Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The (CENSORED) that was the Quirino Grandstand Standoff

Ex-PNP Captain Mendoza was a misguided soul. He felt that the wrong that had been done to him was unwarranted, yet he opted to commit a greater wrong. Even if in mathematics two negatives make a positive, in life two wrongs don't make a right. Come on! Did the dumb (CENSORED) have to pick a tourist bus full of FOREIGNERS (of all people!) and set them hostage to prove his point?! What was his point, anyway? That we are a hopeless anarchy of a state? That we're just too FUBAR to exist? If that was the case, he didn't have to do it! Now, thanks to the (CENSORED), our tourism industry had taken terrible, terrible damage! WAS THAT WHAT YOU WANTED?

Ezio trash-talking Vieri's corpse in AC2 would fit the Filipino's collective sentiment, methinks.

"Pezzo di (CENSORED)! Vorrei solo che avessi sofferto di più! Hai avuto la fine che meritavi!" (Piece of (CENSORED)! I only wished you'd suffered more! You met the fate you deserved!)

CCC 2331-2400





You shall not commit adultery.113

You have heard that it was said, "You shall not commit adultery." But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.114


2331 "God is love and in himself he lives a mystery of personal loving communion. Creating the human race in his own image . . .. God inscribed in the humanity of man and woman the vocation, and thus the capacity and responsibility, of love and communion."115

"God created man in his own image . . . male and female he created them";116 He blessed them and said, "Be fruitful and multiply";117 "When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created."118

2332 Sexuality affects all aspects of the human person in the unity of his body and soul. It especially concerns affectivity, the capacity to love and to procreate, and in a more general way the aptitude for forming bonds of communion with others.

2333 Everyone, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity. Physical, moral, and spiritual difference and complementarity are oriented toward the goods of marriage and the flourishing of family life. The harmony of the couple and of society depends in part on the way in which the complementarity, needs, and mutual support between the sexes are lived out.

2334 "In creating men 'male and female,' God gives man and woman an equal personal dignity."119 "Man is a person, man and woman equally so, since both were created in the image and likeness of the personal God."120

2335 Each of the two sexes is an image of the power and tenderness of God, with equal dignity though in a different way. The union of man and woman in marriage is a way of imitating in the flesh the Creator's generosity and fecundity: "Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh."121 All human generations proceed from this union.122

2336 Jesus came to restore creation to the purity of its origins. In the Sermon on the Mount, he interprets God's plan strictly: "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart."123 What God has joined together, let not man put asunder.124

The tradition of the Church has understood the sixth commandment as encompassing the whole of human sexuality.


2337 Chastity means the successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being. Sexuality, in which man's belonging to the bodily and biological world is expressed, becomes personal and truly human when it is integrated into the relationship of one person to another, in the complete and lifelong mutual gift of a man and a woman.

The virtue of chastity therefore involves the integrity of the person and the integrality of the gift.

The integrity of the person

2338 The chaste person maintains the integrity of the powers of life and love placed in him. This integrity ensures the unity of the person; it is opposed to any behavior that would impair it. It tolerates neither a double life nor duplicity in speech.125

2339 Chastity includes an apprenticeship in self-mastery which is a training in human freedom. The alternative is clear: either man governs his passions and finds peace, or he lets himself be dominated by them and becomes unhappy.126 "Man's dignity therefore requires him to act out of conscious and free choice, as moved and drawn in a personal way from within, and not by blind impulses in himself or by mere external constraint. Man gains such dignity when, ridding himself of all slavery to the passions, he presses forward to his goal by freely choosing what is good and, by his diligence and skill, effectively secures for himself the means suited to this end."127

2340 Whoever wants to remain faithful to his baptismal promises and resist temptations will want to adopt the means for doing so: self-knowledge, practice of an ascesis adapted to the situations that confront him, obedience to God's commandments, exercise of the moral virtues, and fidelity to prayer. "Indeed it is through chastity that we are gathered together and led back to the unity from which we were fragmented into multiplicity."128

2341 The virtue of chastity comes under the cardinal virtue of temperance, which seeks to permeate the passions and appetites of the senses with reason.

2342 Self-mastery is a long and exacting work. One can never consider it acquired once and for all. It presupposes renewed effort at all stages of life.129 The effort required can be more intense in certain periods, such as when the personality is being formed during childhood and adolescence.

2343 Chastity has laws of growth which progress through stages marked by imperfection and too often by sin. "Man . . . day by day builds himself up through his many free decisions; and so he knows, loves, and accomplishes moral good by stages of growth."130

2344 Chastity represents an eminently personal task; it also involves a cultural effort, for there is "an interdependence between personal betterment and the improvement of society."131 Chastity presupposes respect for the rights of the person, in particular the right to receive information and an education that respect the moral and spiritual dimensions of human life.

2345 Chastity is a moral virtue. It is also a gift from God, a grace, a fruit of spiritual effort.132 The Holy Spirit enables one whom the water of Baptism has regenerated to imitate the purity of Christ.133

The integrality of the gift of self

2346 Charity is the form of all the virtues. Under its influence, chastity appears as a school of the gift of the person. Self-mastery is ordered to the gift of self. Chastity leads him who practices it to become a witness to his neighbor of God's fidelity and loving kindness.

2347 The virtue of chastity blossoms in friendship. It shows the disciple how to follow and imitate him who has chosen us as his friends,134 who has given himself totally to us and allows us to participate in his divine estate. Chastity is a promise of immortality.

Chastity is expressed notably in friendship with one's neighbor. Whether it develops between persons of the same or opposite sex, friendship represents a great good for all. It leads to spiritual communion.

The various forms of chastity

2348 All the baptized are called to chastity. The Christian has "put on Christ,"135 the model for all chastity. All Christ's faithful are called to lead a chaste life in keeping with their particular states of life. At the moment of his Baptism, the Christian is pledged to lead his affective life in chastity.

2349 "People should cultivate [chastity] in the way that is suited to their state of life. Some profess virginity or consecrated celibacy which enables them to give themselves to God alone with an undivided heart in a remarkable manner. Others live in the way prescribed for all by the moral law, whether they are married or single."136 Married people are called to live conjugal chastity; others practice chastity in continence:

There are three forms of the virtue of chastity: the first is that of spouses, the second that of widows, and the third that of virgins. We do not praise any one of them to the exclusion of the others. . . . This is what makes for the richness of the discipline of the Church.137

2350 Those who are engaged to marry are called to live chastity in continence. They should see in this time of testing a discovery of mutual respect, an apprenticeship in fidelity, and the hope of receiving one another from God. They should reserve for marriage the expressions of affection that belong to married love. They will help each other grow in chastity.

Offenses against chastity

2351 Lust is disordered desire for or inordinate enjoyment of sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes.

2352 By masturbation is to be understood the deliberate stimulation of the genital organs in order to derive sexual pleasure. "Both the Magisterium of the Church, in the course of a constant tradition, and the moral sense of the faithful have been in no doubt and have firmly maintained that masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action."138 "The deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose." For here sexual pleasure is sought outside of "the sexual relationship which is demanded by the moral order and in which the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love is achieved."139

To form an equitable judgment about the subjects' moral responsibility and to guide pastoral action, one must take into account the affective immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety or other psychological or social factors that lessen, if not even reduce to a minimum, moral culpability.

2353 Fornication is carnal union between an unmarried man and an unmarried woman. It is gravely contrary to the dignity of persons and of human sexuality which is naturally ordered to the good of spouses and the generation and education of children. Moreover, it is a grave scandal when there is corruption of the young.

2354 Pornography consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties. It offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world. It is a grave offense. Civil authorities should prevent the production and distribution of pornographic materials.

2355 Prostitution does injury to the dignity of the person who engages in it, reducing the person to an instrument of sexual pleasure. The one who pays sins gravely against himself: he violates the chastity to which his Baptism pledged him and defiles his body, the temple of the Holy Spirit.140 Prostitution is a social scourge. It usually involves women, but also men, children, and adolescents (The latter two cases involve the added sin of scandal.). While it is always gravely sinful to engage in prostitution, the imputability of the offense can be attenuated by destitution, blackmail, or social pressure.

2356 Rape is the forcible violation of the sexual intimacy of another person. It does injury to justice and charity. Rape deeply wounds the respect, freedom, and physical and moral integrity to which every person has a right. It causes grave damage that can mark the victim for life. It is always an intrinsically evil act. Graver still is the rape of children committed by parents (incest) or those responsible for the education of the children entrusted to them.

Chastity and homosexuality

2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.


2360 Sexuality is ordered to the conjugal love of man and woman. In marriage the physical intimacy of the spouses becomes a sign and pledge of spiritual communion. Marriage bonds between baptized persons are sanctified by the sacrament.

2361 "Sexuality, by means of which man and woman give themselves to one another through the acts which are proper and exclusive to spouses, is not something simply biological, but concerns the innermost being of the human person as such. It is realized in a truly human way only if it is an integral part of the love by which a man and woman commit themselves totally to one another until death."143

Tobias got out of bed and said to Sarah, "Sister, get up, and let us pray and implore our Lord that he grant us mercy and safety." So she got up, and they began to pray and implore that they might be kept safe. Tobias began by saying, "Blessed are you, O God of our fathers. . . . You made Adam, and for him you made his wife Eve as a helper and support. From the two of them the race of mankind has sprung. You said, 'It is not good that the man should be alone; let us make a helper for him like himself.' I now am taking this kinswoman of mine, not because of lust, but with sincerity. Grant that she and I may find mercy and that we may grow old together." And they both said, "Amen, Amen." Then they went to sleep for the night.144

2362 "The acts in marriage by which the intimate and chaste union of the spouses takes place are noble and honorable; the truly human performance of these acts fosters the self-giving they signify and enriches the spouses in joy and gratitude."145 Sexuality is a source of joy and pleasure:

The Creator himself . . . established that in the [generative] function, spouses should experience pleasure and enjoyment of body and spirit. Therefore, the spouses do nothing evil in seeking this pleasure and enjoyment. They accept what the Creator has intended for them. At the same time, spouses should know how to keep themselves within the limits of just moderation.146

2363 The spouses' union achieves the twofold end of marriage: the good of the spouses themselves and the transmission of life. These two meanings or values of marriage cannot be separated without altering the couple's spiritual life and compromising the goods of marriage and the future of the family.

The conjugal love of man and woman thus stands under the twofold obligation of fidelity and fecundity.

* Conjugal fidelity

2364 The married couple forms "the intimate partnership of life and love established by the Creator and governed by his laws; it is rooted in the conjugal covenant, that is, in their irrevocable personal consent."147 Both give themselves definitively and totally to one another. They are no longer two; from now on they form one flesh. The covenant they freely contracted imposes on the spouses the obligation to preserve it as unique and indissoluble.148 "What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder."149

2365 Fidelity expresses constancy in keeping one's given word. God is faithful. The Sacrament of Matrimony enables man and woman to enter into Christ's fidelity for his Church. Through conjugal chastity, they bear witness to this mystery before the world.

