Saturday, July 11, 2015

de Mattei's Lecture

I was sorry that I missed Roberto de Mattei's Lecture last night, it was sponsored by the LMS, and was a memorial lecture to honour Michael Davies and the title was 'From the Second Vatican Council to the Synod: The Teaching of Michael Davies'.

Fortunately Rorate have put it online, it is worth making the effort to read.
If you need persuasion, here is just one little section to whet your appetite:
Reading M. Davies’ work can help us understand the present crisis. We are now faced with a Synod of Bishops on the Family that seems to be questioning the indissolubility of marriage and opening the door to homosexual couples.  If Michael Davies were alive, he would perhaps see its origins in the abandonment of the original schema on Marriage and the Family at Vatican II, substituted by a few ambiguous passages in Gaudium et Spes.  M. Davies individuated immediately the dangers lurking in GS on the inversion of the ends of marriage. Indeed, by placing procreation after conjugal love, all of Catholic morality was altered.  Davies reports the Master General of the Dominicans, Cardinal Browne’s warning   – during a conciliar session –  he rose to his feet and said in a loud voice: “Caveatis, caveatis! If we accept this definition we are going against the whole tradition of the Church and we shall pervert the whole meaning of marriage”41. 
      If the first end of marriage is not procreation, it has its highest expression in conjugal love - but the love of the spouses comes from an act of the will and an act of the will can decree its end. If morality is not rooted in nature, but in the person, the relationship of the couple prevails over the objective good of the family.  And if the primacy of inter-personal relations is established, this principle is condemned to extend to extra-marital relations and then, from heterosexual to homosexual relations. 
     According to M. Davies, the eternal enmity between the Augustinian City of God and the City of Man, appears to be extinct in GS. “While there are statements in GS which insist that the heavenly kingdom is still the primary goal of the Church, it is beyond dispute that the document displays a pervasive and obsessive preoccupation with the earthly Kingdom. If the amount of print devoted to the former and the latter is compared, the contrast is both startling and depressing. It is replete with the spirit of Integral Humanism and Sillonism”


Dominie Mary Stemp said...

I believe M Davies is a saint. He was one of the few voices to sound the alarm over this (excuse my language) disgraceful disingenuous Vat 2 council. All his prophecies are coming true. I understand he agreed with another saint IMO, Abp Legebvre.

Fr Ray Blake said...

And also Cardinals Ratzinger, Brandmueller, Estevez etc

Frederick Jones said...

The lecturer however either ignores or overlooks Newman's testimony that Vatican I was an unnecessary Council foisted upon the faithful by Manning and the Ultramontanists. I wonder if what Newman said then could not be applied to much of Vatican II. "Why should an aggressive insolent faction be allowed to 'make the heart of the just to mourn whom the Lord hath not made sorrowful'"?

The Bones said...

Just a thought but would it not be Catholic to say the primary end of marriage, like all Sacraments, is Salvation, since children are a gift from God that God gives, a gift that God may withhold. God may withhold the gift of children to even those who ask for them in a marriage, but He will never withhold hIs grace to those who ask. Within marriage, man and woman find Salvation because of the grace of this Sacrament. Once we have established that marriage is Gods means to save man and woman by means of supernatural grace we can say that the primary end of sex in marriage is procreation. We cannot really say that marriage is all about sex and procreation, because the Holy Family contradict such a view entirely. The marriage of the Virgin and St Joseph is entirely 'God-ordered', everything ordered towards God and it doesn't even involve sexual intercourse. Of course, it is by means of marriage that God blesses the continuance of the human race and marriage is the place for children, but some will never have children. There may be some, indeed, who never engage in sexual relations at all. It sounds strange but I am sure it does happen.

Michael Petek said...

How can Abp. Lefebvre be a saint if he died out of communion with the Church?

The Bones said...

And I might add that, just as the language of procreation being the primary end of sexual intimacy in marriage is unlikely to be at the fore of those orchestrating the synod, so it is also unlikely that those same orchestrators will be producing documents placing Salvation at the heart of the debates. Barring a miracle, of course, which Pope Francis has been asking us to pray for earnestly.

Woody said...

