Marriage

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The Providence College Mob Comes for Anthony Esolen

Those who doubt that orthodox Christians risk persecution should consider the case of Anthony Esolen. A prominent scholar of Renaissance literature, Esolen authored a widely used translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy. He writes books and essays incessantly, contributing to Magnificat, Crisis magazine, and other publications and online outlets that take seriously Christianity and human excellence. [...]

Some Marriage Advice for Engaged Couples

Recently a friend of mine and practicing Catholic asked me to be a groomsman in his wedding that will take place in December 2016. I felt honored but immediately the former pastor in me began to think about the question, “If I had half an hour with an engaged couple who were orthodox Christians, what [...]

Contraception and Communion

It is puzzling: why do many Catholics receive the Eucharist, the source of all grace and the sign of being in communion with the Catholic Church, and yet support and practice contraception, abortion, and unnatural relationships such as homosexual “marriage,” all of which are in direct contradiction to the Church’s teachings? How can there be [...]

A Modern Feminist Author Discovers the Truth of Marriage

In Natalie Sanmartin Fenollera’s international bestseller, The Awakening of Miss Prim, Miss Prudencia Prim accepts a position as a personal librarian to a countercultural man of letters homeschooling his four orphaned nephews and nieces—a passionate convert to the Catholic faith. An educated woman with a Ph.D. in sociology and a woman with refined aesthetic sensibilities and [...]

A Defense of the Christian Teaching Against Contraception

Forty-eight years ago this past July, our story reached a dramatic climax. But it began in the dawn of Christianity, with a document called the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles (or Didache). Written thirty to fifty years after Christ’s death, it gives the earliest evidence of a Christian condemnation of contraception. For the next 1900 years, it was the [...]

An Unsettling Comment About Marriage

Pope Francis is the first pontiff in history to be social-media-savvy. Accordingly, I think we should start a new hash tag campaign: #iammarried. All the usual disclaimers need to be made here. When the Holy Father remarked last week that “a large majority of sacramental marriages are null,” he surely was not making an ex [...]

Amoris Laetitia: The Key to the Francis Pontificate

By now many hundreds if not thousands of commentaries have been penned on Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia (AL). They range from condemnations to lavish welcomes and then those analysts somewhere in the middle who praise the good and hold back criticism. In this mix there are the particularly odd responses as the one [...]

Homosexuality Is Not Sexuality

Events of recent memory have left my head spinning in disbelief—“Caitlyn," same-sex so-called "marriage," three women "marrying" in South America, and, yes, "gay Catholics" and "chaste gay couples." With me, you may wonder how all this has emerged in a short few decades of social upheaval. I may have an answer: Society has constructed an [...]

Is Marital Indissolubility Only an Ideal?

One way that dissidents (including various episcopal conferences that had been derelict in teaching Catholic marital morality in the immediate periods before and after Humanae vitae) sought to dilute the clear Magisterial teaching the encyclical provided them was to reduce its vision of married sexual life to an “aspirational norm.” In other words, the idea [...]

Doctrine, Discipline and the “Kasper Proposal”

One of the questions commonly raised in relation to the proposal of Cardinal Walter Kasper that the Catholic Church should admit to sacramental penance and Holy Communion certain civilly divorced and “remarried” individuals—who continue to act as if their second “marriage” were valid—is whether the Church’s traditional prohibition of this proposal is a matter of [...]

The Birdwatcher’s Guide To Marriage

At last, here is an easy-to-follow guide for identifying a real marriage that exposes the new imitations to be, well, imitations. Essential for the 321 million Americans who have a biological mother and father, this new guide includes stunningly accurate illustrations, important field marks and behaviors, plus expert advice on identification basics that will help [...]

Sexual Dysfunction: The Latest Progressive Imposition

What will be the outcome of the social and legal changes that have led to the recent Supreme Court holding that fundamental constitutional principle requires the sex of the parties to be treated as irrelevant to marriage? We can’t be sure of all the details. Yogi Berra points out that “it’s tough to make predictions, especially [...]

Abandoning the Full Meaning of Marriage

The case for Same Sex Civil Contracts for Sexual Services (SSCCSS, abbreviated as SCS and pronounced as one word, “sex”) rests on the theft of the term “marriage” in order to strip it of any reference to true marriage. No defense of real marriage can be sustained when it accepts this identity theft as definitive [...]

A Guide to the Restoration of Marriage

As you may have heard, marriage is in a bad way. Supporters of procreative marriage are increasingly pressured to abandon their views, while liberals busily debate whether they should follow up on their recent victory by “expanding” marriage further or just by abolishing it altogether. Over here in the land of the still-sane, we’re in [...]

Untethering Sacramental Marriage from Civil Marriage 

Months ago, I watched as some Christians took to the internet opposing R. R. Reno's position in “A Time to Rend,” in which he calls for a separation of sacramental marriage from civil marriage. Much of the criticism made accusations of disengagement with, and abandonment of, the culture. One Protestant even went so far as [...]

Conjugal Rights and Gay “Marriage”: A Response to Objections

In a prior essay in Crisis I offered an explanation concerning how the exchange of conjugal rights, understood in natural, canon, and civil law traditions as mutual moral rights for actions naturally ordered to the procreation of children, can be recognized as a necessary condition for a valid marriage. Hence, if a person is certainly [...]

“Mere Marriage”

In his recent essay, A Thicker Kind of Mere, Timothy George reminded us that the kind of faith C.S. Lewis argued for in the last century is not necessarily the same thing suggested by similar terminology today. As George noted, Lewis borrowed his famous phrase from Richard Baxter, a Puritan minister who preceded Lewis by [...]

Taking Back Marriage

The only thing surprising about the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5–4 decision requiring all 50 states and the District of Columbia to perform gay “marriages,” and to recognize such unions contracted in other states, is that it took so long. The writing was on the wall 11 years ago, when the Republicans controlled both houses of [...]

Why Same-Sex Couples Possess No Conjugal Rights

Often in discussions on whether the term “marriage” should be reserved for relationships between persons of opposite sex, advocates for same-sex "marriage" claim that there is no distinguishing characteristic in male/female commitments that would make only those commitments truly marital. The obvious response that children come only from opposite sex relationships is quickly dismissed since [...]

The New Homophiles: Muddying the Meaning of Family

It’s an oddly timed realization—here in the shadow of the looming Supreme Court decision that could have the effect of redefining marriage (as though that were possible), I’ve come to the conclusion that the New Homophiles seem to be engaging in an effort that would have the effect of redefining family (as though that were [...]

Is Homosexual Marriage Even Possible?

The homilist, a priest of impeccable orthodoxy, was enumerating the challenges facing the Church today. But I quickly found myself being greatly annoyed at his mention of the attacks being made on “traditional marriage” which were threatening our cherished tradition of “religious liberty.” Now, to be sure, what annoyed was not that he chose to [...]

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