St. John Chrysostom suggests that young husbands should say to their wives: I have taken you in my arms, and I love you, and I prefer you to my life itself. For the present life is nothing, and my most ardent dream is to spend it with you in such a way that we may be assured of not being separated in the life reserved for us. . . . I place your love above all things, and nothing would be more bitter or painful to me than to be of a different mind than you.150

* The fecundity of marriage

2366 Fecundity is a gift, an end of marriage, for conjugal love naturally tends to be fruitful. A child does not come from outside as something added on to the mutual love of the spouses, but springs from the very heart of that mutual giving, as its fruit and fulfillment. So the Church, which is "on the side of life,"151 teaches that "it is necessary that each and every marriage act remain ordered per se to the procreation of human life."152 "This particular doctrine, expounded on numerous occasions by the Magisterium, is based on the inseparable connection, established by God, which man on his own initiative may not break, between the unitive significance and the procreative significance which are both inherent to the marriage act."153

2367 Called to give life, spouses share in the creative power and fatherhood of God.154 "Married couples should regard it as their proper mission to transmit human life and to educate their children; they should realize that they are thereby cooperating with the love of God the Creator and are, in a certain sense, its interpreters. They will fulfill this duty with a sense of human and Christian responsibility."155

2368 A particular aspect of this responsibility concerns the regulation of procreation. For just reasons, spouses may wish to space the births of their children. It is their duty to make certain that their desire is not motivated by selfishness but is in conformity with the generosity appropriate to responsible parenthood. Moreover, they should conform their behavior to the objective criteria of morality:

When it is a question of harmonizing married love with the responsible transmission of life, the morality of the behavior does not depend on sincere intention and evaluation of motives alone; but it must be determined by objective criteria, criteria drawn from the nature of the person and his acts, criteria that respect the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love; this is possible only if the virtue of married chastity is practiced with sincerity of heart.156

2369 "By safeguarding both these essential aspects, the unitive and the procreative, the conjugal act preserves in its fullness the sense of true mutual love and its orientation toward man's exalted vocation to parenthood."157

2370 Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality.158 These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom. In contrast, "every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible" is intrinsically evil:159

Thus the innate language that expresses the total reciprocal self-giving of husband and wife is overlaid, through contraception, by an objectively contradictory language, namely, that of not giving oneself totally to the other. This leads not only to a positive refusal to be open to life but also to a falsification of the inner truth of conjugal love, which is called upon to give itself in personal totality. . . . The difference, both anthropological and moral, between contraception and recourse to the rhythm of the cycle . . . involves in the final analysis two irreconcilable concepts of the human person and of human sexuality.160

2371 "Let all be convinced that human life and the duty of transmitting it are not limited by the horizons of this life only: their true evaluation and full significance can be understood only in reference to man's eternal destiny."161

2372 The state has a responsibility for its citizens' well-being. In this capacity it is legitimate for it to intervene to orient the demography of the population. This can be done by means of objective and respectful information, but certainly not by authoritarian, coercive measures. The state may not legitimately usurp the initiative of spouses, who have the primary responsibility for the procreation and education of their children.162 In this area, it is not authorized to employ means contrary to the moral law.

The gift of a child

2373 Sacred Scripture and the Church's traditional practice see in large families a sign of God's blessing and the parents' generosity.163

2374 Couples who discover that they are sterile suffer greatly. "What will you give me," asks Abraham of God, "for I continue childless?"164 And Rachel cries to her husband Jacob, "Give me children, or I shall die!"165

2375 Research aimed at reducing human sterility is to be encouraged, on condition that it is placed "at the service of the human person, of his inalienable rights, and his true and integral good according to the design and will of God."166

2376 Techniques that entail the dissociation of husband and wife, by the intrusion of a person other than the couple (donation of sperm or ovum, surrogate uterus), are gravely immoral. These techniques (heterologous artificial insemination and fertilization) infringe the child's right to be born of a father and mother known to him and bound to each other by marriage. They betray the spouses' "right to become a father and a mother only through each other."167

2377 Techniques involving only the married couple (homologous artificial insemination and fertilization) are perhaps less reprehensible, yet remain morally unacceptable. They dissociate the sexual act from the procreative act. The act which brings the child into existence is no longer an act by which two persons give themselves to one another, but one that "entrusts the life and identity of the embryo into the power of doctors and biologists and establishes the domination of technology over the origin and destiny of the human person. Such a relationship of domination is in itself contrary to the dignity and equality that must be common to parents and children."168 "Under the moral aspect procreation is deprived of its proper perfection when it is not willed as the fruit of the conjugal act, that is to say, of the specific act of the spouses' union . . . . Only respect for the link between the meanings of the conjugal act and respect for the unity of the human being make possible procreation in conformity with the dignity of the person."169

2378 A child is not something owed to one, but is a gift. The "supreme gift of marriage" is a human person. A child may not be considered a piece of property, an idea to which an alleged "right to a child" would lead. In this area, only the child possesses genuine rights: the right "to be the fruit of the specific act of the conjugal love of his parents," and "the right to be respected as a person from the moment of his conception."170

2379 The Gospel shows that physical sterility is not an absolute evil. Spouses who still suffer from infertility after exhausting legitimate medical procedures should unite themselves with the Lord's Cross, the source of all spiritual fecundity. They can give expression to their generosity by adopting abandoned children or performing demanding services for others.



2380 Adultery refers to marital infidelity. When two partners, of whom at least one is married to another party, have sexual relations - even transient ones - they commit adultery. Christ condemns even adultery of mere desire.171 The sixth commandment and the New Testament forbid adultery absolutely.172 The prophets denounce the gravity of adultery; they see it as an image of the sin of idolatry.173

2381 Adultery is an injustice. He who commits adultery fails in his commitment. He does injury to the sign of the covenant which the marriage bond is, transgresses the rights of the other spouse, and undermines the institution of marriage by breaking the contract on which it is based. He compromises the good of human generation and the welfare of children who need their parents' stable union.


2382 The Lord Jesus insisted on the original intention of the Creator who willed that marriage be indissoluble.174 He abrogates the accommodations that had slipped into the old Law.175

Between the baptized, "a ratified and consummated marriage cannot be dissolved by any human power or for any reason other than death."176

2383 The separation of spouses while maintaining the marriage bond can be legitimate in certain cases provided for by canon law.177

If civil divorce remains the only possible way of ensuring certain legal rights, the care of the children, or the protection of inheritance, it can be tolerated and does not constitute a moral offense.

2384 Divorce is a grave offense against the natural law. It claims to break the contract, to which the spouses freely consented, to live with each other till death. Divorce does injury to the covenant of salvation, of which sacramental marriage is the sign. Contracting a new union, even if it is recognized by civil law, adds to the gravity of the rupture: the remarried spouse is then in a situation of public and permanent adultery:

If a husband, separated from his wife, approaches another woman, he is an adulterer because he makes that woman commit adultery, and the woman who lives with him is an adulteress, because she has drawn another's husband to herself.178

2385 Divorce is immoral also because it introduces disorder into the family and into society. This disorder brings grave harm to the deserted spouse, to children traumatized by the separation of their parents and often torn between them, and because of its contagious effect which makes it truly a plague on society.

2386 It can happen that one of the spouses is the innocent victim of a divorce decreed by civil law; this spouse therefore has not contravened the moral law. There is a considerable difference between a spouse who has sincerely tried to be faithful to the sacrament of marriage and is unjustly abandoned, and one who through his own grave fault destroys a canonically valid marriage.179

Other offenses against the dignity of marriage

2387 The predicament of a man who, desiring to convert to the Gospel, is obliged to repudiate one or more wives with whom he has shared years of conjugal life, is understandable. However polygamy is not in accord with the moral law." [Conjugal] communion is radically contradicted by polygamy; this, in fact, directly negates the plan of God which was revealed from the beginning, because it is contrary to the equal personal dignity of men and women who in matrimony give themselves with a love that is total and therefore unique and exclusive."180 The Christian who has previously lived in polygamy has a grave duty in justice to honor the obligations contracted in regard to his former wives and his children.

2388 Incest designates intimate relations between relatives or in-laws within a degree that prohibits marriage between them.181 St. Paul stigmatizes this especially grave offense: "It is actually reported that there is immorality among you . . . for a man is living with his father's wife. . . . In the name of the Lord Jesus . . . you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh. . . . "182 Incest corrupts family relationships and marks a regression toward animality.

2389 Connected to incest is any sexual abuse perpetrated by adults on children or adolescents entrusted to their care. The offense is compounded by the scandalous harm done to the physical and moral integrity of the young, who will remain scarred by it all their lives; and the violation of responsibility for their upbringing.

2390 In a so-called free union, a man and a woman refuse to give juridical and public form to a liaison involving sexual intimacy.

The expression "free union" is fallacious: what can "union" mean when the partners make no commitment to one another, each exhibiting a lack of trust in the other, in himself, or in the future?

The expression covers a number of different situations: concubinage, rejection of marriage as such, or inability to make long-term commitments.183 All these situations offend against the dignity of marriage; they destroy the very idea of the family; they weaken the sense of fidelity. They are contrary to the moral law. The sexual act must take place exclusively within marriage. Outside of marriage it always constitutes a grave sin and excludes one from sacramental communion.

2391 Some today claim a "right to a trial marriage" where there is an intention of getting married later. However firm the purpose of those who engage in premature sexual relations may be, "the fact is that such liaisons can scarcely ensure mutual sincerity and fidelity in a relationship between a man and a woman, nor, especially, can they protect it from inconstancy of desires or whim."184 Carnal union is morally legitimate only when a definitive community of life between a man and woman has been established. Human love does not tolerate "trial marriages." It demands a total and definitive gift of persons to one another.185


2392 "Love is the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being" (FC 11).

2393 By creating the human being man and woman, God gives personal dignity equally to the one and the other. Each of them, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity.

2394 Christ is the model of chastity. Every baptized person is called to lead a chaste life, each according to his particular state of life.

2395 Chastity means the integration of sexuality within the person. It includes an apprenticeship in self-mastery.

2396 Among the sins gravely contrary to chastity are masturbation, fornication, pornography, and homosexual practices.

2397 The covenant which spouses have freely entered into entails faithful love. It imposes on them the obligation to keep their marriage indissoluble.

2398 Fecundity is a good, a gift and an end of marriage. By giving life, spouses participate in God's fatherhood.

2399 The regulation of births represents one of the aspects of responsible fatherhood and motherhood. Legitimate intentions on the part of the spouses do not justify recourse to morally unacceptable means (for example, direct sterilization or contraception).

2400 Adultery, divorce, polygamy, and free union are grave offenses against the dignity of marriage.

113 Ex 20:14; Deut 5:18.
114 Mt 5:27-28.
115 FC 11.
116 Gen 1:27.
117 Gen 1:28.
118 Gen 5:1-2.
119 FC 22; Cf. GS 49 § 2.
120 MD 6.
121 Gen 2:24.
122 Cf. Gen 4:1-2, 25-26; 5:1.
123 Mt 5:27-28.
124 Cf. Mt 19:6.
125 Cf. Mt 5:37.
126 Cf. Sir 1:22.
127 GS 17.
128 St. Augustine, Conf. 10,29,40:PL 32,796.
129 Cf. Titus 2:1-6.
130 FC 34.
131 GS 25 § 1.
132 Cf. Gal 5:22.
133 Cf. 1 Jn 3:3.
134 Cf. Jn 15:15.
135 Gal 3:27.
136 CDF, Persona humana 11.
137 St. Ambrose, De viduis 4,23:PL 16,255A.
138 CDF, Persona humana 9.
139 CDF, Persona humana 9.
140 Cf. 1 Cor 6:15-20.
141 Cf. Gen 191-29; Rom 124-27; 1 Cor 6:10; 1 Tim 1:10.
142 CDF, Persona humana 8.
143 FC 11.
144 Tob 8:4-9.
145 GS 49 § 2.
146 Pius XII, Discourse, October 29, 1951.
147 GS 48 § 1.
148 Cf. CIC, can. 1056.
149 Mk 109; cf. Mt 19:1-12; 1 Cor 7:10-11.
150 St. John Chrysostom, Hom. in Eph. 20,8:PG 62,146-147.
151 FC 30.
152 HV 11.
153 HV 12; cf. Pius XI, encyclical, Casti connubii.
154 Cf. Eph 3:14; Mt 23:9.
155 GS 50 § 2.
156 GS 51 § 3.
157 Cf. HV 12.
158 HV 16.
159 HV 14.
160 FC 32.
161 GS 51 § 4.
162 Cf. HV 23; PP 37.
163 Cf. GS 50 § 2.
164 Gen 15:2.
165 Gen 30:1.
166 CDF, Donum vitae intro.,2.
167 CDF, Donum vitae II,1.
168 CDF, Donum vitae II,5.
169 CDF, Donum vitae II,4.
170 CDF, Donum vitae II,8.
171 Cf. Mt 5:27-28.
172 Cf. Mt 5:32; 19:6; Mk 10:11; 1 Cor 6:9-10.
173 Cf. Hos 2:7; Jer 5:7; 13:27.
174 Cf. Mt 5:31-32; 19:3-9; Mk 10:9; Lk 16:18; 1 Cor 7:10-ll.
175 Cf. Mt 19:7-9.
176 CIC, can. 1141.
177 Cf. CIC, cann. 1151-1155.
178 St. Basil, Moralia 73,1:PG 31,849-852.
179 Cf. FC 84.
180 FC 19; cf. GS 47 § 2.
181 Cf. Lev 18:7-20.
182 1 Cor 5:1, 4-5.
183 Cf. FC 81.
184 CDF, Persona humana 7.
185 Cf. FC 80.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

CCC 2258-2330




You shall not kill.54
You have heard that it was said to the men of old, "You shall not kill: and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment." But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment.55

2258 "Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains for ever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being."56


The witness of sacred history

2259 In the account of Abel's murder by his brother Cain,57 Scripture reveals the presence of anger and envy in man, consequences of original sin, from the beginning of human history. Man has become the enemy of his fellow man. God declares the wickedness of this fratricide: "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand."58

2260 The covenant between God and mankind is interwoven with reminders of God's gift of human life and man's murderous violence:

For your lifeblood I will surely require a reckoning. . . . Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for God made man in his own image.59
The Old Testament always considered blood a sacred sign of life.60 This teaching remains necessary for all time.

