Skip to comments.Vatican: For Catholic marriage to be valid, couples must be open to children
Posted on 10/24/2013 7:26:48 AM PDT by Morgana
VATICAN CITY, October 22, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) In a lengthy essay strongly reaffirming the Catholic Churchs teaching on the impermissibility of divorced and remarried Catholics receiving Communion, the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith also linked the validity of Catholic marriages to the couples openness to children a requirement that, he said, is often sadly lacking in marriages today.
Todays mentality is largely opposed to the Christian understanding of marriage, with regard to its indissolubility and its openness to children, said Archbishop Gerhard Müller, writing in the Vatican newspaper, LOsservatore Romano. Because many Christians are influenced by this, marriages nowadays are probably invalid more often than they were previously, because there is a lack of desire for marriage in accordance with Catholic teaching, and there is too little socialization within an environment of faith.
This statement was welcomed by pro-life activist Anthony Ozimic, communications manager of UK-based pro-life and pro-family lobbyists, the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC).
We are particularly grateful to read the archbishop's clear statement linking openness to children to the validity of marriage, Ozimic told LifeSiteNews.com. As Pope Francis made clear in his first encyclical Lumen Fidei, the life-bearing potential of heterosexuality is a prerequisite of marriage. Abortion, contraception, sterilization and same-sex relationships are all therefore incompatible with marriage.
This message must be made clear to legislators and policy-makers who claim to support marriage but at the same time support practices which are closed to the gift of life," said Ozimic.
The statement from Archbishop Müller also reflects the thoughts of Pope Francis as explained in his interview returning from World Youth Day in Rio, where he said:
Cardinal Quarracino, my predecessor, used to say that as far as he was concerned, half of all marriages are null. But why did he say this? Because people get married lacking maturity, they get married without realizing that it is a life-long commitment, they get married because society tells them they have to get married.
And this is where the pastoral care of marriage also comes in. And then there is the legal problem of matrimonial nullity, this has to be reviewed, because ecclesiastical tribunals are not sufficient for this. It is complex, the problem of the pastoral care of marriage.
During the same in-flight interview Pope Francis had revealed that the upcoming synod of bishops on the family set for next October will address the issue.
The Code of Canon law of the Catholic Church clearly recognizes openness to children as a pre-requisite for a valid sacramental marriage.
The Code states in Canon 1069: For matrimonial consent to exist, the contracting parties must be at least not ignorant that marriage is a permanent partnership between a man and a woman ordered to the procreation of offspring by means of some sexual cooperation.
Certain dioceses in the United States have spelled out that not being open to children from the beginning of a marriage, invalidates the marriage. The process for considering a marriage annulled - meaning it never validly existed and thus the partners are free to marry others - asks, whether or not the two people entering into that union were both knowledgeable and capable, and whether they intended to live out the essential obligations of the vocation.
Sr. Kathleen Bierne, PBVM, the Director of the Tribunal for the Diocese of New Ulm in Minnesota explains in a paper on the diocesan website: If this study finds that something was missing in their consent, or the union did not, from the beginning, possess the essential qualities of permanence, fidelity, openness to children and openness to the spouse, then the Church, through the office of the diocesan tribunal, may grant a declaration that from the beginning this was not a valid/sacramental bond.
See the full article from the Vatican newspaper here. http://www.osservatoreromano.va/portal/dt
No wonder why the Catholic Church is losing parishioners.
I prefer to do my own family planning.
Where is there for Catholics, who choose to marry, but want to devote their life to other causes which may preclude children?
So, don’t marry a women over 40, even if you are too??
Adoption? Foster children?
It’s always been this way...an openness to human life is seen as fundamental to a truly Christlike love.
Annulment: Another name for Catholic divorce.
God's first commandment to humanity: "And God blessed them, saying: Increase and multiply, and fill the earth". -Genesis 1:28
Our society's self-delusion/denial that there's a reproductive component to sexual intercourse is the root cause of many of our ills.
This has been grounds for many an annulment. I think the Church wants to maintain the connection between sex and creating children. The loss of that connection has resulted in many of modern society’s problems.
What about those couples who cannot have children, or were older when they got married?
Well their marriage can still be fruitful, via helping others come to faith in the Lord.
You beat me by 15 seconds :-)
Love is not selfish.
Good thing my parents did not preclude children.
Love cannot be unloved.
Love is always an outward action and virtue.
Love does not go inward to the self.
Childen are an outward expression
of the love of 2 people for each other.
Love is both spiritual and physical, for we are not angels but human beings with bodies and souls.
The Duality of Love.
Most Catholics don’t seek annulments. A murder trial would be less stressful. Often it would require asking children to testify against one of their parents...a bridge too far for many people.
If one or both parties say "yes" to this, with the full intention of contracepting for part or the entirety of their marriage, then they are lying before their friends and family -- but more importantly, before God.
I remember that old joke about what one Italian said about the Pope: “Him no playa the game, him no maka the rules!”
The problem really comes when a couple is past childbearing. Then it has to be omitted out.
My boyfriend [now husband] brought this topic up at our Marriage Encounter. And those running the Encounter cringed a bit, and those in attendance were surprised! Because a priest is not supposed to marry ANY couple who say they have no intention of procreating, yet, how many priests bring this up during the talk/testing/etc. they have with the couple prior to marriage?
The problem really comes when a couple is past childbearing. Then it has to be omitted out.Yet, look at Elizabeth! :)
It looks more like an adroit setting aside the word of God as the Scriptures say only death and adultery end the marriage contract.
Nope. Divorce is a legal document that breaks a contract. A Catholic view of marriage is that it is a sacrament ... not a mere contract. So while a civil divorce renders the contract as void, it does not do away with the sacrament ... the two are still bound by that. The annulment process is a very complex investigation to determine whether or not both parties entered into the sacramental bond of marriage. If not, then the annumlment is granted.