Catholic Social Doctrine: The Value of Marriage

The Catholic Church’s social doctrine includes its teaching on marriage. Marriage is foundational for family, and is predicated on the free choice of the spouses to unite themselves as persons. This unity is of mind and body. The meaning and value of marriage is not dependent on human construction, but rather on God himself. It is not the result of human convention or of legislative prescriptions but has stability from divine disposition. It is a definitive commitment expressed by mutual, irrevocable and public consent. It is marked by a sense of justice and respect for certain rights and duties.

The characteristic traits of marriage are: totality, unity, indissolubility, fidelity, and fruitfulness. In its “objective” truth, marriage is ordered to the procreation and education of children, yet marriage was not instituted solely for procreation. Because of this, marriage remains even when children did not arrive and complete conjugal life, even though they were greatly desired.

For a more detailed discussion of this topic, refer to theĀ Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, nos . 215-218

About Deacon Bob

Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota.
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