Thursday, March 23, 2017
Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 262 - Part III.
(Youcat answer - repeated) A sacramental marriage has three necessary elements: (a) free consent, (b) the affirmation of a lifelong, exclusive union, and (c) openness to children. The most profound thing about a Christian marriage, however, is the couple’s knowledge: “We are a living image of the love between Christ and the Church.”
A deepening through CCC
(CCC 1649) Yet there are some situations in which living together becomes practically impossible for a variety of reasons. In such cases the Church permits the physical separation of the couple and their living apart. The spouses do not cease to be husband and wife before God and so are not free to contract a new union. In this difficult situation, the best solution would be, if possible, reconciliation. The Christian community is called to help these persons live out their situation in a Christian manner and in fidelity to their marriage bond which remains indissoluble (Cf. FC 83; CIC, cann. 1151-1155). 1649
Reflecting and meditating
(Youcat comment) The requirement of unity and indissolubility is directed in the first place against polygamy, which Christianity views as a fundamental offense against charity and human rights; it is also directed against what could be called “successive polygamy”, a series of non-binding love affairs that never arrive at one, great, irrevocable commitment. The requirement of marital fidelity entails a willingness to enter a lifelong union, which excludes affairs outside the marriage. The requirement of openness to fertility means that the Christian married couple are willing to accept any children that God may send them. Couples who remain childless are called by God to become “fruitful” in some other way. A marriage in which one of these elements is excluded at the marriage ceremony is not valid.
(CCC 1651) Toward Christians who live in this situation, and who often keep the faith and desire to bring up their children in a Christian manner, priests and the whole community must manifest an attentive solicitude, so that they do not consider themselves separated from the Church, in whose life they can and must participate as baptized persons: They should be encouraged to listen to the Word of God, to attend the Sacrifice of the Mass, to persevere in prayer, to contribute to works of charity and to community efforts for justice, to bring up their children in the Christian faith, to cultivate the spirit and practice of penance and thus implore, day by day, God's grace (FC 84).