Theology Essays – Familiaris Consortio
Theology Essays – Familiaris Consortio

Theology Essays – Familiaris Consortio

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  • Pages: 9 (2387 words)
  • Published: September 18, 2017
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The well-known biographer of John Paul II, George Weigel, claims that in private conversations held with the sanctum male parent he came to learn that the Catholic Pope regardedFamiliaris Consortioas one of his favourite letters he had of all time written as Catholic Pope to the household of God (Witness to Hope, 385 ) . The papers is a wide-ranging and wide one in footings of the sheer comprehensiveness of the content covered in this, and it is hence barely any admiration that a outstanding Catholic encyclopaedia should state of the apostolic exhortation that it is one of the most of import beginnings for the theological significance of the sacrament of Marriage ( Stravinskas,Catholic Encyclopedia, 628) .

Many authors who have taken this exhortation as their springing point to establish into assorted issues, which are accessories to marriage per Se, have however been able


to use specific parts ofFamiliarisConsortio, owing to its enormousness of content. What we will concentrate on in thefollowing pages is a sort of response of the papers by Catholics ( whetherclergy or laypeople ) and its instructions over the more than two decennaries since itspromulgation. There are surely countries of convergence among those who havecommented on the papers, and these ought to be paid attending to incoming toan apprehension of an genuinely Roman Catholic consciousness of the variousaspects of married life among Christians.

Opening Observations Made inFamiliaris Consortio

Sectionone of the papers expressly opens up the contents and applications of thedocument to a wide audience. It is written for

  • ( 1 ) those populating in fidelity tothe Church 's extant instructions and patterns in the country of marriage,
  • ( 2 ) thosewho have become bewildered
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by the modern-day challenges infringing upon thefamily, and even to

  • ( 3 ) those who live in unfair unknowingness of the freedom andhuman rights guaranteed to them to hold all the comprehensiveness that matrimony mightoffer.
  • In other words, the intended audience of the papers is anintrinsically oecumenic one. It is non simply turn toing Catholics in goodstanding with the Church, but the sanctum male parent reaches his manus out to assisteveryone fighting with the assorted troubles in modern-day married life. This is important, since most anterior paperss, whether Casti Connubiiof Pope Pius XI, Humanae Vitae of Pope Paul VI, or even papers of theSecond Vatican Council, the intended audience has been, if non entirely, surely chiefly Catholics.

    PopeJohn Paul II notes in subdivision six of the exhortation that the state of affairs of marriage and the household in modern-day life is an dry 1 in the sense thatthere are both applaudable progresss being made in Western civilization and enormous setbacks. It is non so simple a state of affairs as to claim that Western civilization isdoing nil other than assailing and impeding the household and married life.Some of the good apprehensions reached by the modern-day Western universe arethe following: an grasp of human freedom for both sexes, a publicity of education and love for kids, and a publicity of the self-respect of adult females and responsible reproduction. However, some of the reverses against the familyshould besides be noted. They include the undermentioned: the several freedom of the spouses has been carried to an utmost sense of liberty, the misconstruction of authorization and the passing on of values with regard to the relation of parents to their kids, and

    the on-going flagellums of abortion, growing divorce rates, sterilisation, and an overall prophylactic outlook. It is forthese grounds and many others besides that the Synod of Bishops met and wishedPope John Paul II to be the primary interpreter for their decisions reached. Everything is nongood for the modern-day household, and Pope John Paul IIreasons that the household is non simply aportionof an overall society ( instead, it is the really foundation of all society, as we shall explore subsequently ) , any onslaughts on its public assistance must non travel unreciprocated. Social unfairnesss toward the family must be dealt with straight, and this is a primary ground for the appearance of Familiaris Consortio.

    Building on Prior Teaching for Fundamental Precepts

    Prior to the visual aspect of this apostolic exhortation, there hadappeared two really of import paperss on the nature of matrimony and the family.They were the encyclical missiveHumanae Vitaeand an authoritativedocument coming out of the Vatican II Church Council calledLumens Gentium. Pope John Paul II, as all Catholic Popes throughout history have done, takes the priorteaching on matrimony and the household ( particularly that seen in the twentiethcentury ) as his get downing points on which to construct. He references several timesthroughout his apostolic exhortation the encyclicalHumanae Vitae ( HV ), particularly when the content of his instruction has to make with the most explicitportions ofHVon the connubial act and contraceptive method.

