In Pennsylvania's

Monday, December 27, 2010

The State of Our Unions 2010

With yesterday having been the Feast of the Holy Family, it is a wonderful time to recall the truth about marriage and family, as proclaimed in the Catechism:
  • "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."

In the wake of widespread rejection of Humanae Vitae by numerous Catholics, the path was paved for widespread rejection of marriage and family. How magnificently the late great Pope John Paul II called us back to an authentic appreciation of what our Church proclaims on these matters, in what has become known as his Theology of the Body:

  • "The whole of the catecheses...can be grasped under the title, `Human Love in the Divine Plan," or with greater precision, `the Redemption of the body & the Sacramentality of Marriage'....The first part is devoted to the analysis of the words of Christ....The second part of the catechesis is devoted to the analysis of the sacrament based on Ephesians (Eph 5:22 - 23), which goes back to the biblical beginning of marriage expressed in the words of Genesis, `a man will leave his father and mother and unite with his wife, and the two will be one flesh' (Gen 2:24)" (11/28/84).
  • "The reflections about the sacrament of Marriage were carried out in the consideration of the two dimensions essential to this sacrament, namely, the dimension of covenant and grace and the dimension of sign....The doctrine contained in...[Humanae Vitae] remains in organic relation both with the sacramentality of marriage and the whole biblical problematic of the theology of the body, which is centered on the `key words' of Christ.... all the reflections dealing with the `Redemption of the Body and the Sacramentality of Marriage' seem to constitute an extensive commentary on the doctrine contained precisely in Humanae Vitae" (11/28/84).

An appreciation for the magnificence of the vocation of marriage has still not recovered from the assault on Humanae Vitae. Correction requires ongoing vigilance. Early in each new year, the Holy Father addresses the Roman Rota (i.e., the Church's "Supreme Court," if you will) on misunderstandings about the vocation of marriage, even at very high levels. On January 29, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI described how

  • "some maintain that pastoral charity could justify every step towards declaring the nullity of the marriage bond in order to assist people who find themselves in irregular matrimonial situations. Truth itself, even if lip service be paid to it, tends thus to be viewed through a manipulative lens that would seek to adapt it, case by case, to the different requirements that emerge....
  • "a pronouncement on the nullity of a marriage...directly concerns the human and supernatural good of the spouses, as well as the public good of the Church....
  • "Charity without justice is not charity, but a counterfeit, because charity itself requires that objectivity which is typical of justice and which must not be confused with inhuman coldness....One must avoid pseudo-pastoral claims that would situate questions on a purely horizontal plane, in which what matters is to satisfy subjective requests to arrive at a declaration of nullity at any cost....
  • "The problem arises when the very essence of marriage, rooted in the nature of man and woman, is more or less obscured, as it is the essence of marriage that makes it possible to express objective judgments on a specific marriage. In this sense, existential, person-centred and relational consideration of the conjugal union can never be at the expense of indissolubility, an essential property which, in Christian marriage, obtains, with unity, a special firmness by reason of the sacrament (cf. CIC, can. 1056). Moreover, it must not be forgotten that matrimony is favoured by the law. Consequently, in case of doubt, it must be considered valid until the contrary has been proven (cf. CIC, can. 1060). Otherwise, there is a grave risk of losing any objective reference point for pronouncements on nullity, by transforming every conjugal difficulty into a symptom of failure to establish a union whose essential nucleus of justice – the indissoluble bond – is effectively denied."

The magnificent truth about marriage and family is NOT some sort of sectarian idiosynracy, which can be bartered away:

  • "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.'"

  • "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 [Note: To this blogger, it would be absolutely disingenuous for anyone to maintain that this would justify supporting anti-life policies which are dishonestly promoted as 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."

The State of Our Unions is an annual report from the University of Virginia's National Marriage Project (formerly at Rutgers) and the Institute for American Value's Center for Marriage & Families. As described in a USCCB article, "The annual report monitors the health of marriage and family life in America." The attached Social Indicators of Marital Health & Well-Being section specifically examines some "key findings" with regard to

  • Marriage,
  • Divorce,
  • Unmarried Cohabitation,
  • Loss of Child-Centeredness, &
  • Fragile Families with Children.

Our next Congress will be faced with steep challenges to honor and assist authentic marriage and family. As per Pope John Paul II, "The future of humanity passes by way of the family."

Social Indicators of Marital Health _ Well-Being

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

"What is Marriage?" (Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy)

What is Marriage [Harvard article] -

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

FWD: URGENT: Stop Senate power abuse - ramming repeal of 'DADT' down America's throat

As per the forwarded email at the very bottom of this email, the American Family Association is asking for immediate calls to Senator Specter (202 224 4254), Senator Casey (202 224 6324), and Congressman Murphy (215 826 1963), urging them to vote "'NO' on any effort to repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.'" Yup, there are new efforts to push this through!

Archbishop Broglio provided an analysis, which far surpasses that of the American Family Association. In his June 1 statement, Archbishop Broglio cited #s 2357, 2358, & 2359 of the Catechism: "The Archdiocese for the Military Services—the only jurisdiction charged with the pastoral care of all Catholics in the military, VA Administration, and at the service of the Federal Government outside of the boundaries of the United States, which is also charged with endorsing Roman Catholic priests urges the Congress not to repeal the current policy for the Armed Forces."Little has been said about the impact of this policy change on religious liberty. In an October 22nd interview, Archbishop Broglio spoke of an unanticipated and chilling impact on the freedom to proclaim and teach the Truth: "'As Catholics,' he warned, 'we must be attentive to the protection of our freedom of religion'-- neither subordinating it to the idea of tolerance, nor trading it for the mere 'freedom of worship.' If members of the Church do not defend this freedom in the public square, he said, 'we may well lose it.'"

-----Original Message-----
From: AFA Action Alert
Sent: December 14, 2010 4:29:16 PM GMT
Subject: URGENT: Stop Senate power abuse - ramming repeal of 'DADT' down
America's throat

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URGENT: Stop the power abuse - ramming repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" down America's throat Trying to force-feed bad policy against the will of the people...again! Vote could come as early as today!December 14, 2010

Dear Friend,

We urged you just two weeks ago to call your senators and representative and urge them to oppose the effort to repeal the law that prohibits open homosexuals from serving in the military, the law commonly known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

Thanks to your phone calls, the repeal effort failed in the Senate on December 9.

But liberal Senators Harry Reid, Joe Lieberman, Susan Collins and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are dead set on ramming through a bill at the 11th hour that will allow open homosexuals into the armed services, which will do severe damage to readiness, recruitment and retention.

If pro-homosexual lawmakers are successful, our military will change forever and our national security will be compromised. The stakes are as high as they can be.

Some Senators who voted against repeal last week are faltering in the face of political arm twisting. One of them may be yours!


It is urgent that you call your two senators and representative immediately and urge them to vote "NO" on any effort to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

Get the phone numbers for your two senators and representative here.

Get the direct telephone numbers for your senators and representative here.

It is very important that you forward this alert to your friends and family members.


Tim Wildmon, President
American Family Association
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