Catholic Culture Liturgical Living
Catholic Culture Liturgical Living

On the Primary Purpose of Marriage

by Jennaya Arias


In this scholarly essay, Jennaya Arias sets forth the three purposes that God ordained for marriage: procreation and education of children, mutual help and support of the spouses and the remedy for concupiscence. She explains why the Church teaches that procreation, not the mutual help of the spouses, is the primary purpose of marriage, a point which many find difficult to accept. Arias also gives the accepted theological definition of marriage.

Larger Work

The Catholic Faith


8 - 14

Publisher & Date

Ignatius Press, San Francisco, CA, January/February 2002

Marriage and conjugal love are by their nature ordained toward the begetting and education of children. Children are really the supreme gift of marriage and contribute very substantially to the welfare of their parents (Vatican II).

Traditionally speaking, the primary purpose of marriage is the generation and nurturing of offspring; the second purpose is the mutual help of spouses, and the third is the remedy for concupiscence.1 Even before marriage was perfected by grace in the Sacrament of Matrimony, God called His people to love and serve Him and each other in the married state. The intimate community of life and love which constitutes the married state has been established by the Creator and endowed by Him with its own proper laws . . . God Himself is the author of marriage.2

Marriage is the natural, indissoluble union, perfected by the Sacrament, between one man and one woman directed towards the purpose of preserving the human race by generating and raising children. Marriage is also ordered to the mutual help of spouses and the remedy for sexual desire. This definition of marriage as a natural institution can be arrived at by common sense. Nature implants in men and women an instinct that impels them to seek the companionship of marriage and in this companionship, husband and wife are able to hope for help and an easing of their physical discomforts as they get older.3

From the beginning of creation, God made men and women to be together in the generative union of marriage not merely so that they could be companions to one another, but also to populate the earth.4 According to the general opinion of theologians, marriage is normally defined as the conjugal union of man and woman, contracted between two qualified persons, which obliges them to live together throughout life. Taking a more in-depth look at this definition and the one given above, we can see that there are three main elements that compose it: 1). indissolubility, 2). contractual union between ONE man and ONE woman, and 3). ordering to the procreation and upbringing of children, mutual help, and remedy for concupiscence.

In marriage, if it truly is directed towards the generation and fostering of children, it seems necessary for the contract to be indissoluble. This can be shown through the following arguments. God created everything for a purpose and every created thing is inclined and directed towards its proper end. The human body is composed of parts and each part has a function and purpose in keeping the whole organism working properly. The feet enable the person to walk, the eyes give sight, the tongue taste. The emission of things such as sweat and urine help with man's good and health. Other things, such as semen, do not directly help with the health of the person. In fact, semen is only useful when it is emitted in the sexual act, which is directed towards generation. And this emission of semen would only be useful in the process of generation if it is followed by proper nutrition, because the produced child would not survive if not properly nourished and nurtured. It seems, therefore, necessary for the emission of semen to be ordered to the proper generation and upbringing of the child. It can also be seen that it would be wrong for the semen to be emitted under conditions where no openness to generation is present or, if a baby were to be conceived, the proper upbringing of the baby is impossible.5

Some animals do not remain together after the act of generation if the female is to care for the babies herself, while in other species the male animals help raise the offspring until they are able to live independently. For example, lions take care of their young well after the act of generation has taken place. The male lions provide food for their families as well as protect them from predators and any danger until the cubs are able to take care of themselves. God has provided a natural tendency and desire for certain animals to remain with their families and humans are such animals. Since taking care of a human baby is much more complex than taking care of a wild animal, it is necessary for the well-being and proper upbringing of the child to have both parents present and to help with the numerous responsibilities and demands of everyday life.6

Not only should marriage be indissoluble because of the children that may be involved but also, as St. Thomas says, because of the mutual help and companionship between the spouses. In other words, marriage should be indissoluble not only because the upbringing and education of the child requires it but also because of the special and intimate friendship that exists between the husband and wife.