2261 Scripture specifies the prohibition contained in the fifth commandment: "Do not slay the innocent and the righteous."61 The deliberate murder of an innocent person is gravely contrary to the dignity of the human being, to the golden rule, and to the holiness of the Creator. The law forbidding it is universally valid: it obliges each and everyone, always and everywhere.

2262 In the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord recalls the commandment, "You shall not kill,"62 and adds to it the proscription of anger, hatred, and vengeance. Going further, Christ asks his disciples to turn the other cheek, to love their enemies.63 He did not defend himself and told Peter to leave his sword in its sheath.64

Legitimate defense

2263 The legitimate defense of persons and societies is not an exception to the prohibition against the murder of the innocent that constitutes intentional killing. "The act of self-defense can have a double effect: the preservation of one's own life; and the killing of the aggressor. . . . The one is intended, the other is not."65

2264 Love toward oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality. Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect for one's own right to life. Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow:

If a man in self-defense uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repels force with moderation, his defense will be lawful. . . . Nor is it necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of moderate self-defense to avoid killing the other man, since one is bound to take more care of one's own life than of another's.66
2265 Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others. The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm. For this reason, those who legitimately hold authority also have the right to use arms to repel aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their responsibility.

2266 The efforts of the state to curb the spread of behavior harmful to people's rights and to the basic rules of civil society correspond to the requirement of safeguarding the common good. Legitimate public authority has the right and duty to inflict punishment proportionate to the gravity of the offense. Punishment has the primary aim of redressing the disorder introduced by the offense. When it is willingly accepted by the guilty party, it assumes the value of expiation. Punishment then, in addition to defending public order and protecting people's safety, has a medicinal purpose: as far as possible, it must contribute to the correction of the guilty party.67

2267 Assuming that the guilty party's identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.

If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people's safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.

Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm - without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself - the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity "are very rare, if not practically nonexistent."68

Intentional homicide

2268 The fifth commandment forbids direct and intentional killing as gravely sinful. The murderer and those who cooperate voluntarily in murder commit a sin that cries out to heaven for vengeance.69

Infanticide,70 fratricide, parricide, and the murder of a spouse are especially grave crimes by reason of the natural bonds which they break. Concern for eugenics or public health cannot justify any murder, even if commanded by public authority.

2269 The fifth commandment forbids doing anything with the intention of indirectly bringing about a person's death. The moral law prohibits exposing someone to mortal danger without grave reason, as well as refusing assistance to a person in danger.

The acceptance by human society of murderous famines, without efforts to remedy them, is a scandalous injustice and a grave offense. Those whose usurious and avaricious dealings lead to the hunger and death of their brethren in the human family indirectly commit homicide, which is imputable to them.71

Unintentional killing is not morally imputable. But one is not exonerated from grave offense if, without proportionate reasons, he has acted in a way that brings about someone's death, even without the intention to do so.


2270 Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person - among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.72

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.73
My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth.74

2271 Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:

You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.75
God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.76

2272 Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. "A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae,"77 "by the very commission of the offense,"78 and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law.79 The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.

2273 The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation:

"The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being's right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death."80

"The moment a positive law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law. When the state does not place its power at the service of the rights of each citizen, and in particular of the more vulnerable, the very foundations of a state based on law are undermined. . . . As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child's rights."81

2274 Since it must be treated from conception as a person, the embryo must be defended in its integrity, cared for, and healed, as far as possible, like any other human being.

Prenatal diagnosis is morally licit, "if it respects the life and integrity of the embryo and the human fetus and is directed toward its safe guarding or healing as an individual. . . . It is gravely opposed to the moral law when this is done with the thought of possibly inducing an abortion, depending upon the results: a diagnosis must not be the equivalent of a death sentence."82

2275 "One must hold as licit procedures carried out on the human embryo which respect the life and integrity of the embryo and do not involve disproportionate risks for it, but are directed toward its healing the improvement of its condition of health, or its individual survival."83

"It is immoral to produce human embryos intended for exploitation as disposable biological material."84

"Certain attempts to influence chromosomic or genetic inheritance are not therapeutic but are aimed at producing human beings selected according to sex or other predetermined qualities. Such manipulations are contrary to the personal dignity of the human being and his integrity and identity"85 which are unique and unrepeatable.


2276 Those whose lives are diminished or weakened deserve special respect. Sick or handicapped persons should be helped to lead lives as normal as possible.

2277 Whatever its motives and means, direct euthanasia consists in putting an end to the lives of handicapped, sick, or dying persons. It is morally unacceptable.

Thus an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator. The error of judgment into which one can fall in good faith does not change the nature of this murderous act, which must always be forbidden and excluded.

2278 Discontinuing medical procedures that are burdensome, dangerous, extraordinary, or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be legitimate; it is the refusal of "over-zealous" treatment. Here one does not will to cause death; one's inability to impede it is merely accepted. The decisions should be made by the patient if he is competent and able or, if not, by those legally entitled to act for the patient, whose reasonable will and legitimate interests must always be respected.

2279 Even if death is thought imminent, the ordinary care owed to a sick person cannot be legitimately interrupted. The use of painkillers to alleviate the sufferings of the dying, even at the risk of shortening their days, can be morally in conformity with human dignity if death is not willed as either an end or a means, but only foreseen and tolerated as inevitable Palliative care is a special form of disinterested charity. As such it should be encouraged.


2280 Everyone is responsible for his life before God who has given it to him. It is God who remains the sovereign Master of life. We are obliged to accept life gratefully and preserve it for his honor and the salvation of our souls. We are stewards, not owners, of the life God has entrusted to us. It is not ours to dispose of.

2281 Suicide contradicts the natural inclination of the human being to preserve and perpetuate his life. It is gravely contrary to the just love of self. It likewise offends love of neighbor because it unjustly breaks the ties of solidarity with family, nation, and other human societies to which we continue to have obligations. Suicide is contrary to love for the living God.

2282 If suicide is committed with the intention of setting an example, especially to the young, it also takes on the gravity of scandal. Voluntary co-operation in suicide is contrary to the moral law.

Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide.

2283 We should not despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have taken their own lives. By ways known to him alone, God can provide the opportunity for salutary repentance. The Church prays for persons who have taken their own lives.


Respect for the souls of others: scandal

2284 Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor's tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death. Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense.

2285 Scandal takes on a particular gravity by reason of the authority of those who cause it or the weakness of those who are scandalized. It prompted our Lord to utter this curse: "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea."86 Scandal is grave when given by those who by nature or office are obliged to teach and educate others. Jesus reproaches the scribes and Pharisees on this account: he likens them to wolves in sheep's clothing.87

2286 Scandal can be provoked by laws or institutions, by fashion or opinion.

Therefore, they are guilty of scandal who establish laws or social structures leading to the decline of morals and the corruption of religious practice, or to "social conditions that, intentionally or not, make Christian conduct and obedience to the Commandments difficult and practically impossible."88 This is also true of business leaders who make rules encouraging fraud, teachers who provoke their children to anger,89 or manipulators of public opinion who turn it away from moral values.

2287 Anyone who uses the power at his disposal in such a way that it leads others to do wrong becomes guilty of scandal and responsible for the evil that he has directly or indirectly encouraged. "Temptations to sin are sure to come; but woe to him by whom they come!"90

Respect for health

2288 Life and physical health are precious gifts entrusted to us by God. We must take reasonable care of them, taking into account the needs of others and the common good.

Concern for the health of its citizens requires that society help in the attainment of living-conditions that allow them to grow and reach maturity: food and clothing, housing, health care, basic education, employment, and social assistance.

2289 If morality requires respect for the life of the body, it does not make it an absolute value. It rejects a neo-pagan notion that tends to promote the cult of the body, to sacrifice everything for it's sake, to idolize physical perfection and success at sports. By its selective preference of the strong over the weak, such a conception can lead to the perversion of human relationships.

2290 The virtue of temperance disposes us to avoid every kind of excess: the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco, or medicine. Those incur grave guilt who, by drunkenness or a love of speed, endanger their own and others' safety on the road, at sea, or in the air.

2291 The use of drugs inflicts very grave damage on human health and life. Their use, except on strictly therapeutic grounds, is a grave offense. Clandestine production of and trafficking in drugs are scandalous practices. They constitute direct co-operation in evil, since they encourage people to practices gravely contrary to the moral law.

Respect for the person and scientific research

2292 Scientific, medical, or psychological experiments on human individuals or groups can contribute to healing the sick and the advancement of public health.

2293 Basic scientific research, as well as applied research, is a significant expression of man's dominion over creation. Science and technology are precious resources when placed at the service of man and promote his integral development for the benefit of all. By themselves however they cannot disclose the meaning of existence and of human progress. Science and technology are ordered to man, from whom they take their origin and development; hence they find in the person and in his moral values both evidence of their purpose and awareness of their limits.

2294 It is an illusion to claim moral neutrality in scientific research and its applications. On the other hand, guiding principles cannot be inferred from simple technical efficiency, or from the usefulness accruing to some at the expense of others or, even worse, from prevailing ideologies. Science and technology by their very nature require unconditional respect for fundamental moral criteria. They must be at the service of the human person, of his inalienable rights, of his true and integral good, in conformity with the plan and the will of God.

2295 Research or experimentation on the human being cannot legitimate acts that are in themselves contrary to the dignity of persons and to the moral law. The subjects' potential consent does not justify such acts. Experimentation on human beings is not morally legitimate if it exposes the subject's life or physical and psychological integrity to disproportionate or avoidable risks. Experimentation on human beings does not conform to the dignity of the person if it takes place without the informed consent of the subject or those who legitimately speak for him.

2296 Organ transplants are in conformity with the moral law if the physical and psychological dangers and risks to the donor are proportionate to the good sought for the recipient. Organ donation after death is a noble and meritorious act and is to be encouraged as a expression of generous solidarity. It is not morally acceptable if the donor or his proxy has not given explicit consent. Moreover, it is not morally admissible to bring about the disabling mutilation or death of a human being, even in order to delay the death of other persons.

Respect for bodily integrity

2297 Kidnapping and hostage taking bring on a reign of terror; by means of threats they subject their victims to intolerable pressures. They are morally wrong. Terrorism threatens, wounds, and kills indiscriminately; it is gravely against justice and charity. Torture which uses physical or moral violence to extract confessions, punish the guilty, frighten opponents, or satisfy hatred is contrary to respect for the person and for human dignity. Except when performed for strictly therapeutic medical reasons, directly intended amputations, mutilations, and sterilizations performed on innocent persons are against the moral law.91

2298 In times past, cruel practices were commonly used by legitimate governments to maintain law and order, often without protest from the Pastors of the Church, who themselves adopted in their own tribunals the prescriptions of Roman law concerning torture. Regrettable as these facts are, the Church always taught the duty of clemency and mercy. She forbade clerics to shed blood. In recent times it has become evident that these cruel practices were neither necessary for public order, nor in conformity with the legitimate rights of the human person. On the contrary, these practices led to ones even more degrading. It is necessary to work for their abolition. We must pray for the victims and their tormentors.

