Friday, March 24, 2017
Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 262 - Part IV.
(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 1650) Today there are numerous Catholics in many countries who have recourse to civil divorce and contract new civil unions. In fidelity to the words of Jesus Christ - "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery" (Mk 10:11-12) - the Church maintains that a new union cannot be recognized as valid, if the first marriage was. If the divorced are remarried civilly, they find themselves in a situation that objectively contravenes God's law. Consequently, they cannot receive Eucharistic communion as long as this situation persists. For the same reason, they cannot exercise certain ecclesial responsibilities. Reconciliation through the sacrament of Penance can be granted only to those who have repented for having violated the sign of the covenant and of fidelity to Christ, and who are committed to living in complete continence.
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 1653) The fruitfulness of conjugal love extends to the fruits of the moral, spiritual, and supernatural life that parents hand on to their children by education. Parents are the principal and first educators of their children (Cf. GE 3). In this sense the fundamental task of marriage and family is to be at the service of life (Cf. FC 28).