To the point of the status of Archbishop Lefebvre, I believe that the current interpretation of the 1983 Code of Canon Law is that excommunication is a medicinal remedy, and while excluding the person from the sacraments (which, as you will recall, Saint John Paul was willing to extend to the Archbishop on his deathbed if he only made some indication of sorrow) does not mean that the person is outside the Church.

Jacobi said...

It is clear now, some fifty years after Vatican II, that the The Catholic Church is in grave crisis.

One further fact is that Michael Davies, a lay Catholic, so carefully side-lined by the Catholic Establishment for decades, is emerging as one of the significant, perhaps eminent, lay thinkers in the Church over recent centuries.

I have only glanced through de Mattei's article, will read later, but I have over the past few years some acquaintance with Michael Davies writings, and indeed recently, given the shambles in the Church at present, have started to read him again.

It is time the right person took up his writings and ideas seriously again and ensured they were appropriately applied to the Universal Church. We are in desperate need of such clear thinking. They just, might, save us from heretical schism and the decades, possibly centuries, of confusion and decay that will follow this coming Synod.

Jacobi said...


and Father,

This may be off-topic, but I have recently collected a bit of stick for challenging the near adulation accorded to Newman and his use of language, (accused of the 8th Commandment, nearly retaliated with the 1st ), in UK by some Catholics of the English sub-tribe, of which I assume you, Independent, are one?

I mean " Newman's testimony"!

I rest my case, as they say on the Telly.

On the side of the angels said...

Sadly this is one of the very rare occasions where Michael Davies got the apologetic of marriage wrong by adopting the opposite of the false 'new vision' but keeping within the same false marriage paradigm -Loz above gets closest but the problem arises through misinterpretation of the formal cause of marriage (loving union) - sacramental Grace in its own sake for reaching Heaven - and the second perfection in its final cause - physical and spiritual complementarity manifest in lovemaking open to God's life -giving Grace through children - an infertile menopausal or continent Josephite marriage fulfils the purpose or first perfection or formal cause of marriage- the Holy Family were truly marred! ThThey are both valid forms of marriage and the normative procreative form is NOT to be seen as mandatory or obligatory or the sole criterion for fulfilling marital vows - both the modern Church and Mr Davies are confusing the formal and final causes of marriage and their corresponding perfections - yes MD is doing such for the highest of motivations but he's still mistaken about Church teaching on marriage ref ST 2,29,3

JARay said...

Many, many years ago I went on an RAF "Moral Leadership" course. It was held at Rainhill just outside Liverpool and run by the Jesuits. The subject of marriage came up and we were all told that the primary purpose of marriage was for each to help the other get to heaven. I have always remembered that and I think now, as I did then, that this statement has it right. Some couples cannot have children but all couples can, and should, help each other to heaven.

B flat said...

Within the excerpt you give us of Prof. de Mattei's lecture last Friday, is stressed a crucial point:
If the first end of marriage is not procreation, it has its highest expression in conjugal love - but the love of the spouses comes from an act of the will and an act of the will can decree its end. If morality is not rooted in nature, but in the person, the relationship of the couple prevails over the objective good of the family.

I am not sure what this means, nor that I believe it.
Certainly, Bones has pointed out that Salvation may be seen as the primary end of Marriage, as it is of every Sacrament. Marriage is neither sporadic nor temporary within the couples' life; it is not simply a leisure occupation outside the hours of work, for instance.
It is a state of being, which we freely choose by an act of will, and certainly has become the key to the salvation of the spouses - even to the point of being the means of sanctification of one who is unbelieving, because of the believing spouse. (cf 1 Cor 7:14)
The act of will, expressed in conjugal love, is attributed to the person. Viewing this as the primary aim of marriage, is seen as separating the moral basis of marriage from our nature, and placing it upon the person. I am not entirely sure whose view is being expressed in de Mattei's lecture, whether it is a continuation of Cardinal Browne's intervention on the subject of marriage at the Council, or an elaboration being made by the lecturer himself on the subject of marriage. It seems rather to be de Mattei's, and I don't know if I have misunderstood him.

Yat is the correlation of will to person so simple as we see it here expressed, and is that our only perspective on human choice? Is the dichotomy of person and nature in this question of marriage correct?
Christ reveals the Truth to us, not only by His teaching but in Himself. He is our model in every human question. He is a single person, uniting in Himself two natures, and TWO wills because the will subsists in the nature not in the person.

