Marriage

Obama on Immigration

Obama’s Immigration Decree

President Barack Obama’s reaction to the shellacking he and his policies received from the American people in the midterm elections surprised no one in its stubborn petulance. Along with some eye rolling and clearly perfunctory statements about how he would “cooperate” with the new Republican majority, President Obama made clear that he sees himself as [...]

Two Yangs Can’t Make a Baby

I got scolded good and proper at the Vatican conference on man-woman complementarity this week. In an article for Breitbart News I named some of the participants in the conference. I asked around and no one knew there was an embargo on the identities of the participants. Indeed attendees were busy emailing and Facebooking the [...]

The Love that Brings New Life Into the World

Editor’s note: The following speech by Rabbi Sacks on the history of marriage was delivered at the International Colloquium on “The Complementarity of Man and Woman” held at the Vatican under the auspices of Pope Francis. The speech was obtained from Rabbi Sacks’ website and reprinted under a Creative Commons license. I want this morning [...]

Is Sexual Desire Holy?

At a recent conference, I had the privilege of listening to an excellent presentation on the topic of charity by a very well known Catholic apologist, who will remain nameless. At some point, his talk on Christian love shifted from a discussion of caritas to eros, and the presenter moved into the subject of sexual [...]

The Synod’s Interim Report: Ambiguity and Misinterpretation

The Interim Report (IR) of the Synod of Bishops on the Family released on Monday, October 13, represents a summary of the discussion of the first week of the Synod. Here’s the problem with the IR in a nutshell. It claims to offer “a significant hermeneutic key that comes from the teaching of Vatican Council [...]

Changing Marriage Discipline Will Change Doctrine

Recent headlines in the mainstream media suggest that the Catholic Church is close to making major doctrinal changes on divorce and remarriage.  The Huffington Post has suggested that the Church will “open the door” to changes in doctrine on divorce.  And, Time magazine predicted that the Pope has “signaled a new openness” to allowing access to the [...]

Marriage Redefinition and a Lifelong Commitment

An article by demographers at the University of Minnesota published in March 2014 revealed that the current divorce rate is much higher than previously thought, especially among those thirty-five and older. This news suggests that two generations of no-fault divorce (among other things) have altered the general concept of marriage and have severely eroded our [...]

Upcoming Synod Must Address Family Disintegration

Judging by the media reports on the Extraordinary Synod to be held in Rome this October, the bishops present will be mainly concerned with issues such as the admission to the Eucharist of divorced and remarried persons, the speeding up of annulment processes, and the possible revision of the Church’s teaching on contraception. Implicit in [...]

Modern Attitudes Toward Marriage Lead to Loneliness

Two stories last week (one amusing and one sobering) provided material for (gloomy) reflection on love and marriage in the modern world. The first came from Auckland, New Zealand, where heterosexual best friends Travis McIntosh and Matt McCormick celebrated their nuptials this last Friday. A radio station competition provided the motivation for their decision to [...]

Marriage Debate Far From Over

Progressives keep telling us that the marriage debate is over. Some Republicans have joined the chorus. Mark McKinnon this week explained that, Allowing committed gay couples to marry never has—and never will—lead to these sorts of things. Instead, the impact of gay marriage—legal now in 44 percent of the country—has been stronger families, less government [...]

Why Humans are Not Garden Snails

“In the image of God he created them, male and female he created them” (Gen. 1:27). For years I had been trying to get to the bottom of this troubling passage, and it all started with a conversation about garden snails. “Do you know where Plato thinks human sexuality comes from?”my friend Jack asked. I [...]

Can Married Couples Have Too Much Sex?

Another day, another dust-up about sex. This one is a little unusual, however, in that the controversy involves sex between married people. Here’s what happened. A woman, two years married, went on a business trip. At the airport, she received an email from her husband containing a sarcastic note saying how little he would miss [...]

To Those Who Wait to Conceive

It saddens me to know couples in their late thirties trying unsuccessfully to conceive. The notion that it is easy to conceive at any age under 40—and perhaps beyond that—has taken firm, but mistaken, hold in our culture.  The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recently published a meta-analysis concluding that women’s fertility begins to [...]

What Cardinal Kasper Really Said About Divorce

A high profile debate is underway in the Catholic Church regarding communion for the divorced and remarried. As in most family quarrels, however, the real point of contention remains unacknowledged. Before pointing out the elephant in the living room, however, a little background is called for. Some Recent Developments Speculation has been growing for nearly [...]

What Jesus Said About Divorce

Pope Francis concluded his homily during the Canonization Mass of Sts. John XXIII and John Paul II by invoking the intercession of the two new saints as the Church journeys towards the upcoming Synod on the Family. He finished his homily with the beautiful words, “May both of them teach us not to be scandalized [...]

The Spiritual Stakes in the Marriage Debate

Judges across the country are busy rewriting state marriage laws, overturning democratically adopted measures defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and setting the table possibly for the United States Supreme Court to complete the coup by decreeing the redefinition of marriage in every state. Consequently sexual difference is being erased [...]

Kasper versus Kasper

Book-tours can be risky affairs. There’s always the chance you’ll say something during your tenth radio interview of the day which you retrospectively wish you’d phrased differently. Then there’s the possibility you’ll play up to a live audience and make some truly imprudent comments. In a few short May days in New York, Cardinal Walter [...]

Divorced and Remarried are Called to Heroism…

The universal call to holiness is considered by many to be the most important development of the Second Vatican Council. The main location of this call is the fifth chapter of the Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium: Thus it is evident to everyone, that all the faithful of Christ of whatever rank [...]

…But Should They Live Together?

The two upcoming synods of bishops on “The Pastoral Care of the Family in the Context of the New Evangelization” needs to discuss many serious topics other than communion for the divorced and remarried.  I hope they revisit the standard recommendation that couples in invalid second “marriages” should “live as brother and sister.” This is [...]

The Purpose of Sex in Marriage

Marriage requires sex. This seems to be the sine qua non of marriage even in a world where the definition of marriage has been broadened in ways never imagined even a generation ago. And indeed marriage does require sex because sex is unitive in a unique way and marriage is about union. A shake of [...]

Remedying the Divorce Culture

Divorce is more common in my extended family than in society at large. My childhood home was a broken home. This experience fostered within me attentiveness to both the often-difficult circumstances faced by couples today and the Church’s teaching related to marriage and divorce. Over the last few months divorce, remarriage, and reception of the [...]

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