Of the three types of friendship, namely the friendships of utility, pleasure, and honour, it is the friendship of honour that seems to exist between husband and wife. Those who love for the sake of utility love for the sake of what is useful for themselves. Once the utility is gone or the person no longer needs the other, the friendship vanishes. Those who love for the sake of pleasure do so for the sake of what is pleasurable to themselves and in so far as their friend is pleasant. Friendship of honour desires the good for the other person and is in accordance with virtue. It desires the well-being of the other's body and belongings, whether they be children, possessions, as well as the proper ordering of other's soul towards virtue and goodness. Perfect friendship is the friendship of men who are good, and alike in virtue; for these wish well alike to each other qua good, and they are good in themselves.7 In addition, the friendship of honour includes all of the good points of the friendships of utility and pleasure. The stronger the desire for another's good, the more binding, unitive, and lasting will the friendship be. This type of friendship is rare and infrequent because such a friendship requires a lot of time and familiarity. Aristotle says that men cannot know each other until they have eaten salt together; nor can they admit each other to friendship or be friends till each has been found lovable and been trusted by each.8

Men and women are by nature inclined to come together in marriage, even before they come together in cities, not only for the sake of reproduction but also for the necessary purposes of life. The man must provide for his wife and children by working while the woman raises the children in the home and provides a safe and welcome haven for her husband to return to at the end of the day. From experience, the friendship that exists between husband and wife is the strongest because not only are they bound together by their children but also because they know each other better than any other person since they build their lives around one another and their family and are mutual companions and helpmates.9

Having laid out briefly two reasons why marriage need be indissoluble, let us look a bit more deeply at each. First, if marriage were dissoluble, then the friendship between man and wife would be weak and superficial. However, this is contrary to experience. Thus, the fact that good marriages are stable and strong is a sign that the bond of marriage is an indissoluble one. It is necessary, moreover, for marriage to be indissoluble because indissolubility is conducive to greater respect, charity, and overall more virtuous behavior between the spouses, all of which qualities are necessary for the proper raising and education of offspring and for the mutual help between spouses. It is also very important for parents to remain together not only for the sake of each other but for the sake of their children, as can be seen from experience. Children are able to develop a bond between their siblings and parents that normally would not be able to exist if marriage were dissoluble.10

Having an indissoluble union helps to make the love of one spouse towards the other more faithful and the care for the household possessions more diligent since the spouses realize that they own their goods for the remainder of their lives, not only until their children grow up. Charity would rule chiefly in the household because neither of the spouses would have to worry about who will get what property and goods after the children grow up and, in general, what each person will do. As St. Thomas says, " The greater the friendship is, the more solid and long-lasting it will be. Now, there seems to be the greatest friendship between husband and wife, for they are united not only in the act of fleshly union, which produces a certain gentle association even among beasts, but also in the partnership of the whole range of domestic activity."11

The question might arise as to why should spouses remain with one another until death, not just until the children have grown up and moved away. It would seem that once husband and wife have successfully raised their offspring, their mission, so to speak, is complete. They should be free to leave one another and begin new lives alone. St. Thomas answers this objection by merely saying that it is necessary for the spouses to remain with each other not only until the kids have grown up but until one of the spouses dies. Their friendship has become so intensely profound after having raised the children together and in general through just living with one another for such a long period of time that it would be very difficult to separate and start new lives away from each other.12

It is also not beneficial to the good of the family, when raising the children and trying to live a virtuous life, that the spouses split up after the children are grown. Both spouses would not be able to give themselves in their entirety to each other and the family if they are constantly worrying about what is to become of them after the children are all grown. They would be worrying about who will get which goods, where to go, what to do, and for the woman, especially, who is not as young and desirable by men as she once was. Another reason why spouses should remain with one another until one of them dies is because their children, grandchildren, etc . . . will need their advice, the fruit of experience and age, and even perhaps financial assistance.