Our consistent choice, whatever our state of life, must be to align and agree our own human will, to the Divine will.This we pray in the Our Father. On this our salvation, and that of our spouse and children if we have them, depends.

Savonarola said...

How can procreation be the first end of marriage when many married couples never have children? Are they any less married because of that? Clearly not. So procreation cannot be the first end of marriage. The only reason why some continue to think it is is that we are still in thrall to the disastrous inheritance of Augustinian original sin, a term which does not figure at all in the New Testament. Traditional Catholicism has got a long way to go before it recovers authentic Christianity. The project to do so, set in train by Vatican II, has sadly been put on hold, but cannot - thank God - ultimately be reversed.

Frederick Jones said...

Jacobi, I admire Newman, and Pope Benedict,and indeed Fr Blake , but unlike such champions of orthodoxy as Kung, Beattie, etc I am not of your communion. My difficulties are in respect of Vatican I and I am unable to do the mental acrobatics which seem to be necessary and which Newman foresaw in the letter I quoted. It is notable that at that Council some of the best speeches against the particular definition of Papal Infallibility came from historians.

Gatepost productions said...

There seems a great deal of confusion over the Sacrament of Matrimony. It has been raised to an academic level at which it has been defined, redefined, manipulated and latterly corrupted; even in here, argued about.

It's primary purpose is seen by many as procreation, yet the period in which this option is available to the couple is quite a short one and there is an awful lot of marriage left to run thereafter.

As we approach our 60th Anniversary, our children are now grandparents, our great-grandchildren increase in number at frequent intervals. It seemed to us that we married and did our best to make the family the centre of our life. The most 'academic' line of advise we got from the Church was, "The family that prays together, stays together" ... Simple but sound.

The biggest threat to Church and State, has come from the relaxation of the divorce laws in the 1960s, legalisation of abortion, a benefit system that allowed single parents to operate outside of marriage and finally and paradoxically ... same-sex marriage. At each point, the State devalued the morality of the nation and each time the Church sought to make changes to fit into a new modernity it too devalued the Faith and Marriage.

I could go but feel I am on the point of ranting!

Nicolas Bellord said...

B flat: I was at the lecture but I have not yet had time to read it. I got the impression that he was talking about whether you followed your own morality as a person or whether you followed morality as found in nature - natural law.

Fr Ray Blake said...

"How can procreation be the first end of marriage"

On a purely natural level it is. On a natural level a man and woman form a bond to breed and safeguard their offspring, without it there are no more human beings or safe envvironment in which they grow to maturity.

Rita said...

The Supernatural end of Marriage is of greater importance. The seven Sacraments all have the same Supernatural end; namely to "bring forth Christ". Marriage is no different from the other Sacraments. As OTSOTA points out, the Josephite marriage is no less valid than a consumated marriage.

I personally think that procreation is being pushed centre stage as people are terrified of "gay marriage". The argument being: surely homosexuals can live valid "Josephite" marriages too. I've heard this argument many times, but it is a fallacy. Homosexuals are under a prohibition from performing sexual acts with each other. In true marriage, the man and woman freely consent to sexual relations or celibacy.... and the only way to do that is to be chaste from the start and with the heart.

Michael Petek said...

No, Rita, marriage is different from the other sacraments.

Marriage is a natural institution which existed before Christ raised it to the dignity of a sacrament between the baptised. Pope St John Paul II declared that, for matrimonial consent to exist for a sacramental marriage, it is sufficient that the natural ends of marriage be intended.

The procreation and education of children is the primary end of marriage such that, without it, it would not be an object of public interest inasmuch as a nation needs to procreate in order to survive.

The reason why Jesus raised Christian marriage to the level of a sacrament is that a baptised man and his wife consummate their marriage as members of His Body. Jesus participates as Man in the majesty of God expressed in the giving of human life, just as He particpates as Man in its taking expressed in His royal mandate for holy war against Amalek.

What about "Josephite" marriages?

Joseph and Mary were validly married (at betrothal) and thus intended to consummate their union, though Mary's consent was conditional on the dispensation of her vow of virginity by her father or husband according to the Law of Moses.