Respect for the dead

2299 The dying should be given attention and care to help them live their last moments in dignity and peace. They will be helped by the prayer of their relatives, who must see to it that the sick receive at the proper time the sacraments that prepare them to meet the living God.

2300 The bodies of the dead must be treated with respect and charity, in faith and hope of the Resurrection. The burial of the dead is a corporal work of mercy;92 it honors the children of God, who are temples of the Holy Spirit.

2301 Autopsies can be morally permitted for legal inquests or scientific research. The free gift of organs after death is legitimate and can be meritorious.

The Church permits cremation, provided that it does not demonstrate a denial of faith in the resurrection of the body.93



2302 By recalling the commandment, "You shall not kill,"94 our Lord asked for peace of heart and denounced murderous anger and hatred as immoral.

Anger is a desire for revenge. "To desire vengeance in order to do evil to someone who should be punished is illicit," but it is praiseworthy to impose restitution "to correct vices and maintain justice."95 If anger reaches the point of a deliberate desire to kill or seriously wound a neighbor, it is gravely against charity; it is a mortal sin. The Lord says, "Everyone who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment."96

2303 Deliberate hatred is contrary to charity. Hatred of the neighbor is a sin when one deliberately wishes him evil. Hatred of the neighbor is a grave sin when one deliberately desires him grave harm. "But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven."97

2304 Respect for and development of human life require peace. Peace is not merely the absence of war, and it is not limited to maintaining a balance of powers between adversaries. Peace cannot be attained on earth without safeguarding the goods of persons, free communication among men, respect for the dignity of persons and peoples, and the assiduous practice of fraternity. Peace is "the tranquillity of order."98 Peace is the work of justice and the effect of charity.99

2305 Earthly peace is the image and fruit of the peace of Christ, the messianic "Prince of Peace."100 By the blood of his Cross, "in his own person he killed the hostility,"101 he reconciled men with God and made his Church the sacrament of the unity of the human race and of its union with God. "He is our peace."102 He has declared: "Blessed are the peacemakers."103

2306 Those who renounce violence and bloodshed and, in order to safeguard human rights, make use of those means of defense available to the weakest, bear witness to evangelical charity, provided they do so without harming the rights and obligations of other men and societies. They bear legitimate witness to the gravity of the physical and moral risks of recourse to violence, with all its destruction and death.104

Avoiding war

2307 The fifth commandment forbids the intentional destruction of human life. Because of the evils and injustices that accompany all war, the Church insistently urges everyone to prayer and to action so that the divine Goodness may free us from the ancient bondage of war.105

2308 All citizens and all governments are obliged to work for the avoidance of war.

However, "as long as the danger of war persists and there is no international authority with the necessary competence and power, governments cannot be denied the right of lawful self-defense, once all peace efforts have failed."106

2309 The strict conditions for legitimate defense by military force require rigorous consideration. The gravity of such a decision makes it subject to rigorous conditions of moral legitimacy. At one and the same time:

- the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;

- all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;

- there must be serious prospects of success;

- the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modem means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.

These are the traditional elements enumerated in what is called the "just war" doctrine.

The evaluation of these conditions for moral legitimacy belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good.

2310 Public authorities, in this case, have the right and duty to impose on citizens the obligations necessary for national defense.

Those who are sworn to serve their country in the armed forces are servants of the security and freedom of nations. If they carry out their duty honorably, they truly contribute to the common good of the nation and the maintenance of peace.107

2311 Public authorities should make equitable provision for those who for reasons of conscience refuse to bear arms; these are nonetheless obliged to serve the human community in some other way.108

2312 The Church and human reason both assert the permanent validity of the moral law during armed conflict. "The mere fact that war has regrettably broken out does not mean that everything becomes licit between the warring parties."109

2313 Non-combatants, wounded soldiers, and prisoners must be respected and treated humanely.

Actions deliberately contrary to the law of nations and to its universal principles are crimes, as are the orders that command such actions. Blind obedience does not suffice to excuse those who carry them out. Thus the extermination of a people, nation, or ethnic minority must be condemned as a mortal sin. One is morally bound to resist orders that command genocide.

2314 "Every act of war directed to the indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants is a crime against God and man, which merits firm and unequivocal condemnation."110 A danger of modern warfare is that it provides the opportunity to those who possess modern scientific weapons especially atomic, biological, or chemical weapons - to commit such crimes.

2315 The accumulation of arms strikes many as a paradoxically suitable way of deterring potential adversaries from war. They see it as the most effective means of ensuring peace among nations. This method of deterrence gives rise to strong moral reservations. The arms race does not ensure peace. Far from eliminating the causes of war, it risks aggravating them. Spending enormous sums to produce ever new types of weapons impedes efforts to aid needy populations;111 it thwarts the development of peoples. Over-armament multiplies reasons for conflict and increases the danger of escalation.

2316 The production and the sale of arms affect the common good of nations and of the international community. Hence public authorities have the right and duty to regulate them. The short-term pursuit of private or collective interests cannot legitimate undertakings that promote violence and conflict among nations and compromise the international juridical order.

2317 Injustice, excessive economic or social inequalities, envy, distrust, and pride raging among men and nations constantly threaten peace and cause wars. Everything done to overcome these disorders contributes to building up peace and avoiding war:

Insofar as men are sinners, the threat of war hangs over them and will so continue until Christ comes again; but insofar as they can vanquish sin by coming together in charity, violence itself will be vanquished and these words will be fulfilled: "they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."112

2318 "In [God's] hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind" (Job 12:10).

2319 Every human life, from the moment of conception until death, is sacred because the human person has been willed for its own sake in the image and likeness of the living and holy God.

2320 The murder of a human being is gravely contrary to the dignity of the person and the holiness of the Creator.

2321 The prohibition of murder does not abrogate the right to render an unjust aggressor unable to inflict harm. Legitimate defense is a grave duty for whoever is responsible for the lives of others or the common good.

2322 From its conception, the child has the right to life. Direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, is a "criminal" practice (GS 27 § 3), gravely contrary to the moral law. The Church imposes the canonical penalty of excommunication for this crime against human life.

2323 Because it should be treated as a person from conception, the embryo must be defended in its integrity, cared for, and healed like every other human being.

2324 Intentional euthanasia, whatever its forms or motives, is murder. It is gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator.

2325 Suicide is seriously contrary to justice, hope, and charity. It is forbidden by the fifth commandment.

2326 Scandal is a grave offense when by deed or omission it deliberately leads others to sin gravely.

2327 Because of the evils and injustices that all war brings with it, we must do everything reasonably possible to avoid it. The Church prays: "From famine, pestilence, and war, O Lord, deliver us."

2328 The Church and human reason assert the permanent validity of the moral law during armed conflicts. Practices deliberately contrary to the law of nations and to its universal principles are crimes.

2329 "The arms race is one of the greatest curses on the human race and the harm it inflicts on the poor is more than can be endured" (GS 81 § 3).

2330 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God" (Mt 5:9).


54 Ex 20:13; Cf. Deut 5:17.
55 Mt 5:21-22.
56 CDF, instruction, Donum vitae, intro. 5.
57 Cf. Gen 4:8-12.
58 Gen 4:10-11.
59 Gen 9:5-6.
60 Cf. Lev 17:14.
61 Ex 23:7.
62 Mt 5:21.
63 Cf. Mt 5:22-39; 5:44.
64 Cf. Mt 26:52.
65 St. Thomas Aquinas, STh II-II,64,7, corp. art.
66 St. Thomas Aquinas, STh II-II,64,7, corp. art.
67 Cf. Lk 23:40-43.
68 John Paul II, Evangelium vitae 56. 69 Cf. Gen 4:10.
70 Cf. GS 51 § 3.
71 Cf. Am 8:4-10.
72 Cf. CDF, Donum vitae I,1.
73 Jer 1:5; cf. Job 10:8-12; Ps 22:10-11.
74 Ps 139:15.
75 Didache 2,2:SCh 248,148; cf. Ep. Barnabae 19,5:PG 2 777; Ad Diognetum 5,6:PG 2,1173; Tertullian, Apol. 9:PL 1,319-320.
76 GS 51 § 3.
77 CIC, can. 1398.
78 CIC, can. 1314.
79 Cf. CIC, cann. 1323-1324.
80 CDF, Donum vitae III.
81 CDF, Donum vitae III.
82 CDF, Donum vitae I,2.
83 CDF, Donum vitae I,3.
84 CDF, Donum vitae I,5.
85 CDF, Donum vitae I,6.
86 Mt 18:6; cf. 1 Cor 8:10-13.
87 Cf. Mt 7:15.
88 Pius XII, Discourse, June 1, 1941.
89 Cf. Eph 6:4; Col 3:21.
90 Lk 17:1.
91 Cf. DS 3722.
92 Cf. Tob 1:16-18.
93 Cf. CIC, can. 1176 § 3.
94 Mt 5:21.
95 St. Thomas Aquinas, STh II-II,158,1 ad 3.
96 Mt 5:22.
97 Mt 5:44-45.
98 St. Augustine, De civ. Dei, 19,13,1:PL 41,640.
99 Cf. Isa 32:17; cf. GS 78 §§ 1-2.
100 Isa 9:5.
101 Eph 2:16 J.B.; cf. Col 1:20-22.
102 Eph 2:14.
103 Mt 5:9.
104 Cf. GS 78 § 5.
105 Cf. GS 81 § 4.
106 GS 79 § 4.
107 Cf. GS 79 § 5.
108 Cf. GS 79 § 3.
109 GS 79 § 4.
110 GS 80 #3.
111 Cf. Paul VI, PP 53.
112 GS 78 § 6; cf. Isa 2:4.

Friday, August 13, 2010

CCC 2197-2257




Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God gives you.4
He was obedient to them.5

The Lord Jesus himself recalled the force of this "commandment of God."6 The Apostle teaches: "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 'Honor your father and mother,' (This is the first commandment with a promise.) 'that it may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth."'7

2197 The fourth commandment opens the second table of the Decalogue. It shows us the order of charity. God has willed that, after him, we should honor our parents to whom we owe life and who have handed on to us the knowledge of God. We are obliged to honor and respect all those whom God, for our good, has vested with his authority.

2198 This commandment is expressed in positive terms of duties to be fulfilled. It introduces the subsequent commandments which are concerned with particular respect for life, marriage, earthly goods, and speech. It constitutes one of the foundations of the social doctrine of the Church.

2199 The fourth commandment is addressed expressly to children in their relationship to their father and mother, because this relationship is the most universal. It likewise concerns the ties of kinship between members of the extended family. It requires honor, affection, and gratitude toward elders and ancestors. Finally, it extends to the duties of pupils to teachers, employees to employers, subordinates to leaders, citizens to their country, and to those who administer or govern it.

This commandment includes and presupposes the duties of parents, instructors, teachers, leaders, magistrates, those who govern, all who exercise authority over others or over a community of persons.

2200 Observing the fourth commandment brings its reward: "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the LORD your God gives you."8 Respecting this commandment provides, along with spiritual fruits, temporal fruits of peace and prosperity. Conversely, failure to observe it brings great harm to communities and to individuals.


The nature of the family

2201 The conjugal community is established upon the consent of the spouses. Marriage and the family are ordered to the good of the spouses and to the procreation and education of children. The love of the spouses and the begetting of children create among members of the same family personal relationships and primordial responsibilities.

2202 A man and a woman united in marriage, together with their children, form a family. This institution is prior to any recognition by public authority, which has an obligation to recognize it. It should be considered the normal reference point by which the different forms of family relationship are to be evaluated.

2203 In creating man and woman, God instituted the human family and endowed it with its fundamental constitution. Its members are persons equal in dignity. For the common good of its members and of society, the family necessarily has manifold responsibilities, rights, and duties.