In addition to being indissoluble, a proper marriage can only be between one man and one woman. It can be seen in Nature how it is ingrained within the minds of animals, which participate in sexual generation not to allow any sort of promiscuity within their species. Therefore, many males will fight off others who try to impose themselves on their female partner. Similarly with humans, men should not have more than one wife and wives should not have multiple husbands. Aristotle says that, "one cannot be a friend to many people in the sense of having friendship of the perfect type with them . . ."13

Men, by nature, desire to know who their children are. "The friendship of kinsmen itself, while it seems to be of many kinds, appears to depend in every case on parental friendship; for parents love their children as being a part of themselves, while children their parents as being born of them."14 If, however, a woman is to have multiple husbands, not only will she be not able to have the perfect friendship that can and should exist between spouses, but she will also be denying her husbands and children of the right given to them by nature to know one another as begetter and begotten. Since, also, each spouse "both loves what is good for himself, and makes an equal return in goodwill and in pleasantness; for friendship is said to be equality"15, it would be wrong for husbands to have several wives, just as it is wrong for wives to have several husbands. The friendship existing between the multiple wives and the husband would not be free but somewhat like that which exists between slaves and their common master. The wives would be constantly but futilely trying to achieve a perfect friendship with their husband, which they desire by nature, but due to the plurality of them, this natural desire would remain frustrated.16

So far, from what has been seen above, we can conclude that marriage is an indissoluble union between one man and one woman directed towards the procreation and raising of children and mutual help. In addition to this, though, there seems to be a third purpose to marriage. For we can see from experience that there are some sorts of sexual desires that are natural to mankind. These sexual desires can very easily go astray and if not kept under control they can lead to fornication, adultery, and other evils. If, however, these desires are kept within the boundaries of marriage, they can be licitly and properly satisfied, all the while remaining open to the first two purposes of marriage. The sexual desires of men are the same desires that lead to the conjugal act, which itself naturally leads to the emission of semen and the generation of offspring.

It seems, therefore, that the sexual desires of men and women should be restrained and suppressed until the proper conditions have been established to allow men and women to accept the consequences of their actions. When they are eventually prepared to act virtuously upon their sexual desires, it should be in an indissoluble relationship between one man and one woman. Only in the proper context of marriage can both parties understand the great responsibility that they are taking on and meet it head on. It is a relief for spouses to know that they have the lasting friendship and support of the other to raise the children and help them in the daily and practical tasks that life demands of them.

Of the three purposes to marriage, namely procreation and raising offspring, mutual help of the spouses, and the remedy for concupiscence or the sexual urge, the primary purpose must be generation of children and the proper upbringing of them. Mutual help, although important in marriage, follows from procreation and is secondary to it. This is because the spouses need the constant support of each other while raising children to be virtuous people, as well as just meeting the material needs of daily life. Remedy for concupiscence, then, takes third place. If two people enter marriage with mutual help or the remedy of concupiscence as their primary purpose, many problems such as adultery may easily result.

This essential order of the purposes of marriage may be understood by looking at which of them is most fundamental and basic according to the precepts of Natural Law.17 All substances, both animate and inanimate, have the natural inclination for self preservation.

Only living substances qua living substances especially animals have an inclination for species preservation. We can look at irrational animals, namely beasts, and see that the same inclination to the preservation of their own being still exists. In addition, irrational animals come together for the sole purpose of procreation and continuing to propagate their species. As was said earlier on, some animals remain with their offspring and provide food and shelter for them until they are able to survive on their own. Humans, being animals, also have this inclination to come together to preserve the human race, but being rational, also are inclined to educate and supply a proper upbringing to their children and nourish their bodies and their minds.18

Thus it seems quite fundamental to the natural precepts that the inclination of preservation of species is most intrinsic to all animate things and more so to humans. There exists in humans not only the inclination to preserve and procreate, but men are also inclined to know their offspring and nourish and educate their bodies and minds.

