Only one purpose of marital act until VC II?


#1

This was recently a new info for me. Though I maybe should have known that before… But did the CC until the VC II teach that the marital act was “only” for bringing new life? Why?


#2

Hi Zemi,

The thought of Vatican II on marriage is found in the document Gaudium and Spes, which is found at

ewtn.com/library/COUNCILS/v2modwor.htm

The part on marriage starts at paragraph 47.

I don’t think the Church ever emphasized the purpose of the marital act as such, but rather the purpose of MARRIAGE, which certainly goes way beyond the marital act. Here from Gaudium et Spes :

For, God Himself is the author of matrimony, endowed as it is with various benefits and purposes.(1) All of these have a very decisive bearing on the continuation of the human race, on the personal development and eternal destiny of the individual members of a family, and on the dignity, stability, peace and prosperity of the family itself and of human society as a whole. By their very nature, the institution of matrimony itself and conjugal love are ordained for the procreation and education of children, and find in them their ultimate crown. Thus a man and a woman, who by their compact of conjugal love “are no longer two, but one flesh” (Matt. 19:ff),** render mutual help and service to each other through an intimate union of their persons and of their actions.** Through this union they experience the meaning of their oneness and attain to it with growing perfection day by day. As a mutual gift of two persons, this intimate union and the good of the children impose total fidelity on the spouses and argue for an unbreakable oneness between them.(2)

Vatican II did not invent something new. This doctrine goes right back to St. Paul, who compares the relationship of spouses to the relationship between Christ and the Church. The primary purpose of marriage, in the mind of the Creator, is procreation, but that is certainly not the be-all and end-all of marriage, as is evidenced in the relationship of spouses who cannot have children, which the document also talks about.

I suggest you do a serious read of the suggested section.

Verbum


#3

No, it did not, which is why it would be news to you-- because it isn’t true.

Some individuals (for example St. Augustine) leaned in that direction.

But, no, the Church has never taught this as doctrine.


#4

Just out of curiosity, where did you hear this from?


#5

Hm. I heard it from a priest and I said to myself “Hey, how come I have never heard this before?” So I’m going to check it out and ask him what he meant by that or what doctrine he had on mind respectivelly.


#6

Ask him if that means he wouldn’t have allowed a post menopausal woman to marry and/or sleep with her husband.


#7

The Encyclical Casti Connubii was written in 1930, well before V-II. I suggest you look at it as a refutation of this priest’s assertion.


#8

I’ll do my best :slight_smile: I want to get down to reading the documents of the CC. I’m quite behind in this. I’m reading other stuff but on the other hand - lagging behind here.


#9

No, there have always been two purposes…but the primary purpose is always subordinate to the secondary purpose.

Taken from Allocution of Pope Pius XII to Midwives, Vatican, October 29, 1951, Pope Pius XII:

**The primary end of marriage **

Now, the truth is that matrimony, as an institution of nature, in virtue of the Creator’s will, has not as a primary and intimate end the personal perfection of the married couple but the procreation and upbringing of a new life. The other ends, inasmuch as they are intended by nature, are not equally primary, much less superior to the primary end, but are essentially subordinated to it. This is true of every marriage, even if no offspring result, just as of every eye it can be said that it is destined and formed to see, even if, in abnormal cases arising from special internal or external conditions, it will never be possible to achieve visual perception.
It was precisely to end the uncertainties and deviations which threatened to diffuse errors regarding the scale of values of the purposes of matrimony and of their reciprocal relations, that a few years ago (March 1944), We Ourselves drew up a declaration on the order of those ends, pointing out what the very internal structure of the natural disposition reveals. We showed what has been handed down by Christian tradition, what the Supreme Pontiffs have repeatedly taught, and what was then in due measure promulgated by the Code of Canon Law. Not long afterwards, to correct opposing opinions, the Holy See, by a public decree, proclaimed that it could not admit the opinion of some recent authors who denied that the primary end of marriage is the procreation and education of the offspring, or teach that the secondary ends are not essentially subordinated to the primary end, but are on an equal footing and independent of it.

Would this lead, perhaps, to Our denying or diminishing what is good and just in personal values resulting from matrimony and its realization? Certainly not, because the Creator has designed that for the procreation of a new life human beings made of flesh and blood, gifted with soul and heart, shall be called upon as men and not as animals deprived of reason to be the authors of their posterity. It is for this end that the Lord desires the union of husband and wife. Indeed, the Holy Scripture says of God that He created man to His image and He created him male and female, and willed—as is repeatedly affirmed in Holy Writ—that “a man shall leave mother and father, and shall cleave to his wife: and they shall be two in one flesh”.

