What is marriage?


#1

Any good sources that discuss in depth the theology of marriage in the Latin Church?


#2

Well, I found a Theology of Marriage pdf. It only says “Catholic Church” but I’m pretty sure they’re referring to the latin Catholic Church:

archatl.com/offices/tribunal/newcs/TheologyOfMarriage.pdf

"The Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World GAUDIUM ET SPES promulgated by his Holiness, Pope Paul the VI on the 7 of December 1965 teaches how the “Marriage is a covenant by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, which, by its very nature, is ordered toward the good of the spouses and toward the procreation and education of offspring, and which, between the baptized, has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of sacrament.”

The whole thing is only a short summary though.

Here’s a link that’s a little longer:

archden.org/tribunal/documents/sacrament_of_marriage.htm


#3

Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body


#4

^^ Definitely this ^^

ConstantineTG, Theology of the Body is by far the most thourough treatement of marriage, sex, and the dignity of the human person ever given in the Western Chuch. And it is beautiful. I have heard people say that it made them look at their wife in a whole new way, with respect, and dignity, and that it made them love their wife more purely, if I can put it that way.

The actual content of all 129 general audiences given by Blessed Pope John Paul II are at ewtn.com/library/papaldoc/jp2tbind.htm.

The sacramentality of marriage, duties of the human heart, original innocence before sin entered the world and Christ’s response, “In the beginning it was not so” to the pharisees who asked about divorce…

There is much content, but it is worth reading. TOB is one of the great treasures Blessed John Paul II left for the Church and for the world, a clear example of why he deserves the title “The Great”.

Christopher West has written some analysis, including “Theology of the Body for Beginners”, which is a good place to start if you don’t have time to read all of the Holy Father’s catechesis.

-Tim-


#5

Thanks!

Problem with Theology of the Body is that it has a lot of Eastern elements in it like Theosis. I want to understand a more classical understanding of Marriage from Latin Theology.


#6

An excellent initial exposure to the sacrament of marriage is addressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It is a comprehensive overview; although I am aware you want an in-depth source.


#7

[quote="FloridaJoan, post:6, topic:290532"]
An excellent initial exposure to the sacrament of marriage is addressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It is a comprehensive overview; although I am aware you want an in-depth source.

[/quote]

Of course, I want a deep dive into the Western theology of marriage ;)


#8

vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/cti_documents/rc_cti_1977_sacramento-matrimonio_en.html


#9

I’m sure you know this, but what I remember to be one of the biggest differences is that the Latin Church considers the couples the ministers of the Sacrament where as the Easterners consider the ministers the Priest.

In this aspect it seems to me like Eastern theology makes much more sense. Why then do Priests need to be at sacramental marriages at all? So if a man and a woman were stranded on a deserted island unmarried they could just marry themselves on the island and claim to be husband and wife when they’re found and rescued? If not, why not? :confused:

I never got that one :shrug:


#10

[quote="Marc_Anthony, post:9, topic:290532"]
I'm sure you know this, but what I remember to be one of the biggest differences is that the Latin Church considers the couples the ministers of the Sacrament where as the Easterners consider the ministers the Priest.

In this aspect it seems to me like Eastern theology makes much more sense. Why then do Priests need to be at sacramental marriages at all? So if a man and a woman were stranded on a deserted island unmarried they could just marry themselves on the island and claim to be husband and wife when they're found and rescued? If not, why not? :confused:

I never got that one :shrug:

[/quote]

Stranded on a desert island the couple could marry themselves, but not without two witnesses, per the canons (CCEO or CIC). East or west, it must occur with Church approval, which conditions are listed, and with the two witnesses.CCEO

Canon 828
1. Only those marriages are valid which are celebrated with a sacred rite, in the presence of the local hierarch, local pastor, or a priest who has been given the faculty of blessing the marriage by either of them, and at least two witnesses, according, however to the prescriptions of the following canons, with due regard for the exceptions mentioned in cann. 832 and 834, 2.
2. That rite which is considered a sacred rite is the intervention a priest assisting and blessing.

Canon 832
1. If one cannot have present or have access to a priest who is competent according to the norm of law without grave inconvenience, those intending to celebrate a true marriage can validly and licitly celebrate it before witnesses alone:
(1) in danger of death;
(2) outside the danger of death, as long as it is prudently foreseen that such circumstances will continue for a month.
2. In either case, if another priest, even a non-Catholic one, is able to be present, inasmuch as it is possible he is to be called so that he can bless the marriage, without prejudice for the validity of a marriage in the presence only of the witnesses.
3. If a marriage was celebrated in the presence only of witnesses, the spouses shall not neglect to receive the blessing of the marriage from a priest as soon as possible.

