Marriage

Eastern European Resistance to Islamization

If you’ve ever seen Casablanca, you won’t have forgotten the scene in Rick’s Cafe where the German officers who are singing “Die Wacht am Rhein” are drowned out by the French patrons who burst into a rousing rendition of the “Marseillaise.” Something similar happened last week at the National Opera in Cluj Napoca, Romania. A [...]

What Makes a Marriage Valid?

Marriage is a sacrament that is regulated by Church law, mainly in the Code of Canon Law of 1983. It is different from the rest of the sacraments, because what makes it valid is mainly marriage consent. A person must want to get married to his spouse, and manifest this will verbally to the priest [...]

But What About Abusive Marriages?

When people learn that I oppose no-fault divorce, some will say, “You have forgotten about abusive marriages.” When the Ruth Institute, the organization that I lead, describes itself as “The World’s Only Campaign to End Family Breakdown,” we hear again, “But what about abusive marriages?” So, let me deal with this important issue. What about [...]

Some Wedding Planning Violations of Catholic Hospitality

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that “God himself is the author of marriage” (1603a). Unfortunately, he has been rather forcefully booted out as the author—or even co-author—of contemporary wedding planning. Many of us have attended weddings where no expense has been spared, and yet have sensed at their core an emptiness. Despite [...]

The Children of Divorce Speak Out

“As a kid I was always sad and always trying to keep everyone else happy. I felt like I had to be one person when I was with my dad and another when I was with my mom.” So says an anonymous child of divorce, describing how her parents’ divorce impacted her childhood. She is [...]

How to Fix the “Annulment Mentality”

Just remember—Pope St. John Paul II said it first. On January 28, 2002. After saying “One cannot give in to the divorce mentality,” our Holy Father tells us this: When one considers the role of law in marital crises, all too often one thinks almost exclusively of processes that ratify the annulment of marriage or [...]

Annulments: A Concession to Human Weakness

He said to them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.” (Mt. 19:8) Scripture tells us that “God hates divorce” (Malachi 2:16), and it doesn’t sound like Jesus was too thrilled with how Moses handled it, since “it was not [...]

You Are Gods

God created the world not out of necessity but out of generosity. Eternally blessed and perfect in himself, God had no need to create and no need of creation. Instead, in freedom he created in wisdom and in love. Each creature God endowed with gifts proportionate to its role, but he crowned man with a [...]

Let Us Now Consider Maddi’s Baby

Something has been terribly lost in the story of Maddi Runkles, the 18-year-old who became pregnant and was punished by her Evangelical school for breaking the morality clause she signed when becoming a student. To begin, I believe it has been a tad unseemly that she has taken to the national airwaves to air her [...]

Fatima, Marriage, and the Theology of the Body

It has been reported that Sister Lucia of Fatima wrote a letter to Cardinal Caffarra predicting that “the final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family.” Not long after, Pope John Paul II was in the midst of his famous “Theology of the Body” talks on [...]

Pray That Pope Francis Re-Affirms Church Teaching on Marriage

Following the publication of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, in some particular churches there were published norms for its application and interpretations whereby the divorced who have attempted civil marriage with a new partner, notwithstanding the sacramental bond by which they are joined to their legitimate spouse, are admitted to the sacraments of Penance and the [...]

Can the Orthodox Way End the Divorce and Remarriage Debate?

On his flight back to Rome from World Youth Day in Brazil (2013), Pope Francis speaking about the season of mercy and the Church as a mother dispensing mercy, praised the pastoral practice of the Orthodox Churches on marriage and divorce, the pastoral care for the divorced and remarried Orthodox faithful and the possibility of [...]

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 [...]

MENU