Understanding Catholic Social Teaching: The Family and Its Economy of Love
have the four "marks" as we discussed in our last article, is in fact an anti-marriage.
The fact is that there will never be anything close to approaching a just society as long as our laws do not recognize the characteristic and fundamental traits of marriage, the four "marks" of marriage: a relationship between one man and one woman that is marked by unity, indissolubility and fidelity, and fruitfulness. Our society must reject other false models of marriage. Similarly, it must promote the unique oikonomia of the family.
It is therefore necessary that public authorities "resist these tendencies which divide society and are harmful to the dignity, security, and welfare of the citizens as individuals, and they must try to ensure that public opinion is not led to undervalue the institutional importance of marriage and the family." (Compendium, No. 229)
Clearly, positive law alone will not cure the social ills we suffer from as a result of false concepts of marriage and family. Positive law is a slim reed, and is a poor tool to hold social corruption in check. It is a horribly blunt social instrument. The cure for our social disease will require the concerted action of the entirety of civil society. It will require a change of hearts, something the law cannot supply, though it can support. At the forefront of this effort to change hearts and to change laws ought to be the Catholic witness.
"It is the task of the Christian community and of all who have the good of society at heart to reaffirm that 'the family constitutes much more than a mere juridical, social, and economic unity, [but that it is] a community of love and solidarity, which is uniquely suited to teach and transmit cultural, ethical, social, spiritual, and religious values essential for the development and well-being of its members and of society.'" (Compendium, No. 229)
We have our marching orders. Let us get to marching.
Andrew M. Greenwell is an attorney licensed to practice law in Texas, practicing in Corpus Christi, Texas. He is married with three children. He maintains a blog entirely devoted to the natural law called Lex Christianorum. You can contact Andrew at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: marriage, family, Pro-Family, Family politics, Pope benedict XVI, Social Justice, Compendium, Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.
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