CIC

Can. 1108 §1. Only those marriages are valid which are contracted before the local ordinary, pastor, or a priest or deacon delegated by either of them, who assist, and before two witnesses according to the rules expressed in the following canons and without prejudice to the exceptions mentioned in cann. 144, 1112, §1, 1116, and 1127, §§1-2.

Can. 1116
§1. If a person competent to assist according to the norm of law cannot be present or approached without grave inconvenience, those who intend to enter into a true marriage can contract it validly and licitly before witnesses only:
1/ in danger of death;
2/ outside the danger of death provided that it is prudently foreseen that the situation will continue for a month.
§2. In either case, if some other priest or deacon who can be present is available, he must be called and be present at the celebration of the marriage together with the witnesses, without prejudice to the validity of the marriage before witnesses only.

Canon 1121
§2. Whenever a marriage is contracted according to the norm of can. 1116, a priest or deacon, if he was present at the celebration, or otherwise the witnesses in solidum with the contracting parties are bound to inform as soon as possible the pastor or local ordinary about the marriage entered into.


#11

Marriage is a giving of self to your spouse. Dying to self where the man and the woman become one. Marriage is the domestic church where the marital act is so holy that it can create new life. I'm not sure if you'll read that in a church document or not but that's what marriage is in my mind.


#12

Right, I understand all of that. It just makes no sense. Why are witnesses required for validity if they’re not the ministers of the sacrament :confused: It makes no sense to me…Priest being the Minister just seems more logical.


#13

I believe it was borne out of a time when people just show up and claim to be married to one another. For one thing, you must be free when taking a vow. Who can make the certainty that you are indeed free? Also, vows should be done publicly, so there must be witnesses to the vow.


#14

I get that. But it says that having witnesses affects the marriage’s validity, not licitness (that word seems wrong but you get what I mean :stuck_out_tongue: ).

But technically if the couple is the Minister of the Sacrament couldn’t they be validly married with no witnesses? It would just be (rightfully) illicit.

The Latin Church’s just seems inconsistent on this matter to me. :shrug:


#15

I think the issue is that a vow must be received by someone, and the Church stipulates that that person is usually a clergyman. But, the reception of the vow is different from the effect of the vow, which is the total self-giving of one spouse to the other.


#16

The Catechism does not mention the fact that the witnesses are required for validity. Witnesses are required for proof of what occurred: it can’t be valid if there is no proof.

In either west or east the clergy provide the blessing. The law is that the blessing must normally be obtained from the bishop or priest for validity, or permitted by a deacon for the Latin Church. (Normally, because you can see there is an exception where is it not possible, for a month, even although valid, in the eastern churches the blessing is to be obtained as soon a possible). A deacon in the eastern churches cannot give any blessings (but a Latin deacon can), only priests or bishops.

CCC 1623 According to Latin tradition, the spouses as ministers of Christ’s grace mutually confer upon each other the sacrament of Matrimony by expressing their consent before the Church. In the tradition of the Eastern Churches, the priests (bishops or presbyters) are witnesses to the mutual consent given by the spouses,124 but for the validity of the sacrament their blessing is also necessary.125

Latin

CIC Can. 530 The functions especially entrusted to the parish priest are as follows: …
4° the assistance at marriages and the nuptial blessing;

CIC Canon 1169 §3 A deacon can impart only those blessings which are expressly permitted to him by law.


#17

Thanks Vico, that just about answers my question. :)


#18

The Latin Church’s approach to marriage theology is legalistic, to say the least. That is why I want to learn more about the teachings on marriage from the Western praxis for me to understand it better.


#19

So what is the simple answer?

If a couple (let’s say they were already engaged, to make everything as simple as possible) were stranded on an island alone, could they validly marry each other on the island, then have the marriage blessed later, if/when they reunited with the outside world?

Since the couple ministers the sacrament to each other, I’d assume the answer is yes.


#20

I believe this is a short but somewhat accurate answer. But I want to understand the inner workings of the Sacrament of Marriage in the Latin theology. Why is this possible to perform a Sacrament without a priest?


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