Reading the signs of their times, Pope Pius XI in Casti connubii (December 31, ) and Pope Paul VI in Humanae vitae (July 25, ) both address the. Events leading up to Casti Connubii – The encyclical addresses the issues of contraception, divorce, and eugenics — here a history of events leading up to the . Ecclesia de Eucharistia, Casti connubii, Centesimus annus, Mysterium Fidei, en esperanza) es el nombre de la segunda enc clica del papa Benedicto XVI.

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Send your comments or web problems to: IP Religious Ed blog. Print-friendly version Only a univocal obedience to the natural law ensures the right ordering and prosperity of the comnubii family and society in general The affirmation of marriage and the family has long been a concern of the Church.

Having steadfastly defended the indissolubility of the marriage bond through the centuries, whether imperiled from flawed secular or religious beliefs, the Church continued her defense of marriage and the family in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Reading the signs of their times, Pope Pius XI in Casti connubii December 31, and Pope Paul VI in Humanae vitae July 25, both address the sanctity of marriage and the family, with special emphasis on the principal threat against them in modern times: Inthe Lambeth Conference of Anglican Bishops spoke of artificial birth control as “demoralizing to character dncclica hostile to national welfare” Resolution 41; cf.

InLambeth allowed for the use of artificial birth control, with such use guided by “Christian principles” Resolution 15; cf. And inLambeth proclaimed that parents had the right and responsibility to decide on the number of their children, with “a wise stewardship of the resources and abilities of the family as well as a thoughtful consideration of the varying population needs and problems of society and the claims of future generations” Resolutioncf.

In other words, Lambeth went from forbidding connubii birth control to practically recommending it. Mutatis mutandis, society in general was of the same mind. In their respective historical circumstances, Pius and Paul were quick to reiterate the unchanging truth about marriage and the family. Marriage, a Divine Institution Marriage is a divine institution.

Pius writes that “it is an immutable and inviolable fundamental doctrine that matrimony was not instituted or restored by man but by God; not by man were the laws made to strengthen and confirm and elevate it but by God, the Author of nature, and by Christ Our Lord by Whom nature was redeemed, and hence these laws cannot be subject to any human decrees or to any contrary pact even of the spouses themselves” CC, no.

Of course, the free will and consent of spouses is necessary to bring a marriage into being, “but the nature of matrimony is entirely independent of the free will of man, so that if one has once contracted matrimony he is thereby subject to its divinely made laws and its essential properties” CC, no.

Paul writes that marriage “is in reality the wise and provident institution of God the Creator, whose purpose was to effect in man His loving design. As a consequence, husband and wife, through [the] mutual gift of themselves, which is specific and exclusive to them alone, develop that union of two persons in which they perfect one another, cooperating with God in the generation and rearing of new lives.


Casti Connubii (December 31, ) | PIUS XI

The marriage of those who have been baptized is, in addition, invested with the dignity of a sacramental sign of grace, for it represents conmubii union of Christ and His Church” HV, no. Augustine De Genesi ad litteram, bk. The first and primary blessing is the procreation of children CC, nos. With the begetting of children, husband and wife become intimate cooperators with God in propagating the human race.

They take upon themselves the task of rearing and educating their children. The second blessing of marriage is the mutual fidelity of the spouses CC, no. In matrimony, husband and wife are joined together so closely as to become “one flesh” Matt.

Husband and wife, in marital chastity and total exclusivity, blend the whole of their lives in mutual support, self-giving, and service to God see 1 Cor. As Paul says of marriage: The third blessing of marriage is its sacramental dignity. Paul writes, quoting Gen. And as Pius says: Again, since the encclics of the day was neither fidelity nor grace, Pius and Paul highlight the evil of artificial birth control, which destroys the primary blessing of marriage, as the menace it is.

Once more, Pius appeals to St. Onan, the son of Judah, did this and the Lord killed him for it” De adulterinis conjugiis, bk.

Fixing his sights on Lambeth and like-minded opinions, Pius says: The result of this grave sin is the thwarting of true marriage and, concomitantly, the end of the family.

In Marriage the Family Is Connubii The family is also a divine institution, for it is in marriage that a family is born.

Should either the unitive or the procreative dimension be lacking in the marital act, disintegration of marriage and, perforce, the family follows. Lose one of the two, and both are lost. Particularly pernicious is the notion that a family ought to be open to life in general, but that each conjugal act of the spouses need not be.

In other words, rather than continence or observation of natural biological rhythms, the spouses obstruct some or all of their marital relations by means of artificial birth control, rendering themselves the arbiters of life rather than God. On the contrary, they are bound to ensure that what they do corresponds to the will of God the Creator. The very nature of marriage and its use makes His will clear, while the constant teaching of the Church spells it out” HV, no.

And the teaching of the Church is clear: Each and every conjugal act must be open to the transmission of life. It is only with this openness that that unitive and procreative aspects of marriage are unimpaired; it is only with this openness that husband and wife actually give themselves to each other under God, so as to generate life in the world and intensify love between themselves, wherein children will be reared and educated in holiness and truth.

Casti connubii

Ultimately, only a univocal obedience to the natural casri ensures the right ordering and prosperity of the human family and society in general. Because individual nuclear families are the vasti blocks, the cells of connuhii society, their integrity paves the way for and determines the health of human society in general. Likewise, because the family and human society precede the state, the well-being of the state is constructed thereupon. The failure of families, societies, and states to follow the natural law with regard to the generative gift of marriage results in moral decay.


In the twenty-first century, the separation of the unitive and procreative aspects of human sexuality is a prime factor in a legion of moral evils: Not only that, but flowing from these primary evils is a plethora of secondary psychological and sociological infirmities such as personal disintegration, societal alienation, and an overarching sense of aimlessness and worthlessness in human existence.

Indeed, with the unitive and procreative aspects of enclcica more and more separated in our contemporary world, the potential for further moral degeneration increases exponentially, surpassing even that of Sodom and Gomorrah. The constant cati of the Church, articulated by Pius and Paul in their encyclical letters, recognizes that the God-given rights and enormous responsibilities of the family are demanding.

The family is entitled to the support of society and the state CC, nos. The moral and physical support of society and the state towards the family is not simply a matter of charity, but of justice. The burden carried by individual families in the rearing and education of children is, in the end, the only means by which society and the state have any future in this world.

Yet, even with so great an onus upon them, families may take comfort in the cnonubii of the Lord, who says: For my yoke is easy donnubii my burden is light” Matt. By reiterating her constant teaching against artificial birth control, the Church performs an invaluable service to humanity.

The Church is obliged encclcia articulate plainly and forthrightly the truths entrusted to her, including those truths that may be known to men of good will with the use of right reason. Paul writes that the Church cannot “evade the duty imposed on her of proclaiming humbly but firmly the entire moral law, both natural and evangelical. Since the Church did not make either of these laws, she cannot be their arbiter-only their guardian and interpreter.

It could never be right wncclica her to declare lawful what is in fact unlawful, since that, by its very nature, is always opposed to the true good of man” HV, no.

Teaching that artificial birth control is “shameful and intrinsically vicious” CC, no. To be sure, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, we are standing in the midst of moral ruin. The rampant disobedience of the divine and natural laws vis-a-vis artificial birth control connubi out to God for vengeance. The transgressions against marriage and the family terrorize the very structure of our human society. And our delinquency in honoring the procreative gift of God threatens the very survival of our species.

Reverend Michael Hull, S.