II,II.3 Art.7:



[1604: Marital Communion-Image of Divine Love];    [1606 Discord=Inordinatio];   [Marriage=pedagogy (asceticism)]; [1618 Consecrated Celibacy]  [1646 Fidelity and Separation]  [1658 Single Persons]

For discord = disorder = misdirection, see 1606. Masturbation intrinsically and gravely disordered 2352. Twofold Natural order of marriage  to which fornication opposed 2353 Homosex'ty intrinsically disordered 2357 For fundamental ordering (telos, goal direction, ordinatio) , see also 1608 and 1601.  Complimentarity as ordus see 2333

Fundamental order






1601 THE matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward [:]

[1] the good of the spouses

[2]and the procreation and education of offspring;

this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament (CIC, can. 1055 # 1; cf. GS 48 # 1).”

1601 « Matrimoniale foedus, quo vir et mulier inter se totius vitae consortium constituunt, indole sua naturali ad

bonum coniugum atque ad

prolis generationem et educationem ordinatum,

a Christo Domino ad sacramenti dignitatem inter baptizatos evectum est ». 230

This is the fundamental "ordering" (telos, goal, diretion = ordinatus) of marriage.  For persistent ordering (ordus) of creation despite sin see below, 1608. For discord = disorder = misdirection, see 1606
For complimentarity as ordus see 2333 For discord = disorder = misdirection, see 1606

Ordinatum – Sp ordinando; Fr. ordonnée – Ger hingeordnet  (§1601)

Inordinatio –Sp. desorden; Fr. désordre – Ger, Unordnung (§1606-7)


For discord = disorder = misdirection, see 1606. Masturbation intrinsically and gravely disordered 2352. Twofold Natural order of marriage  to which fornication opposed 2353 Homosex'ty intrinsically disordered 2357 For fundamental ordering (telos, goal direction, ordinatio) , see also 1608 and 1601.  Complimentarity as ordus see 2333


I. Matrimonium in consilio Dei

1602 Sacred Scripture begins with the creation of man and woman in the image and likeness of God and concludes with a vision of “the wedding-feast of the Lamb (Rev 19:7, 9; cf. Gen 1:26-27) . Scripture speaks throughout of marriage and its “mystery,” its institution and the meaning God has given it, its origin and its end, its various realizations throughout the history of salvation, the difficulties arising from sin and its renewal “in the Lord” in the New Covenant of Christ and the Church (1 Cor 7:39; cf. Eph 5:31-32).

1602 Sacra Scriptura creatione viri et mulieris ad imaginem et similitudinem Dei incipit 231 et visione « nuptiarum Agni » (Apc 19,9) 232 concluditur. Ab initio usque ad finem, Scriptura de Matrimonio atque de eius loquitur mysterio, de eius institutione et de sensu quem Deus illi dedit, de eius origine et fine, de eius diversis adimpletionibus per decursum historiae salutis, de eius difficultatibus e peccato ortis et de eius renovatione « in Domino » (1 Cor 7,39), in Novo Christi et Ecclesiae Foedere. 233

Marriage in the order of creation

Matrimonium in creationis ordine

1603 “The intimate community of life and love which constitutes the married state has been established by the Creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws. . . . God himself is the author of marriage (GS 48 # 1).” The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator. Marriage is not a purely human institution despite the many variations it may have undergone through the centuries in different cultures, social structures, and spiritual attitudes. These differences should not cause us to forget its common and permanent characteristics. Although the dignity of this institution is not transparent everywhere with the same clarity (Cf. GS 47 # 2), some sense of the greatness of the matrimonial union exists in all cultures. “The well-being of the individual person and of both human and Christian society is closely bound up with the healthy state of conjugal and family life” (GS 47 # 1)

1603 « Intima communitas vitae et amoris coniugalis, a Creatore condita [est] suisque legibus instructa [...]. Ipse [...] Deus est auctor matrimonii ». 234 Vocatio ad matrimonium in ipsa natura viri et mulieris est inscripta, quales e manu Creatoris orti sunt. Matrimonium institutio mere humana non est, non obstantibus variationibus non paucis quas ipsum passum est per saeculorum decursum in diversis culturis, structuris socialibus et spiritualibus habitibus. Hae diversitates efficere non debent ut lineamenta communia et permanentia oblivioni mandentur. Licet non ubique huius institutionis dignitas eadem claritate illucescat, 235 in omnibus tamen culturis quidam de magnitudine unionis matrimonialis est sensus. « Salus personae et societatis humanae ac christianae arcte cum fausta condicione communitatis coniugalis et familiaris connectitur ». 236

1604 Rublev Trinity  






 The Hospitality
    of Abraham:
The Blessed Trinity

The most famous,
and perhaps
the most perfect,
iconic depiction
of God as a
communion of love
and a communion of persons






1604 GOD who created man out of love also calls him to love the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being. For man is created in the image and likeness of God who is himself love (Cf. Gen 1:27; 1 Jn 4:8, 16). Since God created him man and woman, their mutual love becomes an image of the absolute and unfailing love with which God loves man. It is good, very good, in the Creator’s eyes. And this love which God blesses is intended[:]

1604 Deus qui hominem ex amore creavit, eum etiam vocavit ad amorem, qui fundamentalis et innata omnis humanae personae est vocatio. Homo etenim ad imaginem et similitudinem Dei est creatus 237 qui Ipse « Caritas est » (1 Io 4,8.16). Cum Deus eum virum et mulierem creaverit, eorum mutuus amor imago fit amoris absoluti et indefectibilis quo Deus amat hominem. Hic est bonus, immo valde bonus, ante Creatoris oculos. 238 Et hic amor, quem Deus benedicit, destinatur

[1] to be fruitful and

[2] to be realized in the common work of watching [custodiae] over creation:

“And God blessed them, and God said to them: ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it’(Gen 1:28; cf. 1:31) .

ut fecundus sit atque

ut in opere communi custodiae creationis deducatur in rem:

« Benedixitque illis Deus et ait illis: “Crescite et multiplicamini et replete terram et subicite eam” » (Gn 1,28).

1605 Holy Scripture affirms that man and woman were created for one another: “It is not good that the man should be alone (Gen 2:18).” The woman, “flesh of his flesh,” his equal, his nearest in all things, is given to him by God as a “helpmate”; she thus represents God from whom comes our help (Cf. Gen 2:18-25). “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh (Gen 2:24).” The Lord himself shows that this signifies an unbreakable union of their two lives by recalling what the plan of the Creator had been “in the beginning”: “So they are no longer two, but one flesh”(Mt 19:6).

1605 Virum et mulierem alterum pro altero creatos esse sacra asserit Scriptura: « Non est bonum esse hominem solum » (Gn 2,18). Mulier, « caro de carne » eius, 239 id est, ei par, ei omnino proxima, illi a Deo donatur tamquam « adiutorium », 240 Deum sic repraesentans, a quo nostrum est auxilium. 241 « Quam ob rem relinquet vir patrem suum et matrem et adhaerebit uxori suae; et erunt in carnem unam » (Gn 2,24). Ipse Dominus ostendit hoc significare unitatem utriusque vitae indefectibilem, in memoriam revocans quale « ab initio » fuerit Creatoris consilium: 242 « Itaque iam non sunt duo sed una caro » (Mt 19,6).





This is the
(MISDIRECTION  = inordinatio)
For fundamental ordering (telos, goal direction, ordinatio) , see below (1608) and above, 1601

Ordinatum – Sp ordinando; Fr. ordonnée – Ger hingeordnet  (§1601)

Inordinatio –Sp. desorden; Fr. désordre – Ger, Unordnung (§1606-7)




Marriage under the regime of sin Matrimonium sub peccati regimine

1606 Every man experiences evil around him and within himself. This experience makes itself felt in the relationships between man and woman. Their union has always been threatened by

1606 Omnis homo circa se et in se ipso mali habet experientiam. Haec experientia in relationibus etiam percipitur inter virum et mulierem. Omni tempore, eorum unionem


a spirit of domination,


jealousy, and

conflicts that can escalate into hatred and separation.

dominationis spiritus, infidelitas,
et conflictus minantur qui usque ad odium et rupturam possunt pervenire.
This DISORDER can manifest itself more or less acutely, and can be more or less overcome according to the circumstances of cultures, eras, and individuals, but it does seem to have a universal character.  Haec inordinatio modo plus minusve acuto manifestari potest atque plus minusve potest superari secundum culturas, aetates, individua, sed indolem universalem videtur certo habere.

1607 According to faith th[is] disorder [inordinatio] we notice so painfully does not stem from the nature of man and woman, nor from the nature of their relations, but from sin. As a break with God, the first sin had for its first consequence the rupture of the original communion between man and woman. Their relations were distorted by mutual recriminations (Cf. Gen 3:12); their mutual attraction, the Creator’s own gift, changed into a relationship of domination and lust (Cf. Gen 2:22; 3:16b); and the beautiful vocation of man and woman to be fruitful, multiply, and subdue the earth was burdened by the pain of childbirth and the toil of work (Cf. Gen 1:28; 3:16-19).

1607 Secundum fidem, haec inordinatio, quam modo doloroso percipimus, e viri et mulieris non provenit natura neque ex natura relationum eorum, sed ex peccato. Primum peccatum, abruptio a Deo, tamquam primam habet consequentiam abruptionem originalis communionis viri et mulieris. Eorum necessitudines mutuis detorquentur obiurgationibus; 243 eorum mutua attractio, proprium Creatoris donum, 244 in dominationis et cupiditatis mutatur relationes; 245 pulchra vocatio viri et mulieris ut fecundi sint, multiplicentur et terram subiiciant, 246 poenis gravatur partus et laboris ad panem obtinendum. 247

1608 Persistent order of creation  

1608 Nevertheless, the order [ordo] of creation persists, though seriously disturbed. To heal the wounds of sin, man and woman need the help of the grace that God in his infinite mercy never refuses them (Cf. Gen 3:21). Without his help man and woman cannot achieve the union of their lives for which God created them “in the beginning.”

1608 Creationis tamen subsistit ordo, quamquam graviter perturbatus. Ad vulnera peccati sananda, vir et mulier egent adiutorio gratiae quam Deus, in Sua infinita misericordia, nunquam eis recusavit. 248 Sine hoc adiumento, vir et mulier pervenire non possunt ad vitarum suarum efficiendam unionem, ad quam « ab initio » Deus eos creavit.

Marriage under the pedagogy of the Law Matrimonium sub Legis paedagogia

1609 In his mercy God has not forsaken sinful man. The punishments consequent upon sin, “pain in childbearing” and toil “in the sweat of your brow (Gen 3:16, 19),” also embody remedies that limit the damaging effects of sin. After the fall, marriage helps to overcome [:]

1609 Deus in Sua misericordia hominem peccatorem non dereliquit. Poenae quae peccatum sunt secutae, dolores partus, 249 labor « in sudore vultus tui » (Gn 3,19) remedia etiam constituunt quae peccati minuunt damna. Post lapsum, matrimonium adiuvat



pursuit of one’s own pleasure,

and to open oneself to the other,

to mutual aid

and to self-giving [sui donum].

ad superandum recessum in se ipsum,

« egoismum »,

 sui amorem,  conquisitionem propriae voluptatis,

atque ad se alteri aperiendum,

ad mutuum adiutorium,

ad sui donum.

1610 Moral conscience concerning the unity and indissolubility of marriage developed under the pedagogy of the old law. In the Old Testament the polygamy of patriarchs and kings is not yet explicitly rejected. Nevertheless, the law given to Moses aims at protecting the wife from arbitrary domination by the husband, even though according to the Lord’s words it still carries traces of man’s “hardness of heart” which was the reason Moses permitted men to divorce their wives (Cf. Mt 19:8; Deut 24:1).

1610 Conscientia moralis relate ad matrimonii unitatem et indissolubilitatem sub Legis veteris paedagogia est aucta. Patriarcharum et regum polygamia nondum expresse reiicitur. Tamen Lex Moysi tradita tendit ad mulierem contra arbitrium dominatus viri defendendam, quamvis et ipsa etiam secum ferat, iuxta Domini verbum, vestigia « duritiae cordis » viri, propter quam Moyses mulieris permisit repudium. 250

1611 Seeing God’s covenant with Israel in the image of exclusive and faithful married love, the prophets prepared the Chosen People’s conscience for a deepened understanding of the unity and indissolubility of marriage (Cf. Hos 1-3; Isa 54; 62; Jer 2-3; 31; Ezek 16; 23; Mal 2:13-17). The books of Ruth and Tobit bear moving witness to an elevated sense of marriage and to the fidelity and tenderness of spouses. Tradition has always seen in the Song of Solomon a unique expression of human love, insofar as it is a reflection of God’s love - a love “strong as death” that “many waters cannot quench (Song 8:6-7).”

1611 Prophetae, Foedus Dei cum Israel sub coniugalis amoris exclusivi et fidelis perspicientes imagine, 251 populi electi praeparaverunt conscientiam ad profundiorem unicitatis et indissolubilitatis matrimonii intelligentiam. 252 Libri Ruth atque Thobis testimonia commoventia praebent de alto matrimonii sensu, de fidelitate et teneritudine coniugum. Traditio in Cantico Canticorum expressionem semper vidit singularem amoris humani, quatenus hic repercussio est amoris Dei, amoris qui « fortis est ut mors » et quem « aquae multae non potuerunt exstinguere » (Ct 8,6-7).

Marriage in the Lord Matrimonium in Domino

1612 The nuptial covenant between God and his people Israel had prepared the way for the new and everlasting covenant in which the Son of God, by becoming incarnate and giving his life, has united to himself in a certain way all mankind saved by him, thus preparing for “the wedding-feast of the Lamb (Rev 19:7, 9; cf. GS 22).”

1612 Nuptiale Foedus inter Deum et Eius populum Israel Novum et aeternum praeparaverat Foedus, in quo Filius Dei, Se incarnans Suamque donans vitam, totum genus humanum ab Ipso salvatum quodammodo Sibi coniunxit, 253 sic « nuptias Agni » praeparans. 254

1613 On the threshold of his public life Jesus performs his first sign - at his mother’s request - during a wedding feast (Cf. Jn 2:1-11). The Church attaches great importance to Jesus’ presence at the wedding at Cana. She sees in it the confirmation of the goodness of marriage and the proclamation that thenceforth marriage will be an efficacious sign of Christ’s presence.

1613 Iesus, in Suae vitae publicae limine, Suum primum signum — ob matris Suae petitionem — in quodam matrimonii festo est operatus. 255 Ecclesia magni fecit Iesu praesentiam in nuptiis Canae. Ibi confirmationem perspicit bonitatis matrimonii ibique annuntiari matrimonium exinde signum efficax praesentiae Christi esse futurum.

1614 In his preaching Jesus unequivocally taught the original meaning of the union of man and woman as the Creator willed it from the beginning permission given by Moses to divorce one’s wife was a concession to the hardness of hearts (Cf. Mt 19:8). The matrimonial union of man and woman is indissoluble: God himself has determined it “what therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder (Mt 19:6).”

1614 Iesus, in praedicatione Sua, sine ambiguitate docuit originalem sensum unionis viri et mulieris, qualem ab initio eam voluit Creator: permissio, a Moyse concessa, propriam repudiandi uxorem, cordis duritiae erat concessio; 256 matrimonialis viri et mulieris coniunctio indissolubilis est: Deus Ipse eam perfecit: « Quod ergo Deus coniunxit, homo non separet » (Mt 19,6).

1615 This unequivocal insistence on the indissolubility of the marriage bond may have left some perplexed and could seem to be a demand impossible to realize. However, Jesus has not placed on spouses a burden impossible to bear, or too heavy - heavier than the Law of Moses (Cf. Mk 8:34; Mt 11:29-30). By coming to restore the original order of creation disturbed by sin, he himself gives the strength and grace to live marriage in the new dimension of the Reign of God. It is by following Christ, renouncing themselves, and taking up their crosses that spouses will be able to “receive” the original meaning of marriage and live it with the help of Christ (Cf. Mt 19:11). This grace of Christian marriage is a fruit of Christ’s cross, the source of all Christian life.

1615 Haec haud ambigua in vinculi matrimonialis indissolubilitate instantia perplexitatem inducere potuit et quasi exigentia videri quae effici nequit. 257 Tamen Iesus coniugibus non imposuit pondus quod ferri non possit et nimis grave, 258 Lege Moysis onerosius. Veniens ad initialem creationis ordinem, peccato perturbatum, restaurandum, Ipse vim praebet et gratiam ad vivendum in matrimonio secundum novam Regni Dei rationem. Coniuges, Christum sequentes, sibi ipsis abrenuntiantes, suam crucem super se tollentes, 259 « capere » 260 poterunt originalem matrimonii sensum et cum Christi adiutorio vivere iuxta illum. Haec Matrimonii christiani gratia fructus est crucis Christi, quae totius vitae christianae est fons.

1616 This is what the Apostle Paul makes clear when he says: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her,” adding at once: “‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one. This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the Church (Eph 5:25-26, 31-32; Cf. Gen 2:24).”

1616 Apostolus Paulus hoc praebet intelligendum dicens: « Viri, diligite uxores, sicut et Christus dilexit Ecclesiam et Seipsum tradidit pro ea, ut illam sanctificaret » (Eph 5,25-26), statim adiungens: « “Propter hoc relinquet homo patrem et matrem et adhaerebit uxori suae, et erunt duo in carne una”. Mysterium hoc magnum est; ego autem dico de Christo et Ecclesia! » (Eph 5,31-32).

1617 The entire Christian life bears the mark of the spousal love of Christ and the Church. Already Baptism, the entry into the People of God, is a nuptial mystery; it is so to speak the nuptial bath (Cf. Eph 5:26-27). which precedes the wedding feast, the Eucharist. Christian marriage in its turn becomes an efficacious sign, the sacrament of the covenant of Christ and the Church. Since it signifies and communicates grace, marriage between baptized persons is a true sacrament of the New Covenant (Cf. DS 1800; CIC, Can. 1055 # 2).

1617 Tota vita christiana signum amoris sponsalis fert Christi et Ecclesiae. Iam Baptismus, in populum Dei ingressus, mysterium est nuptiale: est quasi nuptiarum lavacrum 261 quod nuptiarum praecedit convivium, Eucharistiam. Matrimonium christianum, e parte sua, signum fit efficax, sacramentum Foederis Christi et Ecclesiae. Quia eius significat et communicat gratiam, Matrimonium inter baptizatos verum est Novi Foederis sacramentum. 262







Virginitas propter Regnum





(clerical celibacy: 1579)


1618 CHRIST is the center of all Christian life. The bond with him takes precedence over all other bonds, familial or social (Cf. Lk 14:26; Mk 10:28-31. From the very beginning of the Church there have been men and women who have renounced the great good of marriage to follow the Lamb wherever he goes, to be intent on the things of the Lord, to seek to please him, and to go out to meet the Bridegroom who is coming (Cf. Rev 14:4; 1 Cor 7:32; Mt 2:56). Christ himself has invited certain persons to follow him in this way of life, of which he remains the model:

1618 Christus totius vitae christianae est centrum. Vinculum cum Ipso primum locum obtinet relate ad omnia alia vincula familiaria vel socialia. 263 Ab Ecclesiae initio, viri exstiterunt et mulieres qui magno matrimonii abrenuntiaverunt bono ut Agnum sequerentur quocumque iret, 264 ut de rebus Domini haberent curam, ut Ei studerent placere, 265 ut irent obviam Sponso qui venit. 266 Ipse Christus quosdam invitavit ut Eum in hoc sequerentur vitae genere, cuius Ipse permanet exemplar:

“For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to receive this, let him receive it (Mt 19:12).”

« Sunt enim eunuchi, qui de matris utero sic nati sunt; et sunt eunuchi, qui facti sunt ab hominibus; et sunt eunuchi, qui seipsos castraverunt propter Regnum caelorum. Qui potest capere, capiat » (Mt 19,12).

1619 Virginity for the sake of the kingdom of heaven is[:]

an unfolding of baptismal grace,

a powerful sign of the supremacy of the bond with Christ

and of the ardent expectation of his return,

a sign which also recalls that marriage is a reality of this present age which is passing away (Cf. Mk 12:25; 1 Cor 7:31).

1619 Virginitas propter Regnum caelorum est

gratiae baptismalis explicatio,

signum potens praeeminentiae vinculi cum Christo

atque ardentis exspectationis reditus Eius,

signum quod etiam revocat in memoriam matrimonium realitatem esse praesentis saeculi quod praeterit. 267

1620 Both the sacrament of Matrimony and virginity for the Kingdom of God come from the Lord himself. It is he who gives them meaning and grants them the grace which is indispensable for living them out in conformity with his will (Cf. Mt 19:3-12). Esteem of virginity for the sake of the kingdom (Cf. LG 42; PC 12; OT 10) and the Christian understanding of marriage are inseparable, and they reinforce each other:

1620 Utrumque, Matrimonii sacramentum et virginitas propter Regnum Dei, ab Ipso Domino provenit. Ipse illis significationem praebet et gratiam tribuit necessariam ad vivendum in eis secundum voluntatem Eius. 268 Virginitatis propter Regnum aestimatio 269 et christiana Matrimonii significatio inseparabiles sunt et sibi mutuo favent:

Whoever denigrates marriage also diminishes the glory of virginity. Whoever praises it makes virginity more admirable and resplendent. What appears good only in comparison with evil would not be truly good. The most excellent good is something even better than what is admitted to be good (St. John Chrysostom, De virg. 10, 1 PG 48, 540; Cf. John Paul II, FC 16).

« Qui matrimonium damnat, is virginitatis etiam gloriam carpit; qui laudat, is virginitatem admirabiliorem [...] reddit. Nam quod deterioris comparatione bonum videtur, id haud sane admodum bonum est; quod autem omnium sententia bonis melius, id excellens bonum est ». 270






II. Matrimonii celebratio





1621 In the Latin Rite the celebration of marriage between two Catholic faithful normally takes place during Holy Mass, because of the connection of all the sacraments with the Paschal mystery of Christ (Cf. SC 61). In the Eucharist the memorial of the New Covenant is realized, the New Covenant in which Christ has united himself for ever to the Church, his beloved bride for whom he gave himself up (Cf. LG 6). It is therefore fitting that the spouses should seal their consent to give themselves to each other through the offering of their own lives by uniting it to the offering of Christ for his Church made present in the Eucharistic sacrifice, and by receiving the Eucharist so that, communicating in the same Body and the same Blood of Christ, they may form but “one body” in Christ (Cf. 1 Cor 10:17).

1621 In ritu latino, Matrimonii celebratio inter duos fideles catholicos plerumque intra sanctam Missam fit propter omnium sacramentorum vinculum cum Paschali Christi mysterio. 271 In Eucharistia memoriale efficitur Novi Foederis, in quo Christus Se Ecclesiae Sponsae Suae dilectae in perpetuum coniunxit pro qua Seipsum tradidit. 272 Oportet igitur sponsos suum sigillare consensum ad se mutuo donandos vitarum suarum oblatione, illum coniungentes cum Christi oblatione pro Eius Ecclesia praesenti effecta in Sacrificio eucharistico, et Eucharistiam accipientes, ut, idem corpus et eumdem sanguinem Christi communicantes, « unum corpus » efforment in Christo. 273

1622 “Inasmuch as it is a sacramental action of sanctification, the liturgical celebration of marriage . . . must be, per se, valid, worthy, and fruitful” (FC 67) . It is therefore appropriate for the bride and groom to prepare themselves for the celebration of their marriage by receiving the sacrament of penance.

1622 « Ut sacramentalis actio sanctificationis, Matrimonii celebratio — liturgiae [...] illigata — oportet per se sit valida, digna, frugifera ». 274 Oportet igitur ut futuri sponsi se ad sui Matrimonii celebrationem disponantur, Poenitentiae recipientes sacramentum.

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 of the spouses (Cf. CCEO, can. 817), but for the validity of the sacrament their blessing is also necessary (Cf. CCEO, can. 828).

1623 Secundum traditionem latinam,

sponsi, tamquam ministri gratiae Christi, sibi mutuo Matrimonii conferunt sacramentum,

suum consensum coram Ecclesia significantes.

In traditionibus Ecclesiarum Orientalium, sacerdotes — Episcopi vel presbyteri — testes sunt consensus mutuo ab sponsis praestiti, 275 sed etiam eorum benedictio ad validitatem sacramenti est necessaria. 276

1624 The various liturgies abound in prayers of blessing and epiclesis asking God’s grace and blessing on the new couple, especially the bride. In the epiclesis of this sacrament the spouses receive the Holy Spirit as the communion of love of Christ and the Church (Cf. Eph 5:32). The Holy Spirit is the seal of their covenant, the ever available source of their love and the strength to renew their fidelity.

1624 Diversae liturgiae divites sunt in precibus benedictionis et Epiclesis quae a Deo Eius postulant gratiam et super novos coniuges benedictionem, speciatim super sponsam. In huius sacramenti Epiclesi, coniuges Spiritum Sanctum accipiunt tamquam communionem amoris Christi et Ecclesiae. 277 Ipse eorum foederis est sigillum, fons semper oblatus eorum amoris, vis qua eorum renovabitur fidelitas.







III. Consensus matrimonialis





1625 The parties to a marriage covenant are a baptized man and woman, free to contract marriage, who freely express their consent; “to be free” means:

1625 In foedere matrimoniali primas agentes partes sunt vir et mulier, baptizati, liberi ad matrimonium contrahendum et qui suum consensum libere exprimunt. « Liberum esse » significat:

- not being under constraint;

— coactiones non subire;

- not impeded by any natural or ecclesiastical law.

— legis naturalis vel ecclesiasticae non habere impedimentum.





1626 The Church holds the exchange of consent between the spouses to be the indispensable element that “makes the marriage (CIC, can. 1057 # 1).”

If consent is lacking there is no marriage.

1626 Ecclesia considerat consensuum commutationem inter sponsos tamquam elementum necessarium quod « matrimonium facit ». 278

Si consensus deest, matrimonium non habetur.





1627 The consent consists in a “human act by which the partners mutually give themselves to each other”: “I take you to be my wife” - “I take you to be my husband” (GS 48 # 1; OCM 45; cf. CIC, can. 1057 # 2). This consent that binds the spouses to each other finds its fulfillment in the two “becoming one flesh” (Gen 2:24; cf. Mt 10:8; Eph 5:31).

1627 Consensus consistit in « actu humano, quo coniuges sese mutuo tradunt et accipiunt ». 279 « Ego accipio te in uxorem meam... »; « Ego accipio te in maritum meum... ». 280 Hic consensus qui sponsos coniungit inter se, suam invenit consummationem in eo quod uterque « una caro » fit. 281





1628 The consent must be an act of the will of each of the contracting parties, free of coercion or grave external fear (Cf. CIC, can. 1103). No human power can substitute for this consent (Cf. CIC, can. 1057 # 1). If this freedom is lacking the marriage is invalid.

1628 Consensus esse debet actus voluntatis uniuscuiusque contrahentium a violentia vel a gravi metu externo liber. 282 Nulla humana potestas hunc consensum potest supplere. 283 Si haec libertas deest, Matrimonium est invalidum.





1629 For this reason (or for other reasons that render the marriage null and void) the Church, after an examination of the situation by the competent ecclesiastical tribunal, can declare the nullity of a marriage, i.e., that the marriage never existed (Cf. CIC, cann. 1095-1107). In this case the contracting parties are free to marry, provided the natural obligations of a previous union are discharged (Cf. CIC, can. 1071).

1629 Propter hanc rationem (vel propter alias rationes quae Matrimonium nullum reddunt et infectum 284) Ecclesia, post examen condicionum a tribunali ecclesiastico competenti peractum, potest declarare « nullitatem Matrimonii », id est, Matrimonium nunquam exstitisse. In hoc casu, contrahentes liberi sunt ad nuptias ineundas, sed naturalibus tenentur obligationibus ex unione praecedenti. 285





1630 The priest (or deacon) who assists at the celebration of a marriage receives the consent of the spouses in the name of the Church and gives the blessing of the Church. The presence of the Church’s minister (and also of the witnesses) visibly expresses the fact that marriage is an ecclesial reality.

1630 Sacerdos (vel diaconus) qui Matrimonii assistit celebrationi, sponsorum accipit consensum nomine Ecclesiae eisque impertitur Ecclesiae benedictionem. Praesentia ministri Ecclesiae (et etiam testium) visibiliter exprimit, Matrimonium ecclesialem esse realitatem.





1631 This is the reason why the Church normally requires that the faithful contract marriage according to the ecclesiastical form. Several reasons converge to explain this requirement (Cf. Trent: DS 1813-1816; CIC, can. 1108):

1631 Hac de causa, Ecclesia modo normali a suis fidelibus formam ecclesiasticam postulat ad contrahendum Matrimonium. 286 Plures rationes ad hanc determinationem explicandam concurrunt:

- Sacramental marriage is a liturgical act. It is therefore appropriate that it should be celebrated in the public liturgy of the Church;

— Matrimonium sacramentale actus est liturgicus. Exinde convenit illud in publica Ecclesiae celebrari liturgia;

- Marriage introduces one into an ecclesial order, and creates rights and duties in the Church between the spouses and towards their children;

— Matrimonium in ordinem introducit ecclesialem, iura gignit et obligationes in Ecclesia inter coniuges et relate ad filios;

- Since marriage is a state of life in the Church, certainty about it is necessary (hence the obligation to have witnesses);

— quia Matrimonium status vitae est in Ecclesia, necessarium est certitudinem haberi de matrimonio (unde obligatio ut habeantur testes);

- The public character of the consent protects the “I do” once given and helps the spouses remain faithful to it.

— indoles publica consensus hunc protegit, postquam praestitus est, et adiuvat ut fidelitas erga eum servetur.





1632 So that the “I do” of the spouses may be a free and responsible act and so that the marriage covenant may have solid and lasting human and Christian foundations, preparation for marriage is of prime importance.

1632 Ut consensus coniugum actus liber sit et responsabilis, et ut matrimoniale foedus humana et christiana fundamenta solida habeat et mansura, praeparatio ad Matrimonium maximi est momenti.

The example and teaching given by parents and families remain the special form of this preparation.

Exemplum et instructio a parentibus et a familiis donata huius praeparationis praeclara permanent via.

The role of pastors and of the Christian community as the “family of God” is indispensable for the transmission of the human and Christian values of marriage and family (Cf. CIC, can. 1063), and much more so in our era when many young people experience broken homes which no longer sufficiently assure this initiation:

Munus Pastorum et communitatis christianae quatenus « familiae Dei » necessarium est ad valores humanos et christianos matrimonii et familiae tradendos, 287 eo magis quod nostris temporibus plures iuvenes experientiam norunt familiarum dissociatarum quae amplius hanc initiationem sufficienter non praestant:

It is imperative to give suitable and timely instruction to young people, above all in the heart of their own families, about the dignity of married love, its role and its exercise, so that, having learned the value of chastity, they will be able at a suitable age to engage in honorable courtship and enter upon a marriage of their own (GS 49 # 3).

« Iuvenes de amoris coniugalis dignitate, munere et opere, potissimum in sinu ipsius familiae, apte et tempestive instruendi sunt, ut, castitatis cultu instituti, convenienti aetate ab honestis sponsalibus ad nuptias transire possint ». 288





Mixed marriages and disparity of cult

Matrimonia mixta et disparitas cultus





1633 In many countries the situation of a mixed marriage (marriage between a Catholic and a baptized non-Catholic) often arises. It requires particular attention on the part of couples and their pastors. A case of marriage with disparity of cult (between a Catholic and a nonbaptized person) requires even greater circumspection.

1633 In pluribus regionibus, condicio matrimonii mixti (inter catholicum et baptizatum non catholicum) sat frequenter accidit. Ipsa attentionem coniugum et Pastorum exigit particularem; casus matrimoniorum cum disparitate cultus (inter catholicum et non baptizatum) maiorem adhuc postulat circumspectionem.





1634 Difference of confession between the spouses does not constitute an insurmountable obstacle for marriage, when they succeed in placing in common what they have received from their respective communities, and learn from each other the way in which each lives in fidelity to Christ. But the difficulties of mixed marriages must not be underestimated. They arise from the fact that the separation of Christians has not yet been overcome. The spouses risk experiencing the tragedy of Christian disunity even in the heart of their own home. Disparity of cult can further aggravate these difficulties. Differences about faith and the very notion of marriage, but also different religious mentalities, can become sources of tension in marriage, especially as regards the education of children. The temptation to religious indifference can then arise.

1634 Confessionis diversitas inter coniuges obstaculum insuperabile non constituit pro matrimonio, cum ipsi valent id in commune afferre quod unusquisque eorum in sua recepit communitate et mutuo discere quomodo unusquisque in sua vivat erga Christum fidelitate. Sed difficultates matrimoniorum mixtorum spernendae non sunt. Illae oriuntur ex eo quod christianorum separatio nondum superata est. Coniuges in periculo sunt ne, intra propriam domum, christianorum disiunctionem modo experiantur tragico. Disparitas cultus has difficultates potest graviores adhuc efficere. Diversitates relate ad fidem, ipsa matrimonii notio, sed etiam modi religiose cogitandi differentes, constituere possunt contentionum fontem in matrimonio, praesertim quoad filiorum educationem. Tunc quaedam potest praesentari tentatio: religiosa indifferentia.





1635 According to the law in force in the Latin Church, a mixed marriage needs for liceity the express permission of ecclesiastical authority (Cf. CIC, can. 1124). In case of disparity of cult an express dispensation from this impediment is required for the validity of the marriage (Cf. CIC, can. 1086). This permission or dispensation presupposes that both parties know and do not exclude the essential ends and properties of marriage; and furthermore that the Catholic party confirms the obligations, which have been made known to the non-Catholic party, of preserving his or her own faith and ensuring the baptism and education of the children in the Catholic Church (Cf. CIC, can. 1125).

1635 Secundum ius in Ecclesia latina vigens, matrimonium mixtum pro sua liceitate eget explicita permissione auctoritatis ecclesiasticae. 289 In casu disparitatis cultus explicita dispensatio ab impedimento requiritur ut validum sit Matrimonium. 290 Haec permissio vel haec dispensatio supponunt utramque partem fines et proprietates essentiales Matrimonii cognoscere et non excludere; atque etiam partem catholicam obligationes confirmare, parti non catholicae communicatas ut eas ipsa cognoscat, servandi propriam fidem et praestandi Baptismum et educationem filiorum in Ecclesia catholica. 291





1636 Through ecumenical dialogue Christian communities in many regions have been able to put into effect a common pastoral practice for mixed marriages. Its task is to help such couples live out their particular situation in the light of faith, overcome the tensions between the couple’s obligations to each other and towards their ecclesial communities, and encourage the flowering of what is common to them in faith and respect for what separates them.

1636 Multis in regionibus, propter dialogum oecumenicum, communitates christianae, quas id afficit, actionem pastoralem pro matrimoniis mixtis communem instruxerunt. Eius munus est, hos adiuvare coniuges ut in sua condicione particulari sub fidei vivant lumine. Talis actio eos etiam debet adiuvare, ut contentiones superent inter obligationes coniugum mutuas et quas erga suas communitates habent ecclesiales. Ea debet incrementum fovere illorum quae illis in fide sunt communia, et observantiam illorum quae eos separant.





1637 In marriages with disparity of cult the Catholic spouse has a particular task: “For the unbelieving husband is consecrated through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is consecrated through her husband” (1 Cor 7:14). It is a great joy for the Christian spouse and for the Church if this “consecration” should lead to the free conversion of the other spouse to the Christian faith (Cf. 1 Cor 7:16). Sincere married love, the humble and patient practice of the family virtues, and perseverance in prayer can prepare the non-believing spouse to accept the grace of conversion.

1637 In matrimoniis cum disparitate cultus, coniux catholicus munus habet particulare: « Sanctificatus est enim vir infidelis in muliere, et sanctificata est mulier infidelis in fratre » (1 Cor 7,14). Pro coniuge christiano et pro Ecclesia magnum est gaudium, si haec « sanctificatio » ad liberam conducat alterius coniugis conversionem ad fidem christianam. 292 Sincerus amor coniugalis, humile et patiens virtutum familiarium exercitium et perseverans oratio coniugem non credentem possunt praeparare ad conversionis gratiam accipiendam.






IV. Effectus sacramenti Matrimonii





1638 “From a valid marriage arises a bond between the spouses which by its very nature is perpetual and exclusive; furthermore, in a Christian marriage the spouses are strengthened and, as it were, consecrated for the duties and the dignity of their state by a special sacrament (Cf. CIC, can. 1134).

1638 « Ex valido Matrimonio enascitur inter coniuges vinculum natura sua perpetuum et exclusivum; in Matrimonio praeterea christiano coniuges ad sui status officia et dignitatem peculiari sacramento roborantur et veluti consecrantur ». 293





The marriage bond

Vinculum matrimoniale





1639 The consent by which the spouses mutually give and receive one another is sealed by God himself (Cf. Mk 10:9). From their covenant arises “an institution, confirmed by the divine law, . . . even in the eyes of society”(GS 48 # 1). The covenant between the spouses is integrated into God’s covenant with man: “Authentic married love is caught up into divine love” (GS 48 # 2) .

1639 Consensus quo coniuges sese mutuo dant et accipiunt, a Deo Ipso sigillatur. 294 Ex eorum foedere, « institutum ordinatione divina firmum oritur, etiam coram societate ». 295 Sponsorum foedus in Dei cum hominibus inseritur Foedus: « Germanus amor coniugalis in divinum amorem assumitur ». 296





1640 Thus the marriage bond has been established by God himself in such a way that a marriage concluded and consummated between baptized persons can never be dissolved. This bond, which results from the free human act of the spouses and their consummation of the marriage, is a reality, henceforth irrevocable, and gives rise to a covenant guaranteed by God’s fidelity. The Church does not have the power to contravene this disposition of divine wisdom (Cf. CIC, can. 1141).

1640 Vinculum matrimoniale propterea a Deo Ipso stabilitur, ita ut Matrimonium ratum et consummatum inter baptizatos nunquam possit dissolvi. Hoc vinculum quod ex actu humano sponsorum libero et ex matrimonii sequitur consummatione, realitas est iam irrevocabilis et originem praebet foederi a Dei fidelitate praestito. Ad Ecclesiae non pertinet potestatem, se contra hanc sapientiae divinae dispositionem pronuntiare. 297





The grace of the sacrament of Matrimony

Gratia sacramenti Matrimonii





1641 “By reason of their state in life and of their order, [Christian spouses] have their own special gifts in the People of God” (LG 11 # 2).  This grace proper to the sacrament of Matrimony is intended to perfect the couple’s love and to strengthen their indissoluble unity. By this grace they “help one another to attain holiness in their married life and in welcoming and educating their children” (LG 11 # 2; cf. LG 41).

1641 Coniuges christiani « in suo vitae statu et ordine proprium suum in populo Dei donum habent ». 298 Haec gratia sacramenti Matrimonii propria ad perficiendum destinatur coniugum amorem, ad eorum unitatem indissolubilem roborandam. Illi hac gratia « se invicem in vita coniugali necnon prolis susceptione et educatione ad sanctitatem adiuvant ». 299





1642 Christ is the source of this grace. “Just as of old God encountered his people with a covenant of love and fidelity, so our Savior, the spouse of the Church, now encounters Christian spouses through the sacrament of Matrimony” (GS 48 # 2). Christ dwells with them, gives them the strength to take up their crosses and so follow him, to rise again after they have fallen, to forgive one another, to bear one another’s burdens, to “be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Eph 5:21; cf. Gal 6:2), and to love one another with supernatural, tender, and fruitful love. In the joys of their love and family life he gives them here on earth a foretaste of the wedding feast of the Lamb:

1642 Christus est huius gratiae fons. « Sicut enim Deus olim Foedere dilectionis et fidelitatis populo Suo occurrit, ita nunc hominum Salvator Ecclesiaeque Sponsus, per sacramentum Matrimonii christifidelibus coniugibus obviam venit ». 300 Ipse cum eis manet, eis vim praebet ut Ipsum sequantur suam crucem super se sumentes, ut iterum post lapsus surgant, ut sibi mutuo indulgeant, ut alii aliorum portent onera, 301 ut sint « subiecti invicem in timore Christi » (Eph 5,21), et se mutuo ament amore supernaturali, tenero et fecundo. Ipse illis praebet, iam hic in terris, in gaudiis eorum amoris et eorum vitae familiaris, ut nuptiarum Agni praegustent convivium:

How can I ever express the happiness of a marriage joined by the Church, strengthened by an offering, sealed by a blessing, announced by angels, and ratified by the Father? . . . How wonderful the bond between two believers, now one in hope, one in desire, one in discipline, one in the same service! They are both children of one Father and servants of the same Master, undivided in spirit and flesh, truly two in one flesh. Where the flesh is one, one also is the spirit (Tertullian, Ad uxorem. 2, 8, 6-7: PL 1, 1412-1413; cf. FC 13).

« Unde vero sufficiamus ad enarrandam felicitatem eius matrimonii, quod Ecclesia conciliat et confirmat oblatio et obsignat benedictio, angeli renuntiant, Pater rato habet? [...] Quale iugum fidelium duorum unius spei, unius voti, unius disciplinae, eiusdem servitutis! Ambo fratres, ambo conservi; nulla spiritus carnisve discretio, atquin vere duo in carne una. Ubi caro una, unus est spiritus ». 302






V. Amoris coniugalis bona et exigentiae





1643 “Conjugal love involves a totality, in which all the elements of the person enter - appeal of the body and instinct, power of feeling and affectivity, aspiration of the spirit and of will. It aims at a deeply personal unity, a unity that, beyond union in one flesh, leads to forming one heart and soul; it demands 1643 « Coniugalis amor secum infert universalitatem, in quam ingrediuntur omnes partes ipsius personae — postulationes corporis et instinctus, vires sensuum et affectuum, desideria spiritus et voluntatis —; spectat ille ad unitatem quam maxime personalem, quae videlicet ultra communionem in una carne sola nihil aliud efficit nisi cor unum et animam unam; poscit vero

indissolubility and

faithfulness in definitive mutual giving;

and it is open to fertility.


ac fidelitatem extremae illius donationis mutuae

 et patet fecunditati.

In a word it is a question of the normal characteristics of all natural conjugal love, but with a new significance which not only purifies and strengthens them, but raises them to the extent of making them the expression of specifically Christian values (FC 13).

Paucis verbis de communibus agitur proprietatibus naturalis cuiuslibet amoris coniugalis, atqui nova cum significatione, quae non tantum purificat eas et confirmat, sed etiam tantopere extollit ut fiant declaratio bonorum proprie christianorum ». 303





The unity and indissolubility of marriage

Matrimonii unitas et indissolubilitas





1644 The love of the spouses requires, of its very nature, the unity and indissolubility of the spouses’ community of persons, which embraces their entire life: “so they are no longer two, but one flesh” (Mt 19:6; cf. Gen 2:24). They “are called to grow continually in their communion through day-to-day fidelity to their marriage promise of total mutual self-giving” (FC 19). This human communion is confirmed, purified, and completed by communion in Jesus Christ, given through the sacrament of Matrimony. It is deepened by lives of the common faith and by the Eucharist received together.

1644 Coniugum amor, sua ipsa natura, unitatem et indissolubilitatem exigit eorum communitatis personalis quae totam eorum amplectitur vitam: « Quod ergo Deus coniunxit, homo non separet » (Mt 19,6). 304 Coniuges « adiguntur ad crescendum continenter in communione sua per cotidianam fidelitatem erga matrimoniale promissum mutuae plenae donationis ». 305 Haec humana communio confirmatur, purificatur et perficitur communione in Iesu Christo, a Matrimonii sacramento donata. Ipsa per fidei communis vitam et per Eucharistiam in communi receptam profundior fit.

1645 “The unity of marriage, distinctly recognized by our Lord, is made clear in the equal personal dignity which must be accorded to man and wife in mutual and unreserved affection” (GS 49 # 2). Polygamy is contrary to conjugal love which is undivided and exclusive (Cf. FC 19).

1645 « Aequali etiam dignitate personali cum mulieris tum viri agnoscenda in mutua atque plena dilectione, unitas Matrimonii a Domino confirmata luculenter apparet ». 306 Polygamia huic aequali dignitati est contraria atque coniugali amori qui unicus est et exclusivus. 307





The fidelity of conjugal love

Amoris coniugalis fidelitas





1646 By its very nature conjugal love requires the inviolable fidelity of the spouses. This is the consequence of the gift of themselves which they make to each other. Love seeks to be definitive; it cannot be an arrangement “until further notice.” The “intimate union of marriage, as a mutual giving of two persons, and the good of the children, demand total fidelity from the spouses and require an unbreakable union between them” (GS 48 # 1).

1646 Amor coniugalis, sua ipsa natura, inviolabilem a coniugibus exigit fidelitatem. Hoc ex eorum ipsorum consequitur dono quod sibi mutuo impertiunt coniuges. Amor definitivus esse vult. Ipse « usque ad novam decisionem » esse non potest. Haec « intima unio, utpote mutua duarum personarum donatio, sicut et bonum liberorum, plenam coniugum fidem exigunt atque indissolubilem eorum unitatem urgent ». 308





1647 The deepest reason is found in the fidelity of God to his covenant, in that of Christ to his Church. Through the sacrament of Matrimony the spouses are enabled to represent this fidelity and witness to it. Through the sacrament, the indissolubility of marriage receives a new and deeper meaning.

1647 Profundissimum motivum in fidelitate Dei ad Eius Foedus invenitur, Christi ad Ecclesiam. Per Matrimonii sacramentum, coniuges apti fiunt qui hanc repraesentent fidelitatem eamque testentur. Per sacramentum, indissolubilitas Matrimonii novum et profundiorem accipit sensum.





1648 It can seem difficult, even impossible, to bind oneself for life to another human being. This makes it all the more important to proclaim the Good News that God loves us with a definitive and irrevocable love, that married couples share in this love, that it supports and sustains them, and that by their own faithfulness they can be witnesses to God’s faithful love. Spouses who with God’s grace give this witness, often in very difficult conditions, deserve the gratitude and support of the ecclesial community (Cf. FC 20).

1648 Videri potest difficile, immo impossibile, se pro tota vita personae ligare humanae. Eo ipso maximi est momenti Bonum Nuntium proclamare: Deum nos amore definitivo amare et irrevocabili, coniuges hunc participare amorem qui eos ducit et sustinet, eosque per suam fidelitatem testes esse posse Dei fidelis amoris. Coniuges qui, cum Dei gratia, hoc dant testimonium, saepe in valde difficilibus condicionibus, gratitudinem communitatis ecclesialis merentur et fulcimentum. 309





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 Condiciones tamen exstant in quibus matrimonialis cohabitatio, valde diversis e causis, practice impossibilis fit. In talibus casibus, Ecclesia physicam coniugum admittit separationem et finem cohabitationis. Coniuges maritus et uxor coram Deo esse non desinunt; liberi non sunt ad novam contrahendam unionem. In tali difficili condicione, reconciliatio, si possibilis sit, optima esset solutio. Communitas christiana vocatur ad has personas adiuvandas ut in sua condicione christiane vivant, in fidelitate ad sui matrimonii vinculum quod indissolubile permanet. 310





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.

1650 Plures sunt catholici, in non paucis regionibus, qui, secundum leges civiles, ad divortium recurrunt et novam civilem contrahunt unionem. Ecclesia, propter fidelitatem ad Iesu Christi verbum (« Quicumque dimiserit uxorem suam et aliam duxerit, adulterium committit in eam; et si ipsa dimiserit virum suum et alii nupserit, moechatur »: Mc 10,11-12), tenet se non posse hanc novam unionem ut validam agnoscere, si primum matrimonium validum erat. Si divortio seiuncti novas civiliter inierunt nuptias, in condicione inveniuntur quae obiective Dei Legem transgreditur. Exinde ad eucharisticam Communionem accedere non possunt, dum haec condicio permaneat. Eadem ex causa, quasdam responsabilitates ecclesiales non possunt exercere. Reconciliatio per Poenitentiae sacramentum nonnisi illis concedi potest, quos poenitet, se Foederis signum et fidelitatis erga Christum esse transgressos, et se ad vivendum in completa continentia obligant.





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:

1651 Relate ad christianos qui in hac condicione vivunt et qui saepe fidem servant et suos filios christiane exoptant educare, sacerdotes et tota communitas attentam ostendere debent sollicitudinem, ne illi se tamquam separatos ab Ecclesia considerent, cuius vitam ut baptizati possunt et debent participare:

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).

« Hortandi praeterea sunt ut Verbum Dei exaudiant, Sacrificio Missae intersint, preces fundere perseverent, opera caritatis necnon incepta communitatis pro iustitia adiuvent, filios in christiana fide instituant, spiritum et opera paenitentiae colant ut cotidie sic Dei gratiam implorent ». 311

The openness to fertility

Mens ad fecunditatem aperta

1652 “By its very nature the institution of marriage and married love is ordered to the procreation and education of the offspring and it is in them that it finds its crowning glory” (GS 48 # 1; 50).

1652 « Indole autem sua naturali, ipsum institutum matrimonii amorque coniugalis ad procreationem et educationem prolis ordinantur iisque veluti suo fastigio coronantur »: 312

Children are the supreme gift of marriage and contribute greatly to the good of the parents themselves. God himself said: “It is not good that man should be alone,” and “from the beginning [he] made them male and female”; wishing to associate them in a special way in his own creative work, God blessed man and woman with the words: “Be fruitful and multiply.” Hence, true married love and the whole structure of family life which results from it, without diminishment of the other ends of marriage, are directed to disposing the spouses to cooperate valiantly with the love of the Creator and Savior, who through them will increase and enrich his family from day to day (GS 50 # 1; cf. Gen 2:18; Mt 19:4; Gen 1:28).

« Filii sane sunt praestantissimum matrimonii donum et ad ipsorum parentum bonum maxime conferunt. Ipse Deus qui dixit: “non est bonum hominem esse solum” (Gn 2,18) et “qui hominem ab initio masculum et feminam... fecit” (Mt 19,4), volens ei participationem specialem quamdam in Suiipsius opere creativo communicare, viro et mulieri benedixit dicens: “crescite et multiplicamini” (Gn 1,28). Unde verus amoris coniugalis cultus totaque vitae familiaris ratio inde oriens, non posthabitis ceteris matrimonii finibus, eo tendunt ut coniuges forti animo dispositi sint ad cooperandum cum amore Creatoris atque Salvatoris, qui per eos Suam familiam in dies dilatat et ditat ». 313

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).

1653 Amoris coniugalis fecunditas ad vitae moralis, spiritualis et supernaturalis extenditur fructus quos parentes per educationem suis tradunt filiis. Parentes praecipui sunt et primi suorum filiorum educatores. 314 Hoc sensu, fundamentale matrimonii et familiae officium est in vitae esse ministerium. 315

1654 Spouses to whom God has not granted children can nevertheless have a conjugal life full of meaning, in both human and Christian terms. Their marriage can radiate a fruitfulness of charity, of hospitality, and of sacrifice.

1654 Coniuges quibus Deus habere filios non concessit, possunt tamen vitam coniugalem degere plenam sensu sub ratione humana et christiana. Eorum matrimonium potest caritatis, acceptionis et sacrificii fecunditate elucescere.


VI. Ecclesia domestica

1655 Christ chose to be born and grow up in the bosom of the holy family of Joseph and Mary. The Church is nothing other than “the family of God.” From the beginning, the core of the Church was often constituted by those who had become believers “together with all [their] household” (Cf. Acts 18:8). When they were converted, they desired that “their whole household” should also be saved (Cf. Acts 16:31; Acts 11:14). These families who became believers were islands of Christian life in an unbelieving world.

1655 Christus in sinu sanctae Familiae Ioseph et Mariae nasci et crescere voluit. Ecclesia aliud non est nisi « familia Dei ». Inde ab eius originibus, Ecclesiae nucleus saepe ex illis constabat qui « cum tota domo sua » effecti erant credentes. 316 Cum convertebantur, cupiebant « totam domum suam » etiam salvari. 317 Hae familiae, credentes effectae, parvae erant vitae christianae insulae in mundo non credenti.

1656 In our own time, in a world often alien and even hostile to faith, believing families are of primary importance as centers of living, radiant faith. For this reason the Second Vatican Council, using an ancient expression, calls the family the Ecclesia domestica (LG 11; cf. FC 21). It is in the bosom of the family that parents are “by word and example . . . the first heralds of the faith with regard to their children. They should encourage them in the vocation which is proper to each child, fostering with special care any religious vocation” (LG 11).

1656 Nostris diebus, in mundo saepe fidei alieno et etiam hostili, familiae credentes maximi sunt momenti tamquam viventis et elucentis fidei foci. Hac de causa, Concilium Vaticanum II familiam, cum vetere quadam expressione, Ecclesiam domesticam appellat. 318 In familiae sinu, parentes sunt « verbo et exemplo [...] pro filiis suis primi fidei praecones, et vocationem unicuique propriam, sacram vero peculiari cura, foveant oportet ». 319

1657 It is here that the father of the family, the mother, children, and all members of the family exercise the priesthood of the baptized in a privileged way “by the reception of the sacraments, prayer and thanksgiving, the witness of a holy life, and self-denial and active charity” (LG 10). Thus the home is the first school of Christian life and “a school for human enrichment” (GS 52 # 1). Here one learns endurance and the joy of work, fraternal love, generous - even repeated - forgiveness, and above all divine worship in prayer and the offering of one’s life.

1657 Hic, modo praeclaro, sacerdotium baptismale exercetur patris familias, matris, filiorum, omnium familiae membrorum « in sacramentis suscipiendis, in oratione et gratiarum actione, testimonio vitae sanctae, abnegatione et actuosa caritate ». 320 Familia, hoc modo, prima schola vitae christianae et « schola quaedam uberioris humanitatis est ». 321 Ibi patientia et laetitia laboris, amor fraternus, indulgentia generosa, etiam iterata, et praecipue divinus per orationem et propriae vitae oblationem cultus discuntur.

1658 We must also remember the great number of single persons who, because of the particular circumstances in which they have to live - often not of their choosing - are especially close to Jesus’ heart and therefore deserve the special affection and active solicitude of the Church, especially of pastors. Many remain without a human family often due to conditions of poverty. Some live their situation in the spirit of the Beatitudes, serving God and neighbor in exemplary fashion. The doors of homes, the “domestic churches,” and of the great family which is the Church must be open to all of them. “No one is without a family in this world: the Church is a home and family for everyone, especially those who ‘labor and are heavy laden’“ (FC 85; cf. Mt 11:28).

1658 Oportet adhuc quasdam commemorare personas quae, propter condiciones concretas in quibus debent vivere — et saepe quin id voluerint — peculiariter cordi Iesu sunt proximae quaeque affectum et sollicitudinem Ecclesiae et praesertim Pastorum merentur diligentem: magnum personarum coelibum numerum. Plures ex illis sine familia humana manent, saepe propter paupertatis condiciones. Sunt quae in sua condicione vivunt secundum beatitudinum spiritum, Deo et proximo modo exemplari servientes. Omnibus illis portas aperire oportet familiarum, « Ecclesiarum domesticarum », et magnae familiae quae est Ecclesia: « Nemo hoc in mundo familia privatur: omnibus enim Ecclesia est domus atque familia, iis potissimum, qui “laborant et onerati sunt” (Mt 11,28) ». 322



1659 St. Paul said: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the Church. . . . This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the Church” (Eph 5:25, 32).

1659 Sanctus Paulus dicit: « Viri, diligite uxores, sicut et Christus dilexit Ecclesiam [...]. Mysterium hoc magnum est; ego autem dico de Christo et Ecclesia! » (Eph 5,25.32).

1660 The marriage covenant, by which a man and a woman form with each other an intimate communion of life and love, has been founded and endowed with its own special laws by the Creator. By its very nature it is ordered to the good of the couple, as well as to the generation and education of children. Christ the Lord raised marriage between the baptized to the dignity of a sacrament (cf. CIC, can. 1055 # 1; cf. GS 48 # 1).

1660 Matrimoniale foedus, quo vir et mulier inter se intimam vitae et amoris constituunt communitatem, a Creatore est fundatum et suis propriis legibus praeditum. Natura sua ad coniugum ordinatur bonum, sicut etiam ad filiorum generationem et educationem. Inter baptizatos ad sacramenti dignitatem a Christo Domino est evectum. 323

1661 The sacrament of Matrimony signifies the union of Christ and the Church. It gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved his Church; the grace of the sacrament thus perfects the human love of the spouses, strengthens their indissoluble unity, and sanctifies them on the way to eternal life (cf. Council of Trent: DS 1799).

1661 Matrimonii sacramentum unionem Christi significat et Ecclesiae. Coniugibus confert gratiam sese amandi amore quo Christus Suam dilexit Ecclesiam; sic sacramenti gratia amorem coniugum perficit humanum, indissolubilem eorum confirmat unitatem eosque in via ad vitam aeternam sanctificat. 324

1662 Marriage is based on the consent of the contracting parties, that is, on their will to give themselves, each to the other, mutually and definitively, in order to live a covenant of faithful and fruitful love.

1662 Matrimonium consensu fundatur coniugum, id est, voluntate sese mutuo et definitive donandi ad vivendum in fidelis et fecundi amoris foedere.

1663 Since marriage establishes the couple in a public state of life in the Church, it is fitting that its celebration be public, in the framework of a liturgical celebration, before the priest (or a witness authorized by the Church), the witnesses, and the assembly of the faithful.

1663 Quia matrimonium coniuges in publicum vitae statum stabilit in Ecclesia, oportet eius celebrationem publicam esse intra celebrationem liturgicam, coram sacerdote (vel Ecclesiae qualificato teste), testibus et fidelium congregatione.

1664 Unity, indissolubility, and openness to fertility are essential to marriage. Polygamy is incompatible with the unity of marriage; divorce separates what God has joined together; the refusal of fertility turns married life away from its “supreme gift,” the child (GS 50 # 1).

1664 Unitas, indissolubilitas et mens ad fecunditatem aperta matrimonio sunt essentiales. Polygamia est matrimonii unitati repugnans; divortium id separat quod Deus coniunxit; fecunditatis reiectio vitam disiungit coniugalem ab eius « praestantissimo dono », a filio. 325

1665 The remarriage of persons divorced from a living, lawful spouse contravenes the plan and law of God as taught by Christ. They are not separated from the Church, but they cannot receive Eucharistic communion. They will lead Christian lives especially by educating their children in the faith.

1665 Novae nuptiae divortio seiunctorum, vivente coniuge legitimo, Dei consilium et Legem transgrediuntur quae Christus edocuit. Ipsi ab Ecclesia non sunt separati, sed ad Communionem eucharisticam non possunt accedere. Suam vitam christianam praecipue ducent, filios in fide educantes suos.

1666 The Christian home is the place where children receive the first proclamation of the faith. For this reason the family home is rightly called “the domestic church,” a community of grace and prayer, a school of human virtues and of Christian charity.

1666 Domus christiana locus est in quo filii primum fidei recipiunt nuntium. Propterea domus familiaris iure « Ecclesia domestica » appellatur, gratiae et orationis communitas, virtutum humanarum et caritatis christianae schola.






(Chapters 1-7: Antony the young ascetic)






















CHAPTER 1. Of the vigils which we endured. 1. De uigiliis quas pertulimus.






Youth and





































CHAPTER 1. Of the vigils which we endured. 1. De uigiliis quas pertulimus.