Once the Holy Spirit had touched Mary's flesh to cause her to conceive, Joseph could consummate his marriage only in peril of his life, while any child of his - contracting original sin - would instantly have perished in Mary's sanctified womb.

Thw worst thing you could do to God's dwelling place in those days was to leave a corpse in it.

Jacobi said...


Thanks for giving me the opportunity to come back on this. I too admire Newman. A great Catholic, a great thinker. I was actually in the Newman Society for some time. It's just that his use of language, has in a way I am sure he did not intend, led to difficulties. But then there are many in that position. He and St Pius X are no doubt among the many turning in their graves today, not to mention whatever you do in Heaven when you look down, at the unintended consequences their words may have brought about.

Paul Luke said...

For the sake of clarity I will quote from Code of Canon Law, 1917, prior to Vatican II...

1012.1. Christ the Lord raised the marriage contract itself to the rank of a sacrament among the baptised.

1013.1. The primary end of marriage is the procreation and education of offspring: the second is mutual assistance and the remedying of lust.
2. The essential properties of marriage are unity and indissolubility....

We cannot change what the Church traditionally taught, as some people are doing here. Its a familiar Protestant approach of calling this teaching 'Augustinian' or 'Thomist' when discussing professed Church teaching, as the Church takes from Her Theologians those teachings which best express Her Teachings. In other words, we cannot separate out what St. Augustine said from its magisterial context then suddenly think this gives us the right to have an open debate about it because this is really just arguing against Church teaching which might, in fact, be what the motive always was (modernism at play) - hence some go on to bring in their real agenda, the acceptance of homosexual marriage - although note that two men (or women) are incapable of providing the 'matter' for the purpose of true marriage, so the word 'marriage'in the context of Homosexual relationships is a misnomer. I favour one priest asking us to calling Catholic Marriage 'Holy Matrimony' which then protects the true definition, and leaves alleged Homosexual marriage stranded on sand, waiting to be washed away by time and truth.

Rita said...


No, the primary end of marriage is Christ, becuase He is the beginning and end of all things. There is ultimately only ONE marriage; Christ to His Bride, and everything is suburdinate to that.

Respectfully, your view of marriage is far too utilitarian and does nothing to explain the many supernatural graces that flow through those marriages (that the church has approved of) that have remained celibate. These types of marriage will always be a minority, the desire for children will be far more common, there will be no shortage of little ones in Christ, through accepting the right of Josephite marriages to exist.

Unknown said...

Primary end of marriage may be better served by our priests were visiting the flock to support their flock.

For some Priests, those days are gone because the world's changed so much. But personal contact with people outside Sundays is vital.

We always will forgive your bad sermons, but we'll never forgive you if you don't visit us.

Gregkanga said...

Marriage and indeed all the sacraments have their foundation in the Mystery of the Holy Trinity, so too does the Church as the sacrament of salvation in the world. The sacrament of Marriage and indeed all vocations in their essential dimension derive their meaning, purpose and fulfilment in the Church. Hence theologically, the deepest meaning of the sacrament of marriage is revealed and expressed when it is viewed in relation to the Holy Trinity, the source of all holiness.

Our Lady of Good Success-pray for us. said...

Savonarola said: "Traditional Catholicism has got a long way to go before it recovers authentic Christianity. The project to do so, set in train by Vatican II, has sadly been put on hold, but cannot - thank God - ultimately be reversed."

This statement is so perfectly Protestant, that Oscar Cullmann must be dusting off his hands from the otherside with a, 'my work is done here'.

RJ said...

I would suggest: On the supernatural plane, the primary end of marriage is the sanctification of the couple; on the natural level it is the procreation and education of children. The procreation and education of children, being proper to marriage, contribute to the sanctification of the couple.
Not all marriages result in children but even childless marriages belong to the type of institution (sorry, can't think of a better word) suitable for the procreation and education of children, and they are therefore true marriages.
Gaudium et Spes does not elevate some secondary end of marriage above its primary purpose, but it can be twisted that way.

Savonarola said...

Viterbo, so far as I know Oscar Cullman was a theologian who worked for a rapprochement between Catholicism and his own Lutheran tradition, not the replacement of one by the other, so what you are trying to say I am not sure.
I suppose it is always easier just to bandy insults than address substantive issues.