* The Christian family

2204 "The Christian family constitutes a specific revelation and realization of ecclesial communion, and for this reason it can and should be called a domestic church."9 It is a community of faith, hope, and charity; it assumes singular importance in the Church, as is evident in the New Testament.10

2205 The Christian family is a communion of persons, a sign and image of the communion of the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit. In the procreation and education of children it reflects the Father's work of creation. It is called to partake of the prayer and sacrifice of Christ. Daily prayer and the reading of the Word of God strengthen it in charity. The Christian family has an evangelizing and missionary task.

2206 The relationships within the family bring an affinity of feelings, affections and interests, arising above all from the members' respect for one another. The family is a privileged community called to achieve a "sharing of thought and common deliberation by the spouses as well as their eager cooperation as parents in the children's upbringing."11


2207 The family is the original cell of social life. It is the natural society in which husband and wife are called to give themselves in love and in the gift of life. Authority, stability, and a life of relationships within the family constitute the foundations for freedom, security, and fraternity within society. The family is the community in which, from childhood, one can learn moral values, begin to honor God, and make good use of freedom. Family life is an initiation into life in society.

2208 The family should live in such a way that its members learn to care and take responsibility for the young, the old, the sick, the handicapped, and the poor. There are many families who are at times incapable of providing this help. It devolves then on other persons, other families, and, in a subsidiary way, society to provide for their needs: "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained from the world."12

2209 The family must be helped and defended by appropriate social measures. Where families cannot fulfill their responsibilities, other social bodies have the duty of helping them and of supporting the institution of the family. Following the principle of subsidiarity, larger communities should take care not to usurp the family's prerogatives or interfere in its life.

2210 The importance of the family for the life and well-being of society13 entails a particular responsibility for society to support and strengthen marriage and the family. Civil authority should consider it a grave duty "to acknowledge the true nature of marriage and the family, to protect and foster them, to safeguard public morality, and promote domestic prosperity."14

2211 The political community has a duty to honor the family, to assist it, and to ensure especially:

- the freedom to establish a family, have children, and bring them up in keeping with the family's own moral and religious convictions;

- the protection of the stability of the marriage bond and the institution of the family;

- the freedom to profess one's faith, to hand it on, and raise one's children in it, with the necessary means and institutions;

- the right to private property, to free enterprise, to obtain work and housing, and the right to emigrate;

- in keeping with the country's institutions, the right to medical care, assistance for the aged, and family benefits;

- the protection of security and health, especially with respect to dangers like drugs, pornography, alcoholism, etc.;

- the freedom to form associations with other families and so to have representation before civil authority.15

2212 The fourth commandment illuminates other relationships in society. In our brothers and sisters we see the children of our parents; in our cousins, the descendants of our ancestors; in our fellow citizens, the children of our country; in the baptized, the children of our mother the Church; in every human person, a son or daughter of the One who wants to be called "our Father." In this way our relationships with our neighbors are recognized as personal in character. The neighbor is not a "unit" in the human collective; he is "someone" who by his known origins deserves particular attention and respect.

2213 Human communities are made up of persons. Governing them well is not limited to guaranteeing rights and fulfilling duties such as honoring contracts. Right relations between employers and employees, between those who govern and citizens, presuppose a natural good will in keeping with the dignity of human persons concerned for justice and fraternity.


The duties of children

2214 The divine fatherhood is the source of human fatherhood;16 this is the foundation of the honor owed to parents. The respect of children, whether minors or adults, for their father and mother17 is nourished by the natural affection born of the bond uniting them. It is required by God's commandment.18

2215 Respect for parents (filial piety) derives from gratitude toward those who, by the gift of life, their love and their work, have brought their children into the world and enabled them to grow in stature, wisdom, and grace. "With all your heart honor your father, and do not forget the birth pangs of your mother. Remember that through your parents you were born; what can you give back to them that equals their gift to you?"19

2216 Filial respect is shown by true docility and obedience. "My son, keep your father's commandment, and forsake not your mother's teaching. . . . When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you."20 "A wise son hears his father's instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke."21

2217 As long as a child lives at home with his parents, the child should obey his parents in all that they ask of him when it is for his good or that of the family. "Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord."22 Children should also obey the reasonable directions of their teachers and all to whom their parents have entrusted them. But if a child is convinced in conscience that it would be morally wrong to obey a particular order, he must not do so.

As they grow up, children should continue to respect their parents. They should anticipate their wishes, willingly seek their advice, and accept their just admonitions. Obedience toward parents ceases with the emancipation of the children; not so respect, which is always owed to them. This respect has its roots in the fear of God, one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

2218 The fourth commandment reminds grown children of their responsibilities toward their parents. As much as they can, they must give them material and moral support in old age and in times of illness, loneliness, or distress. Jesus recalls this duty of gratitude.23

For the Lord honored the father above the children, and he confirmed the right of the mother over her sons. Whoever honors his father atones for sins, and whoever glorifies his mother is like one who lays up treasure. Whoever honors his father will be gladdened by his own children, and when he prays he will be heard. Whoever glorifies his father will have long life, and whoever obeys the Lord will refresh his mother.24
O son, help your father in his old age, and do not grieve him as long as he lives; even if he is lacking in understanding, show forbearance; in all your strength do not despise him. . . . Whoever forsakes his father is like a blasphemer, and whoever angers his mother is cursed by the Lord.25

2219 Filial respect promotes harmony in all of family life; it also concerns relationships between brothers and sisters. Respect toward parents fills the home with light and warmth. "Grandchildren are the crown of the aged."26 "With all humility and meekness, with patience, [support] one another in charity."27

2220 For Christians a special gratitude is due to those from whom they have received the gift of faith, the grace of Baptism, and life in the Church. These may include parents, grandparents, other members of the family, pastors, catechists, and other teachers or friends. "I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you."28

The duties of parents

2221 The fecundity of conjugal love cannot be reduced solely to the procreation of children, but must extend to their moral education and their spiritual formation. "The role of parents in education is of such importance that it is almost impossible to provide an adequate substitute."29 The right and the duty of parents to educate their children are primordial and inalienable.30

2222 Parents must regard their children as children of God and respect them as human persons. Showing themselves obedient to the will of the Father in heaven, they educate their children to fulfill God's law.

2223 Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children. They bear witness to this responsibility first by creating a home where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity, and disinterested service are the rule. The home is well suited for education in the virtues. This requires an apprenticeship in self-denial, sound judgment, and self-mastery - the preconditions of all true freedom. Parents should teach their children to subordinate the "material and instinctual dimensions to interior and spiritual ones."31 Parents have a grave responsibility to give good example to their children. By knowing how to acknowledge their own failings to their children, parents will be better able to guide and correct them:

He who loves his son will not spare the rod. . . . He who disciplines his son will profit by him.32
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.33

2224 The home is the natural environment for initiating a human being into solidarity and communal responsibilities. Parents should teach children to avoid the compromising and degrading influences which threaten human societies.

2225 Through the grace of the sacrament of marriage, parents receive the responsibility and privilege of evangelizing their children. Parents should initiate their children at an early age into the mysteries of the faith of which they are the "first heralds" for their children. They should associate them from their tenderest years with the life of the Church.34 A wholesome family life can foster interior dispositions that are a genuine preparation for a living faith and remain a support for it throughout one's life.

2226 Education in the faith by the parents should begin in the child's earliest years. This already happens when family members help one another to grow in faith by the witness of a Christian life in keeping with the Gospel. Family catechesis precedes, accompanies, and enriches other forms of instruction in the faith. Parents have the mission of teaching their children to pray and to discover their vocation as children of God.35 The parish is the Eucharistic community and the heart of the liturgical life of Christian families; it is a privileged place for the catechesis of children and parents.

2227 Children in turn contribute to the growth in holiness of their parents.36 Each and everyone should be generous and tireless in forgiving one another for offenses, quarrels, injustices, and neglect. Mutual affection suggests this. The charity of Christ demands it.37

2228 Parents' respect and affection are expressed by the care and attention they devote to bringing up their young children and providing for their physical and spiritual needs. As the children grow up, the same respect and devotion lead parents to educate them in the right use of their reason and freedom.

2229 As those first responsible for the education of their children, parents have the right to choose a school for them which corresponds to their own convictions. This right is fundamental. As far as possible parents have the duty of choosing schools that will best help them in their task as Christian educators.38 Public authorities have the duty of guaranteeing this parental right and of ensuring the concrete conditions for its exercise.

2230 When they become adults, children have the right and duty to choose their profession and state of life. They should assume their new responsibilities within a trusting relationship with their parents, willingly asking and receiving their advice and counsel. Parents should be careful not to exert pressure on their children either in the choice of a profession or in that of a spouse. This necessary restraint does not prevent them - quite the contrary from giving their children judicious advice, particularly when they are planning to start a family.

2231 Some forgo marriage in order to care for their parents or brothers and sisters, to give themselves more completely to a profession, or to serve other honorable ends. They can contribute greatly to the good of the human family.


2232 Family ties are important but not absolute. Just as the child grows to maturity and human and spiritual autonomy, so his unique vocation which comes from God asserts itself more clearly and forcefully. Parents should respect this call and encourage their children to follow it. They must be convinced that the first vocation of the Christian is to follow Jesus: "He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me."39

2233 Becoming a disciple of Jesus means accepting the invitation to belong to God's family, to live in conformity with His way of life: "For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother."40

Parents should welcome and respect with joy and thanksgiving the Lord's call to one of their children to follow him in virginity for the sake of the Kingdom in the consecrated life or in priestly ministry.


2234 God's fourth commandment also enjoins us to honor all who for our good have received authority in society from God. It clarifies the duties of those who exercise authority as well as those who benefit from it.

Duties of civil authorities

2235 Those who exercise authority should do so as a service. "Whoever would be great among you must be your servant."41 The exercise of authority is measured morally in terms of its divine origin, its reasonable nature and its specific object. No one can command or establish what is contrary to the dignity of persons and the natural law.

2236 The exercise of authority is meant to give outward expression to a just hierarchy of values in order to facilitate the exercise of freedom and responsibility by all. Those in authority should practice distributive justice wisely, taking account of the needs and contribution of each, with a view to harmony and peace. They should take care that the regulations and measures they adopt are not a source of temptation by setting personal interest against that of the community.42

2237 Political authorities are obliged to respect the fundamental rights of the human person. They will dispense justice humanely by respecting the rights of everyone, especially of families and the disadvantaged.

The political rights attached to citizenship can and should be granted according to the requirements of the common good. They cannot be suspended by public authorities without legitimate and proportionate reasons. Political rights are meant to be exercised for the common good of the nation and the human community.

The duties of citizens

2238 Those subject to authority should regard those in authority as representatives of God, who has made them stewards of his gifts:43 "Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution. . . . Live as free men, yet without using your freedom as a pretext for evil; but live as servants of God."44 Their loyal collaboration includes the right, and at times the duty, to voice their just criticisms of that which seems harmful to the dignity of persons and to the good of the community.

2239 It is the duty of citizens to contribute along with the civil authorities to the good of society in a spirit of truth, justice, solidarity, and freedom. The love and service of one's country follow from the duty of gratitude and belong to the order of charity. Submission to legitimate authorities and service of the common good require citizens to fulfill their roles in the life of the political community.

2240 Submission to authority and co-responsibility for the common good make it morally obligatory to pay taxes, to exercise the right to vote, and to defend one's country:

Pay to all of them their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.45
[Christians] reside in their own nations, but as resident aliens. They participate in all things as citizens and endure all things as foreigners. . . . They obey the established laws and their way of life surpasses the laws. . . . So noble is the position to which God has assigned them that they are not allowed to desert it.46

The Apostle exhorts us to offer prayers and thanksgiving for kings and all who exercise authority, "that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way."47

2241 The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.

Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants' duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.