    Freedom Versus Autonomy

    There appears in this compendious encyclicalHumanae Vitaea veryprofound line, which doubtless could be expounded upon. In subdivision 21 of theencyclical, Pope Paul VI declares that selfishness is the enemy of true love. This recalls an earlier pointmade in our essay. John Paul II notes the

    unsafe inclination of contemporaryspouses to represent an isolationist and independent attitude in matrimony (FC,6 ) . In fact, for the jobs listed above which are antithetical to marriageand household life, the Pope believes there is one job most basically thecause of the others. He writes, At the root of these negative phenomena therefrequently lies a corruptness of the thought and the experience of freedom, conceived non as a capacity for recognizing the truth of God 's program for marriageand the household, but as an independent power of self-affirmation, frequently againstothers, for one 's ain selfish wellbeing. And if selfishness is thought to bethe enemy of true love, so any partner moving about entirely in his ownself-interest is destructive toward the really bond of his matrimony to hisspouse, which bond is love itself.

    There is an interesting sarcasm involved in selfish individualismversus a flourishing and reciprocally reciprocating action of love toward anotheroutside of oneself. Whereas one would say that, as is frequently franklyadmitted, twosomes will be given to non desire to get married because they merely want tocontinue basking the other individual in the relationship without giving over to aserious committedness ( Cf. Barbara Markey, Cohabitation: Response over Reaction ) . Or, farther than this, somemarriedtwosomes will either set off childrenindefinitely or make up one's mind to non hold them at all for the expressed intent ofwishing to sexually bask the partner in an uninhibited mode. The strange consequence though, as Pope Paul VI noted in Humanae Vitae, is that this eventually leads to going excessively egoistic sexually, which eventuates Inman ( or adult female ) coming to see the other as a mere instrument of selfish enjoyment

    and no longer as the coveted comrade for life (HV, 17 ) .

    Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo notes that the holding of a household ina natural and ordered manner ( such as the Church teaches twosome to make ) does leadto the exact antonym of selfishness and isolationism in a marriagerelationship. And this is a necessary effect ( as in, it is intrinsic in nature itself ) of holding kids. Cardinal Trujillo offers some illustrations thatit is the nature of household to be other-centered in even the simplest ways. Henotes, Everyone has to assist everyone else in thefamily, (FCand the Family, 3 ) . It is merely a affair of beingpractically impossible to be wrapped up in oneself in the context of a familywith legion kids. The older kids will hold to assist the younger onesat times ( e.g. , to set on their places before they go outside ) , and the adultswill invariably have to assist all of the kids to turn into responsible adults. It is merely intrinsic to the nature of holding a household that one growsto be concerned with the well-being and involvements of others around.

    In these remarks by Cardinal Trujillo there isan explication of the cardinal philosophies expressed in subdivisions 42-43 Familiaris.In these subdivisions, Pope John Paul II notes that the day-to-day life of a good familyis characterized by sharing and deep Communion. The community of a household isthe really answer needed to queer selfish isolationism. This type ofother-centered Communion is seen in assorted facets of which the Cardinal haselaborated. For illustration, the household is guided by an overruling rule offree giving, and this free giving takes the signifier ofheartfelt

    credence, brush and duologue, disinterested handiness, generous service and deep solidarity (FC,43 ) . Children assisting youngerchildren whenever there arises a demand for such aid is a ready illustration ofdisinterested handiness. The older kid helps the younger non because he isgaining something for it, but instead because when a kid needs aid, particularly your ain sibling, you merely assist that kid. This besides fosters arecognition of the intrinsic value in each single human being.

    Love and Life the Very Foundation of Marriage and Family

    In his recent address Cardinal Alfonso Trujillo agreed with Pope JohnPaul II in seeing the household as that whichsignifierssocieties. Harmonizing tothe Pope, the household is society 's foundation, which continually bolsterssociety by being its continual giver of life (FC,42 ) . Cardinal Trujillonotes that this thought is in resistance to current worldly sentiment mostreadily embodied by the United Nations in their recent conferences. The generalattitude expressed in these U.N. conferences has been to believe that societiesare merely aggregations of persons (Familiaris Consortioand theFamily, 3 ) . But, nature seems to reason against this misguided thought. Societiesare non the 1s bring forthing and nurturing and giving the persons to thesociety. These responsibilities are fulfilled by households, and the persons producedusually repeat this cardinal rhythm of nature by making their ain familiesand bring forthing and fostering their ain progeny.