On the side of the angels said...

Look I'm sorry but this sort of thing has to stop - we are NOT protestants and can't merely go around best-guessing or presuming - or worse countering/disagreeing with 'what we think' the catechism or the canons or the councils or the encyclicals say:
The formal cause [ie purpose] = what marriage IS = Loving Spiritual/Physical Union
The final cause [ie end/aim/target] = what marriage IS FOR = 1st End [procreation] &/or 2nd end [mutual edification and calling to sanctity]
The efficient cause = how marriage is lived = spiritual & physical union with potential [for the non-Josephite [permanenet or temporary]] for lovemaking with potential [for the fertile] to receive God's life-giving procreative grace.
EVERY marriage emulates the Most Holy & Undivided Trinity in being multiple persons sharing in a single [and optimally sacramental] nature.
...and the ultimate final end of everything is always Christ.
To the next person who says: "well I think..."
"Stop it! We're not God and we're not the Magisterium! The revelation and teaching is already there - we're called to live it - not speculatively ponder and conjecture about it"

Vincent said...

I'm astonished that there's any argument about this...

It is the teaching of Holy Mother Church that marriage, in its intrinsic nature, is ordered to the procreation of children: "In them, it finds its crowning glory." That doesn't give much room for manoeuvre... Especially given that non-consummation of marriage is grounds for annulment.

That is not to say that all marriages are going to produce children, but there is a tendency in this world to see children as a right for married couples. (And this is not just a modern problem - Henry VIII, it could be argued, had exactly this view). This leads us to argue that a marriage that doesn't produce children is somehow flawed. That is not the teaching of the Church. Many people are called to many types of sacrifice so that they may be sanctified. As for the argument over 'Josephite' marriages; I know nothing about them, but there is a great danger in arguing for points of law over exceptions. That is precisely how we've ended up with abortion laws; "but what about in cases of xyz?".

Jacobi said...


Bang on. Bulls eye. Sheer Protestant heresy. But then no one has to be a Catholic these days. I mean most of friends aren't!

As others say, we, commenters, presumably, are not Protestants - or Secularists and I trust there is no intent to convert to flirt with such heresies.

And if any doubt about Holy Matrimony, see CCC,1640-1642.

Going back to Father's point I suggest you all read Davies, and in particular his comments on ambiguities, ambiguous phrases and contradictions. This is particularly so of GS.

Savonarola said...

What is Protestant and where is the heresy in believing that 'ecclesia semper reformanda'?

Our Lady of Good Success-pray for us. said...

Savonarola, I'm trying to say that Cullmann denied the true Church, and sought to elevate his community of error to the same level of the Catholic Church. Cullmann was invited by the Secretariat for the Unity of Christians at VII to be an 'aid', on matters scriptural, christocentric, 'historical orientation of conciliar theology', and he proposed the model for a ‘Community of Churches’. It is 'interesting' to point out that VII decided that the Church only 'subsists' in Catholicism, and therefore all the other communities calling themselves Christians were 'partial' churches (this is a 'new ecclesiology' that contradicts umpteen dogmatic definitions of Church). The very idea of a 'rapproachement between Catholicism and his own Lutheran tradition, not the replacement of one by the other' is to seek to make a liar of Christ. Lutheranism is a tree of heresy - it does not belong to the Church of Christ. Heresy (rejecting Truth) is not something willed (approved) by God. It's an evil permitted in accordance with our free will. The ideology that you hope will not be 'reversed' teaches that the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church is simply one amongst the many many many denominations/communities who pick and choose Christ like He were a bag of pick n mix.

The 'new ecumenism' is what you are describing and it goes like this (although the model is mutating everyday): The antiquarianist demands that everyone "adhere to an unknown church of the future modeled after a falsified picture of the ancient Church, so that in actuality, we will abandon the eternal and immutable Church of Christ."