2242 The citizen is obliged in conscience not to follow the directives of civil authorities when they are contrary to the demands of the moral order, to the fundamental rights of persons or the teachings of the Gospel. Refusing obedience to civil authorities, when their demands are contrary to those of an upright conscience, finds its justification in the distinction between serving God and serving the political community. "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."48 "We must obey God rather than men":49

When citizens are under the oppression of a public authority which oversteps its competence, they should still not refuse to give or to do what is objectively demanded of them by the common good; but it is legitimate for them to defend their own rights and those of their fellow citizens against the abuse of this authority within the limits of the natural law and the Law of the Gospel.50
2243 Armed resistance to oppression by political authority is not legitimate, unless all the following conditions are met: 1) there is certain, grave, and prolonged violation of fundamental rights; 2) all other means of redress have been exhausted; 3) such resistance will not provoke worse disorders; 4) there is well-founded hope of success; and 5) it is impossible reasonably to foresee any better solution.

The political community and the Church

2244 Every institution is inspired, at least implicitly, by a vision of man and his destiny, from which it derives the point of reference for its judgment, its hierarchy of values, its line of conduct. Most societies have formed their institutions in the recognition of a certain preeminence of man over things. Only the divinely revealed religion has clearly recognized man's origin and destiny in God, the Creator and Redeemer. The Church invites political authorities to measure their judgments and decisions against this inspired truth about God and man:

Societies not recognizing this vision or rejecting it in the name of their independence from God are brought to seek their criteria and goal in themselves or to borrow them from some ideology. Since they do not admit that one can defend an objective criterion of good and evil, they arrogate to themselves an explicit or implicit totalitarian power over man and his destiny, as history shows.51
2245 The Church, because of her commission and competence, is not to be confused in any way with the political community. She is both the sign and the safeguard of the transcendent character of the human person. "The Church respects and encourages the political freedom and responsibility of the citizen."52

2246 It is a part of the Church's mission "to pass moral judgments even in matters related to politics, whenever the fundamental rights of man or the salvation of souls requires it. The means, the only means, she may use are those which are in accord with the Gospel and the welfare of all men according to the diversity of times and circumstances."53


2247 "Honor your father and your mother" (Deut 5:16; Mk 7:10).

2248 According to the fourth commandment, God has willed that, after him, we should honor our parents and those whom he has vested with authority for our good.

2249 The conjugal community is established upon the covenant and consent of the spouses. Marriage and family are ordered to the good of the spouses, to the procreation and the education of children.

2250 "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).

2251 Children owe their parents respect, gratitude, just obedience, and assistance. Filial respect fosters harmony in all of family life.

2252 Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children in the faith, prayer, and all the virtues. They have the duty to provide as far as possible for the physical and spiritual needs of their children.

2253 Parents should respect and encourage their children's vocations. They should remember and teach that the first calling of the Christian is to follow Jesus.

2254 Public authority is obliged to respect the fundamental rights of the human person and the conditions for the exercise of his freedom.

2255 It is the duty of citizens to work with civil authority for building up society in a spirit of truth, justice, solidarity, and freedom.

2256 Citizens are obliged in conscience not to follow the directives of civil authorities when they are contrary to the demands of the moral order. "We must obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29).

2257 Every society's judgments and conduct reflect a vision of man and his destiny. Without the light the Gospel sheds on God and man, societies easily become totalitarian.


4 Ex 20:12; Deut 5:16.
5 Lk 2:51.
6 Mk 7:8-13.
7 Eph 6:1-3; cf. Deut 5:16.
8 Ex 20:12; Deut 5:16.
9 FC 21; cf. LG 11.
10 Cf. Eph 5:21b: 4; Col 3:18-21; 1 Pet 3:1-7.
11 GS 52 § 1.
12 Jas 1:27.
13 Cf. GS 47 § 1.
14 GS 52 § 2.
15 Cf. FC 46.
16 Cf. Eph 314.
17 Cf. Prov 1:8; Tob 4:3-4.
18 Cf. Ex 20:12.
19 Sir 7:27-28.
20 Prov 6:20-22.
21 Prov 13:1.
22 Col 3:20; Cf. Eph 6:1.
23 Cf. Mk 7:10-12.
24 Sir 3:2-6.
25 Sir 3:12-13, 16.
26 Prov 17:6.
27 Eph 4:2.
28 2 Tim 1:5.
29 GE 3.
30 Cf. FC 36.
31 CA 36 § 2.
32 Sir 30:1-2.
33 Eph 6:4.
34 LG 11 § 2.
35 Cf. LG 11.
36 Cf. GS 48 § 4.
37 Cf. Mt 18:21-22; Lk 17:4.
38 Cf. GE 6.
39 Mt 10:37; cf. 16:25.
40 Mt 12:49.
41 Mt 20:26.
42 Cf. CA 25.
43 Cf. Rom 13:1-2.
44 1 Pet 2:13,16.
45 Rom 13:7.
46 Ad Diognetum 5,5 and 10; 6,10:PG 2,1173 and 1176.
47 1 Tim 2:2.
48 Mt 22:21.
49 Acts 5:29.
50 GS 74 § 5.
51 Cf. CA 45; 46.
52 GS 76 § 3.
53 GS 76 § 5.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Bibical foundation of priestly celibacy


The biblical foundation of

priestly celibacy

Ignace de la Potterie

Biblical scholar

For several centuries there has been much debate as to whether the obligation of celibacy for clerics in major orders (or at least that of living in continence for those who are married) is of biblical origin or whether it is based merely on ecclesiastical tradition dating back to the fourth century, since from then on, without question, legislation exists on the subject. The first of these two possible answers has recently been presented. once again, this time with an extraordinary wealth of material, by C. Cochini in Origines apostoliques du célibat sacerdotal.1 Clearly set forth in the title, the author’s position is apparently that celibacy can be and should be upheld, given that account is taken (more perhaps than in the past) of the growth of ancient tradition, a point on which A.M. Stickler also insists in his preface,2 and H. Crouzel in a review.3 In other words, it could be said that the obligation of continence (or of celibacy) became canon law only in the fourth century but that, before that, from apostolic times, the ideal of living in continence (or in celibacy) was already held up to the ministers of the Church, and that this ideal was indeed deeply felt and lived as a requirement by quite a number (Tertullian and Origen, for instance) but was not yet imposed on all clerics in major orders. It was a vital principle, a seed, clearly present from apostolic times but which gradually then developed until the ecclesiastical legislation of the fourth century.4

The new Catechism of the Catholic Church (n. 1579) seems to take the same line. Out of prudence, however, it omits to mention the canon law on celibacy, which nonetheless forms part of Church law today (CIC 277 par. 1), and merely sets out the biblical reasons for celibacy. Yet even here it no longer refers (as often in the past) to the Old Testament, and only quotes two passages from the New: the one in Matthew 19:22, about celibacy: «for the sake of the kingdom of heaven»; and then the Pauline text of 1 Corinthians 7:32-35, where the Apostle speaks of those who are called to consecrate themselves with undivided heart to the Lord and «his affairs»; and adds by way of conclusion that «embraced with a joyful heart, it (the celibate life) radiantly proclaims the kingdom of God». Here of course one might quote other New Testament passages to which, for instance, Paul VI referred in his encyclical Sacerdotalis coelibatus (nn. 17-35), to indicate the reasons for sacred celibacy (its Christological, ecclesiological and eschatological significance). But the problem is that these various texts describe, as a typically Christian ideal, the theological and spiritual value of celibacy in genere. This ideal, however, is equally valid for the religious and for people living consecrated lives in the world; they do not show any particular connection with the ministries of the Church.

The precise question that arises, therefore, is this: do texts .exist in Holy Writ which point to a specific connection between celibacy and priesthood? It would seem so. But if this is the case, more importance will have to be attached to certain New Testament passages which (oddly) have not received much attention in the recent debates. These are the texts in which the Pauline norm (much contested, to be sure) of ‘unius uxoris vir’5 is set out, for analysis of which C. Cochini has also now adduced new material. Enunciated several times in the Pastoral Letters, this principle is uniquely important in our case for two reasons. The first is, as has been convincingly shown by Stickler6 as well as by Cochini,7 that the stipulation was one of the main formulae on which the ancient tradition was based for claiming an actual apostolic origin for the law of priestly celibacy. This was, of course, an immense paradox: how can one base the celibacy of priests on the evidence of texts which talk about married ministers? Such reasoning can only make sense if there is a middle term between the two extremes (marriage of ministers and celibacy): it is that of continence, to which, in fact, married ministers were bound. It was probably because this mediating value of continence was overlooked, that in recent times the formula unius uxoris vir dropped out of discussions on celibacy. It is therefore timely today to re-examine carefully the traditional argument.

The other reason why these texts are especially important from the strictly biblical point of view lies in the fact that they are the only passages in the New Testament where an identical norm is laid down for the three groups of ordained ministers, and only for them. For, according to the Pastoral Letters, the bishop ought to be unius uxoris vir (1 Tim 3:2), so ought the priest (Tit 1:6) and so ought the deacon (I Tim 3:12), whereas that formula (a technical one, it would seem) is never used for other Christians. So here we have a special requirement for the exercise of the ministerial priesthood as such. Further, it should also be observed that the complementary formula unius viri uxor (1 Tim 5:9) is only used of widows at least 60 years old. That is to say, it does not apply to any Christian woman only but to elderly women who exercise a ministry in the community (comparable, one imagines, with that of deaconesses in ancient times). The stereotyped character of this formula in the Pastoral Letters makes one suspect it must have already been rooted in a long biblical tradition.8

So what does it mean that the minister of the Church should be «the husband of one wife»? In the following pages we shall first try to show that the formula unius uxoris vir, up to the fourth century, was understood, as Stickler so well puts it, «in the sense of a biblical argument in favour of celibacy of apostolic inspiration: for the Pauline norm was interpreted in the sense of a guarantee assuring effective observance of continence by ministers who were already married before they were ordained.»9 In the second part, we shall take a step forward: we shall propose a deeper theological interpretation of the Pauline stipulation itself, to show that, already in New Testament times it actually does propose the model for the ministerial priesthood of a marital relationship between Christ the bridegroom and the Church his bride, on the basis of the mystical view of marriage which St Paul frequently mentions in his letters (cf 2 Cor 11:2; Eph 5:22-32).10 From this, it will become abundantly clear that, for married ministers, their ordination implied an invitation to live in continence thereafter.

The stipulation unius uxoris vir: an argument in

ancient tradition for the apostolic origin of


a. Ecclesiastical legislation from the fourth century onwards

Scholars generally agree that the obligation of celibacy, or at least of continence, became canon law from the fourth century onwards. Here certain incontrovertible texts are quoted repeatedly: three pontifical decretals around AD 385 (Decreta and Cum in unum of Pope Siricius and Dominus inter of Siricius or Damasus) and a canon of the Council of Carthage of AD 390.11

However, it is important to observe that the legislators of the fourth and fifth centuries affirmed that this canonical enactment was based on an apostolic tradition. The Council of Carthage, for instance, said that it was fitting that those who were at the service of the divine sacraments be perfectly continent (continentes esse in omnibus): «so that what the apostles taught and antiquity itself maintained, we too may observe».12 The decree on the obligation of continence was then passed unanimously: «It is pleasing to all that bishop, priest and deacon, the guardians of purity, abstain from marital relations with their wives (ab uxori bus se abstineant) so that the perfect purity may be safeguarded of those who serve the altar.»

The Pauline unius uxoris vir is not explicitly quoted here but reference to this stipulation is implicit since, as in the Pastoral Letters, the bishop, priest and deacon each are mentioned. Besides, 1 Timothy 3:2 is quoted explicitly in an earlier text, the decretal Cum in unum of Siricius himself, who presented the norms of the Council of Rome of AD 386. Here the Pope first formulated an objection that the expression unius uxoris vir of 1 Timothy 3:2, some said, specifically guaranteed the bishop the right to use marriage after sacred ordination. Siricius answered by giving the stipulation’s correct interpretation: «He (Paul) was not speaking of a man who might persist in the desire to beget children (non permanentem in desiderio generandi dixit); he was speaking about continence which they had to observe in future (propter continentiam futuram).» This fundamental text was repeated a number of times subsequently.13 This is Cochini’s comment on it: «Monogamy (that is to say, the law of unius uxoris vir) is a condition for receiving Order, since faithfulness (observed up till then) to one woman is warranty for supposing that the candidate will be capable (in the future) of practising the perfect continence to be asked of him after ordination.»14 And the author goes on: «This exegesis of St Paul’s prescriptions to Timothy and Titus is an essential link by which the bishops of the Synod of Rome (AD 386) and Pope Siricius are cited in continuity with the apostolic age.»