Mutual help between spouses not only includes the upbringing of offspring and education of their minds but also the constant, lifelong support of one another. Mutual help belongs strictly to humans, since men desire friendship and companionship, not only for procreation but also for help and support, and taking care of the practical considerations of daily life. Although some beasts remain with their offspring until they are able to live independently, the adults will not necessarily remain with each other after the birth of their children. In fact, this is very rare among irrational animals because friendships cannot exist between them and besides caring for their offspring, there is no reason why they should remain together.

As was discussed earlier, friendship between spouses can be and ought to be the most perfect since not only are they joined together in the physical union of procreation but also they know each other better than any other human person since they live together within the boundaries of marriage. The children that they have produced and whom they are striving everyday to raise correctly and to develop in mind and body are an inseparable bond that unites the spouses together for the rest of their lives, only to be separated by death.

Now, the order of the precepts of the Natural Law is according to the order of natural inclinations. So, the procreation and upbringing of offspring is the most fundamental purpose of marriage, because it is common to all animals, irrational and rational; mutual help is secondary to this, since it is only common to rational animals, namely men. All animals come together to generate and preserve their species but only men and women can provide the support needed to raise children and help one another in the arduous tasks in everyday life.

The third and final purpose of marriage, namely the remedy of the sexual urge, pertains to the disordered soul of man, after the Fall of Adam and Eve. It is the beastly aspect of our nature that makes us lust and desire sexual pleasure in abstraction from the begetting of children. It is absolutely necessary that these urges be suppressed and restrained until we are morally able to fulfill them.19

The remedy of concupiscence should properly be the third purpose of marriage, not the main focus of the sexual act; if it were, it could easily lead to fornication and adultery. When kept within marriage, however, spouses engage in the sexual act not to solely produce offspring, although that is or at least should be the main reason for sexual union, but also to express their mutual love and to satisfy the sex urges that are common to mankind since the fall of Adam and Eve. When the satisfaction of the sexual urge becomes the primary purpose for spouses and not generation and the upbringing of offspring, they may be tempted to look elsewhere for this satisfaction, and this can very easily lead to the betrayal of the sacredness of marriage with adultery. It is absolutely necessary, therefore, for the remedy of concupiscence not to be the primary motive of engaging in the sexual act. Of the natural inclinations with which I am concerned, the remedy of concupiscence is the least fundamental and therefore the least basic of the three purposes of marriage.

A Sacrament is a sensible sign, instituted by Jesus Christ, by which invisible grace and inward sanctification are communicated to the soul. The essential elements of a sacrament of the New Law are institution by Christ the God-man during His visible stay on earth, and a sensibly perceptible rite that actually confers the supernatural grace it symbolizes.20 As can be seen by this definition, three elements are needed in order to make an institution a Sacrament: a sensible sign, institution by Jesus Christ, and grace conferred upon the soul or souls through that sign. It will now be shown that since grace builds upon nature21, the naturally indissoluble contract between one man and one woman for the purpose of procreation, which contract is marriage, was raised and perfected to the Divine and Sacramental level of Holy Matrimony by Christ during His lifetime.

Grace is the gift from God that elevates us to the Supernatural order of being and leads us to the God. Fr. Hardon says that grace is the supernatural gift that God gives to us of His own benevolence and which is necessary for rational creatures in order to attain eternal salvation. The gifts of grace, namely sanctifying grace, the infused virtues, the gifts of the Holy Ghost, and actual grace, surpass the being, powers, and claims of created nature.22

Grace, as a created participation in the Divine Life, cannot exist by itself, independent of a subject and therefore must exist in something else. Grace is a quality because it makes a man to be holy and disposes him to know, love, and serve God. From this it is evident that grace requires nature to receive it and operate with it. Now, the supernatural does not merely add to our nature; it fills our being and natural powers, perfecting them in the created order and elevating them to the supernatural level and to the Divine order of being. An illustration of how grace sanctifies and permeates the entire natural substance can be seen in the way in which heat permeates a piece of iron and causes it to glow with heat. The heat symbolizes grace and the iron is the natural substance, which is being changed by grace. When grace is infused within the substance, the substance glows brightly and burns with the intensity of the grace.

