Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By

12/17/2008 (5 years ago)

Zenit News Agency (www.zenit.org)

Marriage and the family belong to the created order and are not a product of mere human decision. Written into the very nature of human being and revealed to us in the Bible, the family, founded on marriage, was established by God as a union between man and woman.

Highlights

By

Zenit News Agency (www.zenit.org)

12/17/2008 (5 years ago)

Published in Europe


TRENT, Italy (Zenit) - The final statement of the 1st European Catholic-Orthodox Forum on the theme: "The Family: A Good for Humanity" was held on Dec. 10-14, 2008 in Trent, Italy. (Catholic Online presents the conclusions in three parts, Editor)

* * *

Preamble

By the grace of the Holy Spirit, we, thirty representatives of the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches in Europe, from countries stretching from the Urals to the Atlantic, have gathered together for the First European Catholic-Orthodox Forum. We express our gratitude to all who have worked for the success of this meeting, especially to the Archbishop of Trent who warmly received us and offered hospitality. The meeting has been organised by the Council of European Bishops Conferences (CCEE), in close collaboration with various Orthodox Churches and some of the dicasteries of the Holy See.

We have expressed our deep sorrow at the sudden death of His Holiness, Patriarch Alexis II of Moscow and All Russia, who had warmly extended his blessing upon the project of this Forum.

What is the purpose of the Forum? It is not to discuss theological issues that are treated at other levels. Our task rather is to concentrate on anthropological issues of crucial importance for the present and future of humanity. The goal of the Forum is to help define common positions on social and moral questions. By engaging in this exchange, we help each other realize just how close our moral and social doctrines are. At the same time we make the world aware of our concerns.

We agreed to dedicate our first encounter to "The Family: A Good for Humanity". Countless numbers of families have contributed so much to European culture. We are grateful to them and in our prayer for families we remember specially those going through difficulties.

Over our four days together we have discussed topics relating to marriage and family, as well as various aspects of sexual ethics. It has been an opportunity for us to proclaim and live our faith, pray to the Lord for grace and reflect on how we might collaborate more. In particular, animated by the love of Christ for humanity, we have focused on the family, acknowledging all the efforts being done to promote family life on our continent, but also voicing our concern for the deteriorating condition of family life that is evident in many ambits of society.

Marriage and the family belong to the created order and are not a product of mere human decision. Written into the very nature of human being and revealed to us in the Bible, the family, founded on marriage, was established by God as a union between man and woman. The Bible presents us with a vision of the family as a unity of life-giving love, an indissoluble relationship, open to life.

I ľ Marriage and Family

Over the course of these days, we listened to some reports concerning the views of Catholic and Orthodox Churches in Europe. The following is a summary.

A. Orthodox Views on Marriage and the Family

In the Christian Orthodox tradition marriage is viewed as an eternal union of spouses, strengthened not only by physical, but also by spiritual intimacy. In spite of widespread belief to the contrary, the Orthodox Church "by no means calls on its members to shun the body or sexual intimacy as such, for physical relations between a man and a woman are blessed by God in marriage, where they become a source of the continuation of the human race and express chaste love, total community and the 'unity of souls and bodies' of the spouses." According to the teaching of the Orthodox Church, "the transformation of these relations, which are pure and worthy according to God's plan, as well as of the body itself into an object of degrading exploitation and trade aimed at the receiving of egoistic and impersonal, loveless and distorted satisfaction, deserves condemnation." (The Bases of the Social Conception of the Russian Orthodox ChurchX, 6.)

According to the Orthodox understanding, an essential element of the marital union and the fruit of the love between man and wife are children, the birth and upbringing of which are one of the main goals of marriage (Ibid., X 3-4). In accordance with this view, the Orthodox Church considers the freely willed rejection of childbirth and the artificial termination of pregnancy inadmissible. As the equivalent of murder, abortion is unequivocally rejected by the Church, which insists on the personal responsibility of all who take part in this act: the woman, the man (in the case of his consent) and the doctor(Ibid., XII,2).

On the basis of Holy Scripture and Tradition the Orthodox Church denounces homosexual relations, seeing in them the distortion of man's divinely created nature (Ibid., XII, 9). It also rejects all forms of fornication, adultery and marital infidelity, as well as prostitution and promiscuity. At the same time, it recognizes the need to pastorally assist those people who have disordered inclinations and whose way of life does not correspond to the Gospel's moral teaching.