This, in a nutshell, is what Cullmann hoped for, and what Luther looked towards and what the parishes of the world are being devastated by. The above concept of the Church is anti-Catholic. The Catholic Church is the 'ground and pillar of truth', the 'column of truth', the Bride of Christ. Luther and company are heretics. Their heresy is 'an evil tree'. This 'evil tree' has the audacity to seek to 'advise' the 'ground and pillar of Truth' - the 'good tree' - on the future 'good' of a church united in diversity (that is to say agreeing to disagree in an agreeable disagreement about Truth). Christ and belial are thus said to shake hands, everybody celebrate with Luther (who taught that Christ committed adultery, amongst a lot of other evil madness).

"Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit.Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them.Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven."

RJ said...

@On the side of the angels: What I say is always "...subject to the magisterium" but there is a certain amount of theology going on in this comment box, so that does mean putting forward one's interpretation of teaching, subject to correction.

Sean W. said...

@ Savonarola,

"How can procreation be the first end of marriage when many married couples never have children? Are they any less married because of that? Clearly not. So procreation cannot be the first end of marriage."

Suppose we lived in a world that fetishized blindness to such an extent that many, maybe even most, people wore blindfolds at all times. In such a society, would the eye cease to be a sensory organ even in principle? Of course not, that would be ridiculous. Whether or not I choose to avail myself of the proper use of my faculties does not change what is the proper use of my faculties.

Marriage has procreation as its primary end not because most couples have children but because it arises from the natural fact of human sexual dichotomy, which is ordered toward procreation. The sexual act tends to create new life, and the creation of new life entails a continuing obligation (and thus the necessity of a commitment) to care for and educate -- mentally, morally, and socially -- that new life. This in turn calls for a continuing commitment on the part of the parents toward each other: the man to care for the woman as well as the child, the woman to be faithful to the man, in order that the paternity of her children may not be called into question.

"The only reason why some continue to think it is is that we are still in thrall to the disastrous inheritance of Augustinian original sin, a term which does not figure at all in the New Testament."

I'm not sure what original sin has to do with it, but nonetheless this is alarming. Do you deny that the first man, Adam, when he had transgressed the commandment of God in Paradise, immediately lost the holiness and justice wherein he had been constituted; and that he incurred, through the offence of that prevarication, the wrath and indignation of God, and consequently death, with which God had previously threatened him, and, together with death, captivity under his power who thenceforth had the empire of death, that is to say, the devil, and that the entire Adam, through that offence of prevarication, was changed, in body and soul, for the worse?

Jacobi said...

The question has been asked “what is Protestantism” and that is something which we Catholics should all understand.

It is not one, but a whole ranges of heresies, ever widening and spreading, usually reflecting or starting from a local culture or nationalist grouping. It is selfish, self-selective, increasingly diverse, tending inevitably towards Relativism, that which which St Pius X correctly declared as the “ synthesis of all heresies”.

The “ecclesia semper reformanda” itself an incorrect quote by a Protestant thinker, allegedly from Augustine, but I am told somewhat changed, is typical the gradual drift of such thinking.

It , that is Protestantism, is incompatible with Catholicism, and that is where we Catholics start from. Now that is enough for a comment!

On the side of the angels said...

RJ that's not the point - we're in the midst of wild speculations which not merely directly misinterpret, misunderstand, misrepresent and even oppose Catholic teaching - if taken at their face value they would deny Our Lady and St Joseph were married! Not only this it suggests that any who enter into continent Josephite marriages [eg married clergy, the Maritains, the Blessed Quattrochis, Holy Roman Emperor Henry II etc] are in lesser - even invalid [as not consummated??!!] marriages. The confusion between purpose and aim, Aquinas's 1st and 2nd perfections of marriage, between what marriage IS and what marriage IS FOR - is indicative of an endemic dearth of catechesis and apologetics.
Speculation on the abstractions, applications and syntheses of the credal, spiritual, moral and ecclesiastical doctrines and directives regarding marriage is permissible - even commendable - but there is a line we do not cross.
Yes Gaudium et Spes was guilty of accentuating a half-truth, but we cannot counter it with declarations that the very nature, purpose and reality of marriage is procreation - it isn't, that's merely the normative manifestation of the efficient cause of a loving union - the intrinsic grace is a loving union - the grace of new life to the family is supplementary and extrinsic.

If we continue to make mistakes like this we will catechetically and pastorally undermine the faithful AND further the desuetude of the authentic marriage apologetic.