When a couple worthily receives the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, they are granted sanctifying grace with the pledge for actual graces which will give the couple supernatural strength to fulfill the daily duties of their new life. In marriage, this grace is extremely important in order for the couple to live not only according to the natural virtues but also to attain eternal beatitude in Heaven. The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony not only denotes a sanctifying remedy against sin but aids the couple in their daily duties, which are so demanding that without the help of God's grace, would be almost impossible to carry out. Spouses are required to help not only each other strive for perfection in virtue and goodness but also to help, to the best of their ability, to bring the souls that God has entrusted them with to Heaven. Man and wife must be the examples of upright, just, and virtuous men and women for their children to look up to in the home. They must make their home a place of love, prayer, support, and stability, one where the children are aware that their parents love God, each other, and them so much that they are willing to make sacrifices and live a Christian life on a daily basis.

In marriage, Christ perfected the natural bond between man and wife by elevating it to a Sacramental contract that confers sanctifying grace upon the spouses.23 Christ emphasizes the importance of an indissoluble union and bond between the spouses and makes it very clear that those who have worthily entered into Holy Matrimony are not ever to leave their spouse for any reason. He reinforces the sanctity of marriage and lets it be known that spouses are to remain with one another in the bond of Holy Matrimony. Those who have entered into the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony not only hand over to their spouses the rights over their bodies but also promise to help their spouses attain Heaven. This is a life-long commitment on the part of the spouses that requires a plethora of patience, perseverance, sacrifice, and, above all, supernatural charity. Marriage not only is the union of man and woman in flesh but also the giving of the one to the other in their entirety, that is, in perfect friendship, for the rest of their lives, and if God so wills, to raise children according to God's Holy Law.

Christ, while on earth, elevated natural marriage to the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. He changed the way Moses and the people of the Old Testament regarded marriage and instituted it as a Holy Sacrament.24 Christ made the relationships between husbands, wives, and children in marriage more perfectly image the love existing between the persons of the Blessed Trinity. As St. Paul said in Ephesians 5:22, wives should be subject to their husbands as to the Lord. Just as Christ is Head of His Church, so should the husband be the head of the wife and family. The husband is to love his wife as Christ loves His Church and he must nourish and cherish his wife as his own flesh, just as Christ nourishes and cherishes the Church. There are two elements necessary for the sensible sign of marriage: the matter and the form. The matter of a Sacrament is either a physical substance (e.g. oil or water) or an action perceptible to the senses. Now obviously there is no physical substance which constitutes the matter in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony as there is in Baptism or Extreme Unction. Nonetheless, there is an action perceptible to the senses, namely, the consent of the man and woman to be married. When they come to the Altar freely and express their intentions of giving themselves wholly and entirely to one another in Holy Matrimony, this is sufficient for the matter of the Sacrament.25

The form of Holy Matrimony follows upon the matter of the Sacrament. By actually accepting each other as husband and wife, the spouses supply the form of the Sacrament. The form of Holy Matrimony consists in the words whereby the marriage consent is expressed.26 When the man and woman, who are to be married, therefore, express the marriage vows by words or signs, they are supplying the form of the Sacrament. The couples themselves are the proximate agents of the Sacrament. By freely and knowingly agreeing to the marriage contract, namely the giving to one another the right to satisfy the natural inclinations, they act as the proximate efficient cause of the Sacrament and make the receiving of the Sacrament possible.27 A few objections have been raised concerning marriage as a Sacrament and having its primary purpose of procreation. The first objection concerns the purposes of marriage and the necessity of the order being as stated. It would seem that if procreation and the education of children is first and must always be the primary purpose of marriage, that those couples who are unable to have children naturally should not get married. The same goes for elderly people who have passed the childbearing years for it would seem that it is no longer necessary for them to remain together in marriage.

