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Catechism of the Catholic Church

"MALE AND FEMALE HE CREATED THEM . . ."

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 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.

Notes:

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.

English Translation of the Cathechism of the Catholic Church for the United States of America © 1997, United States Catholic Conference, Inc.

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