Amoris Laetitia 292: Church Teaching on Marriage

amoris laetitia memeA positive and brief statement that sums Church teaching on marriage:

292. Christian marriage, as a reflection of the union between Christ and his Church, is fully realized in the union between a man and a woman who give themselves to each other in a free, faithful and exclusive love, who belong to each other until death and are open to the transmission of life, and are consecrated by the sacrament, which grants them the grace to become a domestic church and a leaven of new life for society.

That said, sometimes human associations do not reflect this ideal, or only do so to a degree:

Some forms of union radically contradict this ideal, while others realize it in at least a partial and analogous way. The Synod Fathers stated that the Church does not disregard the constructive elements in those situations which do not yet or no longer correspond to her teaching on marriage.(Relatio Synodi 2014, 41, 43)

I suppose by the definition of some, my own experience of being unable to conceive a child leaves me and my wife open to an interpretation in the negative regarding the biological “transmission of life.” Even on this web site, I’ve tolerated comments suggesting that couples who have a limited number of children are somehow working against God’s plan for fertility.

My own sense is that our ideals as well as our criticism are often way too narrow. An older couple, I would say, certainly are not exempt from being generative to life, be it in grandchildren, or the contact and nurturing of young people in their orbit. Long-married couples know they have not “graduated” from parenthood as they experience the joys of watching a second or third generation being added to their families. And that doesn’t touch upon the importance of being a mentor or parent-figure in particular circumstances, or for young people who look to older persons as life examples.

What else do you see in AL 292? My only problem is that is makes light of some of the mandate for marriage. I also have no problem with aspects of other relationships that offer a constructive experience for society.

For your reference Amoris Laetitia is online here.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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