This objection can be easily refuted, however, because the couple who either cannot have children naturally whether due to infertility or old age should be open to children and be willing to accept them if it be God's Holy Will. Therefore they are not disregarding the primary purpose of marriage. Each and every marriage, whether fertile, infertile, or barren, should consider the procreation and upbringing of children superior to the other two purposes, for this is what God intended from the beginning of creation. Just as the eye is formed and destined for sight, there are some unusual cases where the eye may be struck by blindness, either from interior or exterior causes, thus hindering its proper functions. The same holds true for marriage. Every marriage has as its primary end the procreation of new life, and if there are some marriages that cannot bring children into this world due to some natural cause, that does not alter what marriage is naturally and divinely ordered to.

This can be more properly seen by looking at what the marriage act is primarily ordered to. St. Thomas says that the marriage act is always meritorious if the couple desires to be with one another as husband and wife and both are in the state of grace.28 They must also be open to the possibility of children, although this does not necessarily need to be the foremost thought on their minds. If one of the parties is merely desiring to be with his or her spouse out of concupiscence but yet would not ever go to another person who is not their spouse, he or she would be guilty of a venial sin. If one of the parties is willing to seek a remedy for his concupiscence from another not his spouse, he is guilty of a mortal sin. If nature is guided by reason, the act will be virtuous and if it is not, the marriage act will not be virtuous but in fact, an act of lust.29

In addition, as has been shown previously in this essay, it is necessary to the nature of marriage that it be indissoluble until one of the spouses dies. Christ made it very clear while on earth that if a husband leaves his wife and goes to another woman, he is guilty of adultery and the same applies to the wife. Only if the spouse is unchaste can the other leave him or her but under no circumstances, while both of the spouses are alive, is either to remarry. "But I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, excepting for the cause of fornication, maketh her to commit adultery: and he that shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery."30 It is clear, therefore that husband and wife are to remain with one another until death do them part, even after the children are grown up and living on their own. A spouse's obligation, then, is to help and support one another in their duties and tasks of everyday life.

One might also object that marriage is not just for the procreation of children because when Christ instituted it as a Sacrament, He instructed husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the Church. Since this is the case, it would seem, therefore, that procreation and the education of children should not be the primary purpose of marriage. Rather, the love between spouses, which is not only manifest through the sexual act, should be the most important purpose of marriage.

There is some truth in this objection and it can be answered in this way. Christ did intend to restore marriage from its corrupted nature back to the way that God intended in the Garden of Eden. He tells His followers that the only reason God allowed divorce and multiple wives in the Old Testament was due to the hardness of their hearts. "They said to Him: 'Why then did Moses command to give a bill of divorce, and to put away?' He saith to them: "Because Moses by reason of the hardness of your heart permitted you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.'"31 Like many of the popes, Pope Pius XII addressed the people of every nation regarding the necessity for procreation and the upbringing of children to be first and primary in every marriage.32

The final objection has to do with the necessity of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony for it seems that the natural marriage alone is sufficient for salvation. On the contrary, there are two types of necessity of end. The first type of necessity obtains when without a given means, the end cannot possibly be attained. An example of this simple necessity of end is food, which is necessary for human life. Secondly, a thing is called necessary if it is that which most fittingly serves as a means to the end.33 One can take a trip from California to Indiana on foot but it is more fitting to go by plane because it is more time efficient. The plane is not simply necessary for attaining the end but it is the most becoming way of attaining the end. It is in this way that Matrimony is necessary. It not only serves as a remedy against concupiscence for individuals, but it multiplies members of the Church and provides the graces needed to attain Eternal Salvation.

