In the past and even now people were marrying mostly for political reasons. That happened also in the Christian world. So is it a sin to marry not out of love but out of political reasons, and is it moral that the father decides who shall his daughter marry?
I am not sure, but if there is a cultural expectation and acceptance by both parties I imagine the marriage could be viewed as valid. There of course must be fidelity and a commitment to stay married. My concern is that there would be an open door there for annulment as one might view this arrangement as lacking free will choice by one or both parties being married.
I certainly would not submit to it. But, yes it is still done.
As long as both parties enter into the marriage of their own free will and intend to actually be married (all other things being equal), the marriage is valid.
I can’t really say that marriage “for love” is such a success that it would make a good goal.
The concept of romantic attraction being synominous with Love and for that too be the only valid basis on which to select a partner for marriage is a modern distortion generated by the culture of Hollywood.
The biblical understanding of love is all about choice; a decision of free will to live and commit to another person. Ironically when a couple are in the throes of a romantic affair their free will is significantly compromised and their purchased for us by the sacrifice ability to make a truly free decision or rationally consider the long term suitability of their partner can be virtually nill.
based on this it would be far easier to demonstrate that a person entering a marriage for other reasons was doing so with full consent of the will and far harder to demonstrate that the Marriage is invalid due to a lack of capacity.
Further more my understanding of the churches teaching on stained marriages is that they
are a fine provided there is no coercion and genuine free will on the party of the spouses.
Statically groups which practice stained marriages or other formal types of matchmaking typically have far lower levels of marriage breakdown than that seen in modern Western countries.
No, if there is anything political history has shown over the years is that romantic love is not a requirement for a marriage, totally irrelevant in fact as far as Church teaching goes where love is defined differently.
Love does grow sometimes over the years in an arranged marriage, but it’s absence hardly matters either. You don’t have to like your spouse, you just have to uphold a commitment. If that culture expects a parent to choose the daughter/sons spouse then this can be followed.
So, marriage becomes something which is “done to me”, a duty, a lifelong “job”. Without love, sex is at best procreative, never unitive.
Does this fit the catholic model of marriage?
Clearly it must do, take a look at any section of the Catholic upper classes around Europe (who were the best documented, discounting freak examples like Gilies De Rais) and see how many were married off for love rather than dynastic alliances, especially in the Italian states. I’d wager it was a very small minority, possibly increasing slightly as you descend the social ladder into the less well documented middle classes.
Sex served then as it does now for procreation albeit we tend to lack the dynastic concerns. Romantic feelings are a different kettle of fish entirely. earlier examples seen in chaste practices such as “Courtly love”.
Those women married off had to live loveless lives while their royal/noble husbands slept around and only returned to their wives to “beget” children. What terrible lives for those women and how very unChristian a set- up.
Being of the upper class did not make those marriages right or truly Christian.
Romantic love is not a requirement for the unitive aspect of the marital act. A couple who is not in a place of romantic emotionality may still be engaging in relations in recognition of the physical oneness that promotes a life-long marriage. There is nothing in this definition that makes it a “job” or something “done to” a spouse.
In both Humanae Vitae and Familiaris Consortio, married love is described not as a romantic feeling but as a lifelong unselfish commitment. Such a commitment is certainly possible in an arranged marriage.
The poster I responded to states that love is not required for marriage. The two parties may barely know each other, and their “consent” to marry is born of an obligation or a duty.
Having sex with a wife who felt no love for me - what a dismal thought…
What distinguishes unitive from non-unitive relations?
Non-unitive relations are those that are not for the good of the marriage and/or are not self-giving. Many of the acts that are not ordered toward procreation are also not unitive. Contraception, mutual masturbation would be examples. All non-marital sexual acts are non-unitive as are all sexual acts that are borne of violence such as rape or coerced sex.
Can you point me to a reference to this description of unitive? Your definition of unitive makes the term procreative unnecessary!
I would have viewed a loving act of mutual masturbation or sex with ABC as unitive, though obviously not procreative.
There are many documents that speak of the unitive aspect in this way. Here’s one response from the Culture of Life foundation. The query was about contraception specifically.
Contraceptive acts are non-procreative and non-unitive, insofar as rejecting the procreative meaning of sexual intercourse they do not realize between couples an integral one-flesh union.
And here’s a CAF thread from a few years ago that has several other documents linked.
Corki’s links are excellent.
I agree that the idea of being tied to a spouse you feel nothing for is hardly pleasant, but that is just how it is. The commitment is what matters, your own desires are not relevant (as far as teaching goes).
It must also be terrible for a woman forced into a marriage for political, whatever reason, to have to sleep with her husband.
More specifically, it is done BY you. You confer the Sacrament on your spouse.
What the Church requires is that both parties give their consent to the marriage.
Yes, that would be a sad situation. But there is a world of difference between being “forced into a marriage” and having a marriage arranged for political or cultural reasons. An arranged marriage is not automatically a forced or unpleasant union.
In the past, I worked with many people (men and women) who were originally from India where arranged marriages are still common. Most of these marriages were very happy. Sure there were some who were unhappy (as there certainly are with those who marry for love) but it is not some modern version of female servitude. It’s merely a different temporal way of viewing marriage. Westerners tend to focus on the “now” and figure if they love each other “now” everything else will work out. Cultures that practice arranged marriage focus more on the future and trust that if they take a long term view of making a good match, the “now” will work out.
I was only referring to political marriages and some arranged marriages as some in the Middle East (child brides and where the consent of the woman is not obtained.
I agree with you that some arranged marriages are fine where both parties get to meet and fully consent. However, not all such cultures are good where the wife (sometimes the husband), is underage and where the bride’s consent is not obtained. In Islam, only the consent of the bride’s father or nearest of age male next of kin, is required and this rule is still used to force women into marriages by some.
But that was not the OP’s question. Of course, a marriage where both parties aren’t consenting would not be moral. Nor would a marriage where one party is underage. But that’s a completely different topic that presented in this thread.