Canon 1013 (1917 Code): The primary purpose of marriage is the procreation and education of children. The secondary purpose is to furnish mutual aid and a remedy for concupiscence.The essential characteristics of marriage are its unity and indissolubility, which obtain a special stability in Christian marriage by virtue of the sacrament.

Gorman


#10

Zemi

I think you are trying to start in the middle on this issue and that will make it difficult for you. The Church actually teaches in a total plan for mankind. In that plan the “act” is reserved for married people only. The “act” is performed freely within them. God grants children to the marriage union. Whether an “act” results or not in the grant is reserved to God not the couple. In Vatican II this issue became clouded with NFP and ABC. The Vatican clarified allowing timing of “acts” to avoid pregnancy, however directly forbid using ABC. The logic is the NFP was with in the bigger plan while ABC was not. The Church has always acknowledged “bonding” “intimacy” and other parts of the marriage belonging with in the overall plan of mankind. So your simplest answer is No the Church did not teach procreation was the sole reason for the act in the marriage, however the Church teaches it is the primary reason for the “act”.

Hope that helps


#11

Thanks you gorman64, Texas Roofer and everyone,

by looking at the documents and the Canon Law from 1917 and 1983 a I got it clear that the CC taught both those purposes but considered one being superior to the other.

Hm. Was it also so until 1917? I know of some Church Fathers that were for instance strictly opposed to marital acts when the purpose was not to procreate.

Thanks for the answers so far :slight_smile:


#12

Zemi,

Doctrine does not change. Yes, it was always so.


#13

Hm, as far as I know, doctrinal developement was a commonplace in the Church’s history. That’s why I was asking, you know…


#14

Development yes, change no.

What you are asking is if the church taught there was **only **one purpose. The answer is no.


#15

Ok, I get it though I think development involves always a change but in an additive sense and not negating the previous content :slight_smile:

Any links on the developement of this? thx :slight_smile:


#16

Ok, I get it though I think development involves always a change but in an additive sense and not negating the previous content :slight_smile:

Any links on the developement of this? thx :slight_smile:


#17

[quote=zemi]Thanks you gorman64, Texas Roofer and everyone,

by looking at the documents and the Canon Law from 1917 and 1983 a I got it clear that the CC taught both those purposes but considered one being superior to the other.

Hm. Was it also so until 1917? I know of some Church Fathers that were for instance strictly opposed to marital acts when the purpose was not to procreate.

Thanks for the answers so far :slight_smile:
[/quote]

Dear zemi,

The Holy Office addressed the question on the ends of matrimony and this Holy Office decision is the very one cited by Pope Pius XII in Address to Italian Midwives

It was precisely to end the uncertainties and deviations which threatened to diffuse errors regarding the scale of values of the purposes of matrimony and of their reciprocal relations, that a few years ago (March 1944), We Ourselves drew up a declaration on the order of those ends, pointing out what the very internal structure of the natural disposition reveals. We showed what has been handed down by Christian tradition, what the Supreme Pontiffs have repeatedly taught, and what was then in due measure promulgated by the Code of Canon Law. Not long afterwards, to correct opposing opinions, the Holy See, by a public decree, proclaimed that it could not admit the opinion of some recent authors who denied that the primary end of marriage is the procreation and education of the offspring, or teach that the secondary ends are not essentially subordinated to the primary end, but are on an equal footing and independent of it

.This is all part of the divine and natural law, as Pope Pius XII points out, and is thus irreformable. There can be no development that contradicts or lessens this teaching in any way. Note also that this Holy Office decision indicating this primary/secondary relationship of the ends of marriage is listed in Denzinger 2295, The Sources of Catholic Dogma:
The decree of the Holy Office dated April 1, 1944 says the following:

Denz. 2295 (AAS 36 (1944), 103): This revolutionary way of thinking and speaking aims to foster errors and uncertainties, to avoid which the Most Eminent and Very Reverend Fathers of the supreme Sacred Congregation, charged with the guarding of matters of faith and morals, in a plenary session, on Wednesday, the 29th of March, 1944, when the question was proposed to them: “Whether the opinion of certain recent persons can be admitted, who either deny that the primary purpose of matrimony is the generation and raising of offspring, or teach that the secondary purposes are not essentially subordinate to the primary purpose, but are equally first and independent,” have decreed that the answer must be: In the negative.

Gorman

So your simplest answer is No the Church did not teach procreation was the sole reason for the act in the marriage, however the Church teaches it is the primary reason for the “act”.

Dear Texas Roofer,

The conciliar church no longer teaches these ends as primary and secondary ends. It has leveled these ends.

Gorman


#18

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