Thus it has been shown that of the three purposes of marriage, procreation and the education of children is the most primary and fundamental, followed by mutual help and support of the spouses, and finally the remedy for concupiscence. Christ, during His time here on earth, elevated marriage from merely a natural institution ordered to the procreation of children to the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, thus making the relationship between man and wife so intimate and special as it images the relationships between the Persons of the Blessed Trinity. Holy Matrimony serves also as a source of abundant and necessary grace to husbands and wives who participate in this great and wondrous Sacrament.

Sacramentum hoc magnum est, ego autem dico in Christo et in ecclesia. Verumtamen et vos singuli, unusquisque uxorem suam sicut seipsum diligat. (Ephesians 5:32)

Jennaya Arias lives in Houston with her husband, David, and son, Joseph.

End Notes

1 Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma (Rockford, IL: Tan Books, 1974), p. 462. Here Ott references the 1944 decision of the Holy Office, which clearly reaffirmed that the primary purpose of marriage is the procreation and upbringing of children. Even though many (if not all) of the documents of the Magisterium on this topic since Vatican II have not explicitily organized the ends of marriage in terms of primary and secondary, nonetheless, none of these documents teach anything which cannot be interpreted in terms of the 1944 decision of the Holy Office. That in the Pope's mind, at least, no change has been made on this matter of Church teaching, can be seen in the Holy Father's work, Love and Responsibility, trans. H. T. Willetts (San Francisco: Ignatius, 1981), pp. 66-69. Therein, the Holy Father lays out, in no equivocal terms, the traditional teaching of the Church on this matter both as unchanged and as unchangeable. Although this work is non-magisterial in character, it is nonetheless quite significant insofar as it expresses the mind of the Holy Father. In the same section of the work, the Pope also makes the important point that the second end of marriage, namely, "mutual help," should not be translated as "mutual love," as it sometimes has been. This would be a mistake since it would seem to limit love between spouses to the second end of marriage, as if it were somehow separable from the first and third ends. Rather, the Holy Father teaches that love must be the indispensable moral environment in which the three ends of marriage are pursued. This present essay should be read as in complete agreement with what the Holy Father says on these matters.

2 Gaudium et Spes, #48.

3 Catechism of the Council of Trent (Rockford, IL: Tan Books, 1982), 344.

4 Genesis 1:18, 21-24, 27-28

5 St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra Gentiles (Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 1975), Bk.3 Pt.2 Chap. 122, #6

6 Ibid., Chap. 122, #6

7 Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, 1156b 6-9

8 Ibid., 1157b 25-30

9 Ibid., 1162a 16-29

10 Ibid., 1162a 11-15

11 Summa contra Gentiles, Bk.3 Pt. 2 Chap.123, #6

12 Ibid., Ch. 123 #6

13 Nicomachean Ethics 1158a 10-12

14 Ibid., 1161b 16-19

15 Ibid., 1157b 35-37

16 St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica (Westminster, MD: Christian Classics, 1981), Supplement Q.65 A.1

17 Ibid., Pt.1 Q.94 A.2

18 Ibid., Pt. 1 Q.94 A.2

19 1 Corinthians 7:1-3, 8-10

20 Fr. John Hardon, Modern Catholic Dictionary (New York: Doubleday, 1980), p. 477

21 Summa Theologica, Pt. 1 Q. 1 A. 8 ad. 2

22 Modern Catholic Dictionary, p. 236

23 Summa Theologica, Supplement Q.42 A.3

24 Mark 10:2-9

25 Summa Theologica, Supplement Q.42 A.1 ad. 2

26 Ibid., Q.42 A.1 ad. 1

27 Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, p. 467.

28 Summa Theologica, Supplement Q.41 A.4 Corpus

29 Ibid., Q.41 A.4 Corpus

30 Matthew 5:32

31 Matthew 19:7-8

32 Pope Pius XII, Address to Midwives on October 29, 1951: Acta Apostolici Sedis 43 (1951) 843.

33 Summa Theologica, Pt. 3 Q. 65 A. 4 Corpus

© 2002 Ignatius Press

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