and in welcoming and educating their children". SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL, Lumen Gentium, No. 11. Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, Nos. 1641-1642. [Back]

91 JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris consortio, No. 81. [Back]

92 Ibid. [Back]

93 Cf. above Nos. 4-8. [Back]

94 Ibid. [Back]

95 JOHN PAUL II, Letter to Families Gratissimam sane, No. 20. [Back]

96 JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris consortio, No. 55. [Back]

97 Cf. Ibid., No. 66. [Back]

98 PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR THE FAMILY, Preparation for the Sacrament of Marriage, 1996, No. 1. [Back]

99 JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical Fides et ratio, No. 97. [Back]

100 Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical Evangelium vitae, No. 73. [Back]

101 PAUL VI, Encyclical Humanae vitae, No. 29. [Back]

102 Ibid. [Back]

1, 2, 3, 4,