Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Pope John Paul II & Pope Paul VI - The Indissolubility of Marriage

Wisdom from our Departed Holy Fathers

From Pope John Paul II's book Love and Responsibility and his 2002 Address to the Roman Rota to Pope Paul VI's encyclical Gaudium et Spes, the two Holy Fathers speak to us from the heart of our Lord.

"I want to examine indissolubility as a good for spouses, for children, for the Church and for the whole of humanity . . . The good of indissolubility is the good of marriage itself". - Pope John Paul II


January 28, 2002

The Holy Father's main points:

"A positive presentation of the indissoluble union is important, in order to rediscover its goodness and beauty. First of all, one must overcome the view of indissolubility as a restriction of the freedom of the contracting parties, and so as a burden that at times can become unbearable." "Indissolubility is not an ideal but a natural law requisite of universal applicability"

"Yet the possibility always exists of rebelling against that loving plan: then returns the "hardness of heart" that had led Moses to permit divorce but which Christ definitively overcame. To such situations as these, one has to respond with the humble courage of faith, a faith that supports and corroborates reason itself, to enable it to carry on a dialogue with all who are in search of the true good of the human person and of society. To treat indissolubility not as a natural juridical norm but as a mere ideal empties of meaning the unequivocal declaration of Jesus Christ, who absolutely refused divorce because "from the beginning it was not so"! (Mt 19,8)."

"Marriage "is" indissoluble: this property expresses a dimension of its objective being, it is not a mere subjective fact. Consequently, the good of indissolubility is the good of marriage itself; and the lack of understanding of its indissoluble character constitutes the lack of understanding of the essence of marriage."

"Society has to understand that divorce undermines the lives of the children and society itself"

"Its absence, therefore, has devastating consequences that spread through the social body like a plague -- to use the term of the Second Vatican Council to describe divorce (cf. Gaudium et spes, n. 47) -- and that have a negative influence on the new generations who view as tarnished the beauty of true marriage."

"Educate the young to realize that Indissolubility is the cornerstone of society, not just a private choice"

Pope Paul VI's Encyclical Gaudium et Spes:

"By virtue of this sacrament, as spouses fulfill their conjugal and family obligation, they are penetrated with the spirit of Christ, which suffuses their whole lives with faith, hope and charity. Thus they increasingly advance the perfection of their own personalities, as well as their mutual sanctification, and hence contribute jointly to the glory of God."

"As a result, with their parents leading the way by example and family Prayer, children and indeed everyone gathered around the family hearth will find a readier path to human maturity, salvation and holiness. Graced with the dignity and office of fatherhood and motherhood, parents will energetically acquit themselves of a duty which devolves primarily on them, namely education and especially religious education."

"As a mutual gift of two persons, this intimate union and the good of the children impose total fidelity on the spouses and argue for an unbreakable oneness between them."

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