    Underliing the instruction of the household as the ultimate counterpoison toisolationism, are the two most cardinal worlds of matrimony: love andlife. The two are barely reciprocally sole, grounds John Paul II. On thecontrary, connubial love expressed as it out to be expressed harmonizing to thenature of adult male tends toward the creative activity of life. Procreation is

    a naturalfruit of the conjugal act, harmonizing toHumanae Vitae. Many thinkerssince have latched on to this cardinal Catholic point, including John PaulII in this exhortation. Harmonizing to Catholic instruction, adult male is ahylomorphicintegrity. That is, he is composed of affair and signifier, which for adult male correspond tothe organic structure and psyche, which are basically united. That is, what it is tobea homo is to be a soul-body integrity (FC,11 ) . But, adult male is besides created in the image and similitude of God, who is love. It follows that Love is thereforethe cardinal and unconditioned career of every human being, ( 11 ) . In matrimony, the love that adult male longs to show is done so most basically in conjugallove, the common and complete self-giving of a adult male and a adult female. So sexualitycould ne'er be seen, on this apprehension as something strictly physical, norpurely psychological either. It is the whole homo who engages in the sexualact, so the act itself is per se physical and religious. This is how onecommunicates his or her love for another, by the common self-giving in theconjugal act.

    However, love is non the lone rule intrinsic to conjugal acts. This fact is easy incontrovertible by observing that birth control contraceptionamounts to little more than unreal agencies of birth bar. But since itis of all time thought that this or that birth is necessitating to be prevented, it must bethe instance that there is a natural merchandise of connubial love. So, Donald Ascireasons, this is the other facet of Pope John Paul II 's divinity of theconjugal act. The organic structure by its really nature in gender

    is fecund - it is opento birthrate (The Conjugal Act as a Personal Act, 138 ) .Entirebrotherhood occurs with the giving of one 's organic structure and all of its conclusivenesss. In maleclimax, a conclusiveness is the releasing of seeds, in which is contained thepossibility of organizing a new human life ( if united with the gift of thewoman-the egg cell ) . There is a rule of entirety inherent in this concluding -the giving of one 's entire ego - his religious, physical and ( innatelycontained within the physical ) his fruitfulness.

    But, if by some assorted means the connubial act is noncompletedaccording to its intrinsic order something like a contradiction takes topographic point, harmonizing to Christopher West who cites subdivision 32 ofFamiliaris Consortio. West argues that one can non perchance keep that he gives his full ego to theother if at the most of import ( i.e. , climactic ) minute of intercourse - thevery minute when the integrity between the two ought to be felt most of all - one withdraws him or herself from the brotherhood. Fecund is what grownupsarebynature. Therefore, when 1 does such a thing as what West describes, he isengaging in a type of prevarication - a serious contradictory statement which says, I give you all of myself except my birthrate. I receive all that you areexceptyour birthrate, (Good Newss about Sexual activity and Marriage, 108 ) . Therefore, as JohnPaul II grounds in this subdivision officiated by West, the innate language of the sum and common self-denying inherent in the connubial becomes overlaid with a contradictory thought when adult male moving as the ultimate arbiter of his ain being

    and gender decides in a minute tononwholly give of his ego ( since his whole ego includes, as Asci has shownabove, his fruitfulness every bit good ) .

    The Essential Tension of Becoming What You Are

    The treatment therefore far leads of course to what many subsequently came tosee as a profound and extremely of import instruction ofFamiliaris Consortio: Families, you are to go what you are! This transition so frequently quoted runsthus,



    1. Asci, Donald P.The Conjugal Act as aPersonal Act: A Study of the Catholic Concept of
    2. the ConjugalAct in the Light of Christian Anthropology.SanFrancisco: Ignatius Press, 2002.
    3. Catechism of the Catholic Church,2d erectile dysfunction. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1997.
    4. John Paul II, Pope.The Theology of theBody: Human Love in the Divine Plan. Boston,
    5. Pauline Booksand Media, 1997.
    6. Familiaris Consortio.Vatican Translation. Boston: St. Paul Books, 1982.
    7. Markey, Barbara. Cohabitation: Responseover Reaction.The Priest,November, 2000,
    8. 19-24. Availableonline from Catholic Culture.
    9. Thisencyclical in its entireness is contained within a work listed in ourbibliography.The Theology of the Body, which is a digest ofvarious instructions of Pope John Paul II on matrimony and connubial love, hasHumanaeVitaeas its first appendix. The reader may freely happen the encyclical hereand many topographic points elsewhere ( including the Vatican 's official web site ) .
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