But is this exegesis, for which an apostolic tradition is claimed, properly founded? Not without reason, some scholars think it doubtful.15 For certain questions have to be asked: is it not rather odd to discover in the past behaviour of the married minister (that is to say, his faithfulness to one woman, even in sexual relations) a sufficient guarantee of his future but different behaviour (that is, continence in conjugal relations with that same woman, his lawful wife)? The legislators saw in the past a guarantee for the future, but at the same time they changed the tune to be played: from the (lawful) use of marriage to renunciation of it. To justify this twofold transition from past to future and from sexual relations to conjugal continence, we need an explanatory tertium quid: such justification is only possible if an interpretation of this same formula can be found to bring out, perhaps, some hidden and hitherto unnoted aspect. And this is what we shall try to do in the second part.

But first let us briefly investigate whether, in the history of exegesis and canonical legislation, there may not be elements that can lead us to a deeper understanding of the Pauline stipulation.

b. Theological reasons for the continence and celibacy of priests

From the patristic period until today, we find ourselves faced with two different interpretations of the Pauline formula: for some people, the norm unius uxoris vir prohibits serial polygamy; for others, only simultaneous polygamy.16

The first solution is undoubtedly the more traditional: the expression then means that the sacred ministers could be married men, but only married once; and if the wife had died, they must not have contracted a second marriage, nor could they marry again later. Today, too, this interpretation is the more commonly held among Catholic exegetes. According to the other solutions, however, unius uxoris vir means only being forbidden to live with more than one woman at the same time; it would thus simply be a recommendation to observe conjugal morality.

But neither of these two solutions is entirely satisfying. To the first, it can be objected: if the union in which the married minister was hitherto living was virtuous, why should a second marriage not be so, after the first wife’s death? It is also the case that the Apostle himself on the one hand required the elderly widow who served the community to have been unius viri uxor (1 Tim 5:9), whereas he advised young widows to get married again (1 Tim 5:14). But the other solution raises problems too: conjugal faithfulness in married life is certainly required of all Christians. Why then is the expression unius uxoris vir (and analogously unius yin uxor) used only for those who exercise a ministry in the community?

We may add that the second interpretation goes no further than the simple level of general morality; applied to ministers of the Church, it has something commonplace and reductive about it. The first — the prohibition of a second marriage — is rather of a disciplinary and canonical nature, but its theological basis is not indicated. The same omission has indeed already been noted in the canonical legislation of the fourth century: Pope Siricius and many others after him interpreted the Pauline stipulation as the obligation to continence for the married clergy. They did, it is true, give their reason: the purity required of those approaching the altar. But it has to be recognized that this is not in fact what is being talked about in the text of the Pastoral Letters.

At the end of Stickler’s historical investigation, he too recognized that, in this whole problem of priestly celibacy, there had been too much concentration on the juridical aspect.17 Throughout that lengthy history there had been a lack of theological reflection on the deeper significance of the ministerial priesthood, on the reason for its celibacy and on its spiritual value. This is particularly true of the canonical use of the norm unius uxoris vir from the fourth century onwards. So we shall have to search the patristic and canonical tradition itself to see if any theological reasons are given for basing the disciplinary obligation of clerical continence on the Pauline stipulation.

Three pieces of evidence are significant here. The first is provided by Tertullian at the beginning of the third century. He reminds the clergy that monogamy is not only an ecclesiastical discipline but also a precept of the Apostle.18 It thus dates back to apostolic times. Furthermore, he insists on the fact that, in the Church, not a few believers are not married, that they live in continence and that some of them belong to ‘ecclesiastical orders’.19 Now, the men and women who live like this, Tertullian goes on, «have preferred to marry God» (Deo nubere maluerunt);20 and speaking about virgins, he says that they are «brides of Christ».21

But what is the connection between monogamous marriage on the one hand and continence on the other? Tertullian does not say, but here invokes the example set by Christ who, according to the flesh, was not married and lived in celibacy (he was not, therefore, «a husband of one wife»); yet, in the spirit, «he had one bride the Church» (unam habens ecclesiam sponsam).22 This doctrine of Christ’s spiritual marriage to the Church, here inspired by the Pauline text of Ephesians 5:25-32, was common in early Christianity; Tertullian saw this spiritual marriage as one of the main theological bases for the law of monogamous marriage: «because Christ is one and his Church is one» (unus enim Christus et una eius ecclesia).23 But it does not follow from this that Tertullian had already- made the connection between this doctrine and the formulae unius uxoris vir or unius yin uxor of the Pastoral Letters, where monogamous marriage is explicitly referred to; this connection between the two themes is what we shall be trying to establish further on.

Besides, in the last text quoted, Tertullian’s reasoning was not soundly based: the problem dealt with in Ephesians 5:25-32 was not monogamous marriage but, in principle, the relationship of every Christian marriage with the covenant. Here Paul is speaking of all married members of the Church. When, referring to Genesis 2:24, the Apostle says that husband and wife «will be one flesh» (v. 31), he is justifying the use of marriage for them.24 The formula unius uxoris vir of the Pastoral Letters, however, is not used for all married men but only for ministers of the Church (this fact has been too little noted); yet subsequently it came to be regarded as the biblical basis of the law of continence for clerics. This is the point that still needs to be cleared up.

With St Augustine we take a step forward. He, having taken part in the deliberationsof the African synods, was certainly aware of the ecclesiastic law governing the ‘continence of clerics’.25 But how does Augustine then explain the stipulation unius uxoris vir which is used by Paul for married clerics? In De bono conjugali (written in about AD 420), he advances a theological explanation for it, and asks himself why polygamy was accepted in the Old Testament, whereas «in our own age, the sacrament has been restricted to the union between one man and one woman; and consequently it is only lawful to ordain as a minister of the Church (ecclesiae dispensatorem) a man who has had one wife (unius uxoris virum)». And here is Augustine’s answer: «As the many wives (plures uxores) of the ancient Fathers symbolized our future churches of all nations, subject to the one man, Christ (uni viro subditas Christo), so the guide of the faithful (noster antistes, our bishop), who is the husband of one wife (unius uxoris vir) signifies the union of all nations, subject to the one man, Christ (uni viro subditam Christo)».26

In this text, where we find the formula unius uxoris vir being applied to the bishop, the whole accent falls on the fact that he, ‘the man’, in his relations with his ‘wife’, symbolizes the relationship between Christ and the Church. An analogous use of the phrase ‘man and wife’ occurs in a passage of De continentia: «The Apostle invites us to observe so to speak three pairs (copulas): Christ and the Church, husband and wife, the spirit and the flesh».27 The suggestion these texts offer us for interpreting the stipulation unius uxoris vir applied to the (married) minister of the sacrament is that he, as minister, not only represents the second pair (husband and wife) but also the first: henceforth he personifies Christ in his married relationship with the Church. Here we have the basis for the doctrine which was later to become a classic one: Sacerdos alter Christus. Like Christ, the priest is the Church’s bridegroom.

One further word on the canonical legislation of the Middle Ages. On various occasions, in penitential books, it is said that for a married priest to go on having sexual relations with his wife after ordination would be an act of unfaithfulness to the promise made to God. It would be an adulterium since, the minister now being married to the Church, his relationship with his own wife «is like a violation of the marriage bond».28 This weighty accusation against a lawfully wedded, decent man only makes sense if something is left unexpressed because it is well-known, i.e., that the sacred minister, from the moment of his ordination, now lives in another relationship, also of a matrimonial type — that which unites Christ and the Church in which he, the minister, the man (vir), represents Christ the bridegroom; with his own wife (uxor) therefore «the carnal union should from now on be a spiritual one», as St Leo the Great said.29

With these various historical and theological preliminaries, we have gathered enough material for us to be able to tackle the exegetical problem, that is to say, to make an accurate analysis of the actual formula unius uxoris vir in the Pastoral Letters.

‘Unius uxoris vir’: a covenantal formula

We have already seen that, of the two traditional interpretations of the stipulation, one (the more widespread) was of a disciplinary type, and the other exclusively moral. But it was virtually never explained why a minister of the Church should be ‘the husband of one wife’. We shall now attempt to show that the reason for this norm, its deeper meaning and its implications are already present in the text itself if we succeed in analyzing it properly. First we need to clear up the problem of where this mysterious form comes from, with its undeniably fixed, technical, stereotyped nature. But let it be said forthwith: the stipulation is actually a covenantal formula.

This becomes plain when we consider the parallelism between the formula in the Pastoral Letters and the passage in 2 Corinthians 11:2, where Paul describes the Church of Corinth as a woman, as a bride, whom he has presented to Christ as a chaste virgin:

I am jealous about you with the jealousy of God, because I have betrothed you to one man (uni viro), to present you to Christ as a pure virgin.

The context of this passage is particularly clear if we read it with 1 Timothy 5:9. The same formula unus vir is used of the relations whether of the ~2hurch with Christ, or of the widow who has only had one husband and discharges a ministry in the community. In 2 Corinthians 11:2, Christ’s bride is the Church itself. Let us carefully read the text over again. The jealousy of which Paul speaks is a sharing in God’s jealousy over his people.30 It is the zeal devouring the Apostle that his Christians may remain faithful to the covenant made with Christ, who is their true and only bridegroom. Another detail confirms this interpretation:

the Church-bride is paradoxically presented to Christ the bridegroom as ‘a pure virgin’. This is a reference to the Daughter of Sion, sometime called ‘virgin Sion’, ‘virgin Israel’ by the prophets,31 especially when she is invited, after past infidelities, once more to be true to the covenant, to her marriage relationship with her only Bride groom.

The other decisive New Testament passage is the classic text in Ephesians 5:22-23: husband and wife united in matrimony are the image of Christ and the Church. Now Christ, the bridegroom, gave himself up for the Church, so as to make her his glorious, holy and spotless bride (cf vv. 26-27). But the fact that the expression unius uxoris vir is not used here in the Letter to the Ephesians for all married Christians, and is reserved in the Pastoral Letters for the married minister, shows that the formula refers directly to the priestly ministry and the Christ-Church relationship: the minister must be like Christ the bridegroom.

We can also point out another important consequence of the connection between the unius uxoris vir (or unius viri uxor) of the Pastoral Letters and the passage in 2 Corinthians 11:2. It is that the Church-bride is called a ‘pure virgin’. Marital love between Christ the bridegroom and his bride the Church is ever a virginal love.

For the Church of Corinth (where obviously the great majority of Christians were married), it was an immediate question of what St Augustine calls virginitas fidei, virginitas cordis, unblemished faith,32 well described also by St Leo the Great: «Discat Sponsa Verbi non alium virum nosse quam Christum».33 But for the married ministers of whom the Pastoral Letters speak, it is the norm that — in that mystical view of their ministry — the radical call to virginitas cordis should also be lived by them as a call to virginitas carnis as regards their wives, that is to say, as a call to continence, as becomes clear in Tradition, at least from the fourth century onwards. So we are now no longer dealing with an external, ecclesiastical prescription but rather with an inner perception of the fact that ordination makes the priestly minister a representation of Christ the bridegroom in relation to the Church, bride and virgin, and hence he cannot live with another wife.

The decisive relationship between the unius uxoris vir of the Pastoral Letters and the ‘pure virgin’ of 2 Corinthians 11:2 has also been well brought out by E. Tauzin: men who are consecrated to God, he says, «should represent Christ; now, he is only the bridegroom of one bride, the Church: ‘Virginem castam exhibere Christo’»34 And he then applies this principle to the parable in Matthew 25:1-13, where the ten ‘virgins’, who are (in the plural) the brides of Christ, in fact present this one bride: «Outwardly there is multiplicity; inwardly, unity. Isn’t virginity perhaps the best outward image of an inner unity?»

