[quote=mike182d]It really wasn’t until Theology of the Body that the Sacrament began to be truly understood in terms of the Eucharist and its proper role in our salvation history.
You seem to be saying here that people like St Thomas Aquinas did not understand the sacrament of matrimony! I admit that our understanding of the mysteries of faith can grow and deepen, but I would hesitate to say that we truly understand something as fundamental as matrimony while St Thomas Aquinas did not.
Personally, I think marriage should be treated exactly like the priesthood. People apply to seminary, go through rigorous study for six years (minimum) to understand the role of the priest, theology, and how their role fits into God’s plan. However, when two people decide to get married, often the priest just makes them sign a paper and their off on their own.
In most dioceses there is a policy setting a time of a few months (often about 6 months) prior notification before the wedding and there are classes and the like that are made available to the couple. Unlike the priesthood, marriage is a natural right. No one has a right to the priesthood. But two people capable of marrying each other and wanting to marry each other have a natural right to do so. A restriction of that right must be based on some compelling interest of the Church (such as for example concern for the soul of her children and so restricting mixed marriages or marriages with a disparity of cult)
I think there should be marriage “seminaries” where two people who wish to get married study the role of the married person in the Church, the theology of marriage, NFP, and even practical matters like how to raise kids.
As I said in most dioceses they provide classes and such for married couples. There is no need for every married person to be acquainted fully with the theology of marriage. Just because you are called to marriage doesn’t mean you are called, much less required, to be a theologian.
It is just as crucial to the life of the Church as the priesthood itself, as John Paul II so wonderfully explained, and it needs to be treated with the same regard.
Are you sure that’s what he said? It seems like you might be expanding on what he said a little. In any case, if there were no priests, the Church would assuredly die out since there cannot exist a Church without priests. But if there were no marriages, the Church would not die out (even though the faith wouldn’t propagate by way of children, it would still propagate by way of conversions).
In those regards, if the Church has a right to judge a seminarian’s vocation to the priesthood, they have every right to judge a person’s vocation to marriage.
No that’s not accurate. No one has a right to the priesthood. But people do have a natural right to marry in the sense I articulated above. At least that is what I have been taught. Maybe, I’ve been taught wrong.