Look at the debacle during the same-sex marriage legislation fiasco.
Commentators and self-promoting 'defenders' of marriage went into debating chambers and tv/radio studios and started arguments like this:
"The purpose for marriage is for procreation and rearing of children"
which was generally countered with:
"but the Church allows the infertile and menopausal to marry - so what's the difference between allowing them to marry and allowing homosexuals to marry"
and the response?
generally posturing and mumbled stumbling equivocations as a diversionary tactic hoping the interview/debate terminates quickly...

Why such a farce?
They didn't bother to find out what marriage actually is - then what it is for - and why the complementarity is not merely a physical but also a spiritual/psychological complementarity as ordained by God.

Yet again people who didn't know or understand what the Church taught presuming they knew better and could argue to their own agenda with their own assumptions and own opinions....because well? it's marriage - it's blatantly obvious what marriage is isn't it? a child could tell you what marriage is...
Well guess what - they didn't know - so they fell flat on their faces and embarrassed Holy Mother Church in the process - making it look as if the Church only opposed same-sex marriage because it was hypocritical and homophobic.

Take a look at the pro-life crowd trying to oppose abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide without trying to call them sins or evil , without any appeal to the sanctity of life - vehemently opposing criminalisation - appealing instead to the utilitarian consequences for society and social statistics and the risks for the vulnerable ie the things aren't necessarily wrong - but the effects are bad for society???!!

This sort of thing has to stop
God gave us His Church to teach us and protect us.
We need to stick to the Gospel and Magisterial script and let God do the rest.
Because the moment we ad-lib or attempt to best-guess wing it?
We fall flat on our faces - best intentions are not enough.
God and His Church DO know better.

Savonarola said...

Sean W., a further point if I may. I am not of course denying original sin, but it is a question of how you understand it. If God really is as you describe him in your last paragraph he is not a God I would want to know or could love (who could?) and not the God I recognise in Scripture and Christian tradition. He is better described I think in these words from a notable Catholic writer:

'The Father laughs with the Son; the Son laughs with the Father. The Father likes the Son; the Son likes the Father. The Father delights in the Son; the Son delights in the Father. The Father loves the Son; the Son loves the Father. This laughter, liking, delighting, loving is the Holy Spirit!'

This is the God in whose image we are created and whose life we are invited to share.

Lynda said...

Well said, Michael Petek, Paul Luke, etc. The Church builds on natural marriage, raising it to a sacrament. The teaching of the Church was clear up to Vat Council II, that the primary end of marriage is procreation - marriage is ordered to procreation. That is why it must be a man and a woman, whose complementary sexes in union are ordered to procreation. It doesn't mean that it has to be physically possible for a particular man and woman. For various reasons outside their control, conception might not be possible. Church teaching cannot change. The truth cannot change. Man's nature cannot change.

Nicolas Bellord said...

I must say I have got a bit confused by all this! Surely the argument about 'gay marriage' is one of simple definition. The Old and the New Testament make it clear that marriage is between a man and a woman. And every culture I know of has defined marriage in the same way up till now. Now Parliament has decided they can redefine it as including people of the same sex. They might just as well define elephants as being wales or two and two making five. It is simply without their competence. Do we need to argue about causes, purposes and ends in opposing 'gay marriage' (interesting as such discussion is)? The utter silliness of Parliament is really what it is all about.

Unknown said...

The problem comes in two ways of looking at marriage: as either a social institution geared towards the procreation and rearing of children or as a covenantal relationship between a man and wife that mirrors that of Christ with the Church. When personalism is understood to start with the Persons of the Holy Trinity and our being made in the divine image, then I think we are getting closer to what the Council fathers were getting at. Perhaps if we are to interpret the Council in continuity with Tradition, the development of the theology of marriage mirroring the Trinity and the unbreakable covenant of Christ with his Church is set within the understanding of the social institution of marriage as geared towards the procreation and rearing of children by parents who have that covenant between them.

Sadly, personalism, among those who do not care about the Trinity as the starting point for thinking about the human person, can and does devolve into the "close personal relationship" or romantic model that has led inexorably to recognition of gay unions.

The Lord’s descent into the underworld

At Matins/the Office of Readings on Holy Saturday the Church gives us this 'ancient homily', I find it incredibly moving, it is abou...