This sacramental and spiritual argument of the unius uxoris vir, based on the theology of the covenant, emerges first in the Western tradition with Tertullian, then with St Augustine and St Leo the Great. We find it well summed up by St Thomas in his commentary on 1 Timothy 3:2 (Oportet ergo episcopum... esse unius uxoris virum): «This is so, not merely to avoid incontinence, but to represent the sacrament, since the Church’s bridegroom is Christ and the Church is one: Una est columba mea (Song of Songs 6:9).35 But St Thomas does not as yet make the connection with the text in 2 Corinthians 11:2, which speaks of the bride-virgin; and therefore he does not add that the representational role of the monogamous priesthood also entails the call to continence for the married minister, and consequently, for the unmarried ones, the call to celibacy.


In order to grasp the way in which we have tried to show the biblical basis of priestly celibacy, it is important to distinguish between celibacy and continence. In the ancient Church, many priests were married. This explains why, in speaking of the ministers of the Church, the formula unius uxoris vir came to be used. It also explains the great interest the Fathers had in monogamous marriage (cf for instance Tertullian: De monogamia). But it becomes clearer still in the Tradition that for a minister of the Church, united once in matrimony with a woman, acceptance of the ministry brought with it the consequence that he had to live in continence thereafter.

In later times, the separation was introduced between priesthood and marriage. And so the formula unius uxoris vir, in its literal and material sense, is no longer of immediate application to the priests of today, since they are not married. Yet paradoxically, precisely in this lies the interest of the formula. We set out from the fact that in the apostolic Church it was only used for clerics; and so it took on, besides the immediate sense of conjugal relations, a further, mystical sense, a direct connection with the spiritual marriage between Christ and the Church. St Paul was already hinting at this. For him, unius uxoris vir was a covenantal formula: it introduced the married minister into the marriage relationship between Christ and the Church; for Paul, the Church was a ‘pure virgin’, it was the ‘bride’ of Christ. But this connection between the minister and Christ, due to the sacrament of ordination, today no longer requires as human support for the symbolism a real marriage on the part of the minister; so the formula is still valid for priests of the Church, although they are not married. Hence, that which in the past was continence for married ministers, in our own day becomes the celibacy of those who are not. Yet the symbolic and spiritual meaning of the expression unius uxoris vir remains ever the same. Indeed, since it contains a direct reference to the covenant, that is to say, to the marriage relationship between Christ and the Church, it invites us to attach much greater importance today than in the past to the fact that the minister of the Church represents Christ the bridegroom to the Church his bride. In this sense, the priest must be «the husband of one wife»; but that one wife, his bride, is the Church who, like Mary, is the bride of Christ.

It is precisely thus that on various occasions John Paul II expresses himself in his post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores dabo vobis. By way of conclusion, we quote some of the more telling passages from it.

In n. 12, having said that, as regards the identity of the priest, his relationship with the Church must take second place to his relationship with Christ, the Pope goes on: «As a mystery, the Church is essentially related to Jesus Christ. She is his fullness, his body, his spouse... The priest finds the full truth of his identity in being a derivation, a specific participation in and continuation of Christ himself, the one High Priest of the new and eternal covenant; the priest is a living and transparent image of Christ the Priest. The priesthood of Christ, the expression of his absolute ‘newness’ in salvation history, constitutes the one source and essential model of the priesthood shared by all Christians and the priest in particular. Reference to Christ is thus the absolutely necessary key for understanding the reality of priesthood.» On the basis of this very close union between the priest and Christ, the deep theological reason for celibacy is easier to grasp.

In some editions of the document, n. 22 bears the crosshead: «Witness to Christ’s spousal love». Further on, it reads: «The priest is called to be the living image of Jesus Christ, the spouse of the Church.» The Pope then quotes a proposition of the Synod: «Inasmuch as he represents Christ, the Head, Shepherd and Spouse of the Church, the priest is placed not only in the Church but also in the forefront of the Church.»

In n. 29, in the very paragraph where the Holy Father speaks of virginity and celibacy, he cites in full the Synod’s Proposition 11 on this subject. Then, to explain «the theological motivation for the ecclesiastical law on celibacy», he writes: «The will of the Church finds its ultimate motivation in the link between celibacy and Sacred Ordination, which configures the priest to Jesus Christ the Head and Spouse of the Church. The Church as the Spouse of Jesus Christ wishes to be loved by the priest in the total and exclusive manner in which Jesus Christ her Head and Spouse loved her.»


1. Christian Cochini, Origines apostoliques du célbat sacerdotal (Le Sycomore), culture et vérité, Lethielleux/Namur, Paris 1981. On the much debated problem of celibacy in the Church today, see a special number of the review Conciluum: Le Célibat du Sacerdoce catholique, in Concilium 78 (1972).

2. A.M. Stickler, in Cochini, (ut supra), Préface, p. 6.

3. H. Crouzel, Une nouvelle étude sur les origines du célibat ecclésiastique, in Bull. de Litt. eccl. 83 (1982), 293-297.

4. See also two studies by canonists: P. Pampaloni, Continenza e celibato del clero. Leggi e motivi delle fonti canoniche dei secoli IV e V. in Studia Patavina 17 (1970), 5-59; J. Coriden, Célibat, Droit canonique et Synode 1971, in Concilium 78 (1972), 101-114.

5. See our article Man d’une seule femme. Le sens théologique d’une formule paulinienne, in Paul de Tarse, apôtre de notre temps (ed. L. De Lorenzi), Rome 1979, 619-638. In the present study we confine ourselves to the Latin tradition; as is well known, a different discipline obtains in the Oriental Churches.

6. A.M. Stickler, L’évolution de la discipline du célibat dans l’Église en occident de la fin de l'âge patristique au Concile de Trente, in Sacerdoce et célibat. Études historiques et théologiques (ed. I. Coppens), Gembloux-Louvain 1971, pp. 373-442.

7. Cochini, op. cit., pp. 5-6.

8. See our study Mari d’une seule femme, (ut supra), p. 635, n. 64, where we show that the formula unius uxoris vir (1 Tim 3:2) expresses the marriage relationship of the covenant between God and his people, between Christ the bridegroom and his bride the Church. Furthermore, the similarity of the formula in 1 Tim.3:2 with the one nearby in 1 Tim 2:5: unus Deus, unus... homo Christus Jesus permits the connection to be made with the prophetic theme of the covenant, and to uncover a link with the Old Testament; cf especially Mal 2:14 (LXX): ‘the wife of your covenant' 2:10: ‘the covenant of our forefathers’.

9. A.M. Stickler, in Cochini, (ut supra), Préface, pp. 5-6 (our italics).

10. Cf our article La struttura di alieanza del sacerdozio ministeriale, in Communio 112 (July-August 1990), 102-114, where we summarise the results of the previous study: Man d’une seule femme, (vide supra), in order to apply them specifically both to the case of priestly celibacy and to that of the priesthood of men (not of women).

11. For this historical part, see the texts in Cochini, op. cit., pp. 19-26.

12. The text (taken from CCL 149, 13) is given in the original Latin with a French translation in Cochini, op. cit., pp. 25-26.

13. For the decretal Cum in unum of Pope Siricius, cf Ep. V. c. 9 (PL 13, 1161 A); it is also found in the African Council of Theleptis (AD 418): Conc. Thelense (CCL 149, 62): French trans.: Cochini, op. cit., p. 32; see also the two letters of Pope Innocent I (AD 404-405) to the bishops Victricius of Rouen and Exuperius of Toulouse: Ep. II, (PL 20, 476 A. 497 B; Cochini, op. cit., pp. 284-286). Africa, Spain and the Gauls thus take direction as indicated by the Popes.

14. Cochini, op. cit., p. 33 (our italics).

15. For P. Pampaloni for instance (art. cit., 41-42), this would involve «a forced interpretation of the Apostle»; he does however concede that, according to the sources of the period, that interpretation was probably regarded as the correct one. H. Crouzel (art. cit., 294) also rightly observes: if it were true, as these Fathers thought, that the Apostle regarded ‘monogamy’ as guaranteeing suitability for continence, we should then have to suppose that, for Paul, it was a known fact «either that the wife was dead or that the candidate was to live with her as with a sister: which unfortunately the Pauline text does not make clear.» This is true. But the Pauline text does contain a literary contact with 2 Cor 11:2 (vide infra), which allows the indirect recovery of the theme of continence as a covenantal theme.

16. Cf our article Mri d’une seule femme, (art. cit): ‘I. Histoire de d’exégèse’ (pp. 620-623); ‘II. Insuffisance des deux interpretations en présence’ (pp. 624-628).

17. Stickler, L’évolution de la discipline dui célibat, (ut supra), pp. 441-442.

18. Cf Ad uxorem, 1, 7, 4 (CCL 1, 381); the reference here is to 1 Tim 3:2, 12; Tit 1:6; see too De exhort, cast., 7,2 (CCL 2, 1024).

19. De exhort. cast., 13, 4 (CCL 2, 1035): on this passage, see Cochini’s comment, 01). cit., pp. 168-171.

20. Ibid., cf Ad uxorem, 1, 4, 4, speaking of women who, instead of choosing a husband, have preferred a virginal life: «Malunt enim Deo nubere. Deo speciosae, Deo sunt puellae» (CCL 1, 377).

21. De virg. vel., 16, 4: «Nupsisti enim Christo, illi tradidisti carnem tuam, illi sponsasti maturitatem tuam,» (CCL 2, 1225); De res., 61, 6: «virgines Christi maritae» (CCL 2, 1010).

22. De monog., 5,7 (CCL 2, 1235)

23. De exhort, cast., 5, 3 (CCL 2, 1023); hence, Tertullian goes on, the law of single marriage is also founded on ‘Christi sacramentum’.

24. The Apostle thus in no way excludes the ‘carnal’ use of marriage between Christian husbands and wives, despite what Tertullian the Montanist was to pretend to the contrary, cf De exhort. cast., 9, 3 (CCL 2, 1028): for the latter, marriage as such (not a second marriage) was to be regarded as a sort of stuprum. As can be seen from this brief analysis, ‘una caro’ (Eph 5:31) and ‘una uxor’ (1 Tim 3:2) have very different functions, although the same adjective una occurs in both texts: Tertullian’s mistake was to have virtually identified them: ‘una caro undoubtedly legitimizes conjugal relations; whereas ‘una uxor’, as we shall see, excludes them, and instead becomes the theological basis for continence.

25. St Augustine speaks of this in the De coniugiis adulterinis, II, 20, 22: «solemnus eis proponere continentiam clenicorum» (PL 40, 486).

26. De bono coniugali, 18, 21 (PL 40, 3 87-388).

27. De continentia, 9, 23 (PL 40, 364).

28. Stickler, L’évolution... (ut supra), p. 381; sundry texts from penitential books are quoted in the notes.

29. St Leo the Great, Ep. ad Rusticum Narbonensem episc. Inquis. III: Resp. (PL 54, 1204 A): «ut de carnali fiat spirituale coniugium».

30. Cf J. Daniélou, La jalousie de Dieu, in Dieu vivant, n. 4, 16(1950), 61-73.

31. Cf our work Mary in the Mystery of the Covenant, New York 1992, pp. xxiii-xxv, xxxv-xxxvii.

32. Cf R. Hesbert, Saint Augustin et la virginité de la foi, in Augustinus Magister. Congrès international augustinien (Paris, Sept. 1954), II, Paris 1954, pp. 645-655.

33. St Leo the Great, Epistolae, 12, 3 (PL 54, 648 B).

34. E. Tauzin, Note sur un texte de Saint Paul (Essai d'exégèse synthétique) in Revue apologétique 36 (1924-1925), 274-289 (see p. 289, in the note). It should be noted that this author too has spontaneously made the connection between the formular unius uxoris vir of the Pastoral Letters and the virgo casta of 2 Cor 11:2.

35. In 1 ad Tim., c. III, lect. 1 (ed. Marietti 1953, n. 96); see too Denis the Carthusian, on 1 Tim 3:12 (Opera omnia, 13, 420).