Comments


More Europe

Spiritual Ecumenism: Pope Francis Visits Evangelical/Pentecostal Church in Caserta Italy Watch

Image of Pope Francis took a trip to Caserta, Italy on Monday, June 28, 2014. He visited with a friend named Giovanni Traettino who pastors an evangelical, charismatic/Pentecostal protestant Church.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Pope Francis took a trip to Caserta, Italy on Monday, June 28, 2014. He visited with a friend named Giovanni Traettino who pastors an evangelical, charismatic/Pentecostal protestant Church. This friend of Francis oversees the growing evangelical Church of the ... continue reading


He Went to Find Brothers: Message of Pope Francis to Evangelical/Pentecostal Brother John and the Church at Caserta Watch

Image of The welcome given to the Pope by the members of this evangelical/pentecostal protestant community of Christians was beautiful, respectful and loving. The way in which the entire encounter proceeded is a sign of where we are being challenged to live our own Christian lives. The message of Pope Francis at Caserta is clear and convincing. He went to find brothers, and sisters. So should we!  Authentic ecumenical efforts are a part of being a Catholic Christian.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The Pope addressed several hundred members of the Church of the Reconciliation who had gathered for this historic visit. He and his friend, a protestant pentecostal/evangelical pastor named John, stood together under an overhang which bore the words "Jesus is ... continue reading


Spanish priest packs them into church - by dancing the flamenco Watch

Image of Father Pepe danced in front of the late Pope John Paul II at the Vatican in 1997. He says w he will retire this coming September.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Jose Planas Moreno, known as "Father Pepe," has revived interest in his church in Malaga, Spain. The priest has brought parishioners flocking back to the Nuestra Se├▒ora Del Carmen church in Campanilla, a district of Malaga, with his unusual style of worship. ... continue reading


LUNCH SURPRISE: Pope Francis eats with Vatican employees in surprise visit Watch

Image of The Pope spent about an hour dining at a table with around 10 other people.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A "lunch surprise" usually means an item that's not on the menu offered at a lower price. At the Vatican, employees got quite a "lunch surprise" on Friday when their "boss" and bishop, Pope Francis, turned up at their cafeteria. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


Stop! I am asking you with all my heart. Stop! - Pope Urges End to Wars in Ukraine, Iraq and Gaza

Image of Brothers and sisters: never war.My thoughts go especially to the children, from whom we take away the hope for a decent life: dead children, injured children, maimed children, orphaned children, children who have war relics for toys, children who do not know how to smile.- Pope Francis

By Asia News

He mentions children, victims of war, "from whom we take away the hope for a decent life," urging the parties to address "every diatribe with the tenacity of dialogue and negotiation and the power of reconciliation". As tomorrow marks 100 years since the outbreak ... continue reading


Meriam Ibraham is Free! The Living God Has Heard the Cry of His People! Jesus Christ is Lord! Watch

Image of Meriam receives the blessing and the gratitude of the successor of Peter, Francis.- What should be front and center in every Christian news report on this remarkable story is that God intervened on behalf of Meriam and her family. The God whom we profess is real and His power is greater than any regime or any form of opposition. Yes, He used men and women, and even government leaders, to accomplish His deliverance. He often does. But it was His Love and Mercy which broke the shackles of evil. He deserves all the praise.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The photo of Pope Francis blessing Meriam Ibrahim and her little daughter Maya in the Casa Santa Marta on Thursday, July 24, 2014, reciving a blessing from a smiling Pope Francis, made millions of hearts leap for joy. The God of love answers the prayers of His ... continue reading


'A negative act necessarily must be condemned:' Vatican revising law on abuse penalties Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In regards to canonical law regarding acts of sexual misconduct, according to law ended up being too vague, Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta says, church sanctions were being applied so haphazardly that the church appeared to be divided. In response, the Vatican is ... continue reading


VILE: Somali girl smuggled into United Kingdom for organ harvesting Watch

Image of In perhaps the most horrific recent case, law enforcement learned that a Somali girl had been brought to England for the express purpose of harvesting her organs for transplant.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There has been a noticeable uptick of cases of human trafficking in the United Kingdom. In perhaps the most horrific recent case, law enforcement learned that a Somali girl had been brought to England for the express purpose of harvesting her organs for ... continue reading


HORRIFIC ABUSE: 18-year-old girl coerced into group sex while being recorded on cell phone Watch

Image of The incident is being called an example of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An 18-year-old girl performed explicit sex acts on 24 men on a dance floor with the promise of a holiday - which never arrived. Presented with a mixed drink for her acts of indecency, the sordid episode was recorded on a cell phone camera - for the world to ... continue reading


Female genital mutilation threatens young females in England, Wales Watch

Image of The Department of Health has ordered hospitals to report signs of genital mutilation. The first statistics aren't due until September.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Far away from Africa and parts of Asia, girls and young women are still at risk for female genital mutilation, or FGM within the United Kingdom. The barbaric practice, FGM, is still carried out among various immigrant females in both Great Britain and Wales. ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 18:1-6
1 The word that came to Jeremiah from Yahweh as ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 146:1-2, 2-4, 5-6
1 Alleluia! Praise Yahweh, my soul!2 I ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:47-53
47 'Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like a dragnet ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 31st, 2014 Image

St. Ignatius Loyola
July 31: St. Ignatius was born in the family castle in Guip˙zcoa, Spain, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter