The Pastoral Constitution Joy and Hope is an understandable hymn of love, the sacrament of marriage and the gift of future generations. These valuable and pioneering lines deserve to be taken into account, proclaimed and proposed to faithful Catholics and scholars alike.
The Synod Fathers are true masters of Christian education and the transmission of life-friendly Catholic moral teachings. We read: “Marriage and conjugal love are by their nature oriented towards procreation and the upbringing of offspring. Certainly, children are the greatest gift of marriage, and they contribute a lot to the well-being of the parents themselves. “
With this we see a departure from any considerations of men and women who can imagine marriage but are not willing to procreate. Children are the precious gift of family marriage: “Without neglecting the other aims of marriage, the true development of conjugal love and the whole nature of family life that results from it are directed in such a way that the spouses are fully prepared to cooperate with it. I love the Creator and Redeemer, through whom he increases and enriches his family more and more. For the spouses the mission and ‘message that pertains only to them’ as ‘interpreters’ of divine love ‘to transmit and teach human life’.
This task must be carried out together and responsibly in “the reverence of listening” before God: “Christian spouses, in their perfect conduct, must realize that they cannot proceed as they please; instead, they must allow themselves to be guided by a conscience that must conform With the divine law; they must listen to the magisterium of the Church, which interprets this divine law authentically in the light of the Gospel.”
Today, in light of our experiences, we can certainly add that a truly reliable and committed Roman Catholic catechism is necessary and should be encouraged—and how desirable it would be if priests were appointed to evangelize also in the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. On the beauty of conjugal love and the blessing of procreation: “Thus Christian spouses, trusting in divine providence and sacrificial spirit, glorify the Creator, strive for perfection in Christ, and give life to children in a gracious Christian and human responsibility.”
The Synod Fathers explicitly praised the large number of children. At the same time, it is emphasized that “mutual love between spouses” is important and essential, may it grow and mature. Couples who remained childless also formed a “full partnership”. Marriage retains its “value” and “indissolubility”.
The constitution also discusses the dangers of conjugal love. Sometimes there is a lack of harmony. Sometimes “present-day living conditions” prove to be an obstacle to increasing the number of children and sometimes to “realizing faithful love”. The fathers of the council explain with insight and concern: “When intimate marital life is omitted, fidelity as a marital asset can often be compromised and the child as a marital asset can be affected; because the upbringing of children as well as the courageous desire to have more children is at stake. Some dare to offer immoral solutions to these difficulties, until they kill themselves. But the Church reminds us that there is no real contradiction between the divine laws concerning the transmission of life and what serves true conjugal love.”
Unmistakably clear – and this reminder and wake-up call is urgent and important today – the protection of the unborn life was alluded to: “Abortion and infanticide are despicable crimes.” This passage particularly makes it indispensable to publicly represent the teachings of the Church with credibility and uncompromising and to stand unequivocally for life, whether appropriate or inappropriate.
In addition, the Constitution explains in terms of sexual morality that acts specified in the marriage bond must be designed in accordance with “true human dignity.” Thus partners meet in love and respect, and do not engage in games of power and control. The “moral quality of work” also depends not on good intentions, but on “objective standards” that result from “the nature and actions of the human person and which reflect the full meaning of mutual sincerity and truly human meaning. Procreation is preserved in true love”: “This is not possible without sincere will To exercise the virtue of marital chastity.Based on these principles, children of the Church are not allowed to use birth control methods which the Magisterium rejects in the interpretation of divine law.May everyone remember: Human life and the task of its transmission are not only relevant to this time, and therefore cannot be measured and understood from it Alone, but always has to do with the eternal destiny of man.
The family must be seen as a “kind of richly developed human school”, and consequently the married couple can form a “community of souls sincere from the heart”: including spiritual, with full understanding of their responsibility and choosing a life situation in which, if married, they can form their families in Under favorable moral, social and economic conditions. It is the responsibility of parents or teachers to guide young people in starting a family with wise advice that they should be happy to hear. But they must take care that they are not compelled, directly or indirectly, to marry or to choose a partner.”
We must not forget the missionary mandate to live their lives and their example as reliable witnesses of the Lord: “But the spouses themselves, created in the image of the living God, must be placed in a true personal order, one diligent, of the same mind and in mutual reverence are united so that, by following Christ, the origin of life, In the joys and sacrifices they called, through their faithful love, to witness the mystery of love that the Lord revealed to the world by his death and resurrection.”
Note: Opinion articles like this reflect only the opinions of the guest authors, not those of the CNA Deutsch editorial team.
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