Episode 48—Authority and Submission as Gift in Christian Marriage—Mary Stanford

By Thomas V. Mirus (bio - articles - email) | Aug 21, 2019

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“Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands.”

These words of St. Paul in Ephesians 5 have been a continual source of discomfort to modern Catholics, and most priests would rather explain this teaching away or avoid discussing it altogether.

For the faithful Catholic, however, treating Scripture and Church teaching as something embarrassing is not an option, nor is relativizing and redefining it into oblivion. Ephesians 5 is the crucial source for how marriage, so badly damaged by the Fall, has been redeemed and supernaturalized in the Cross of Christ.

In this episode, Mary Stanford explains how we can understand and even come to love this teaching which so repels our egalitarian age. She brings to the table her study of Pope St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body and the thought of Edith Stein, as well as decades of experience as a wife and mother.


Mary Stanford’s article “The Dynamic of the Gift: Authority and Submission in Christian Marriage” https://www.hprweb.com/2013/01/the-dynamic-of-the-gift-authority-and-submission-in-christian-marriage/

Some of the teaching sources mentioned in this episode:

1 Cor 11:3, Ephesians 5, Colossians 3:18-19, Timothy 2-3, Titus 2:5, 1 Peter 3:1-7

Pope Leo XIII, Arcanum divinae sapientiae, 1880 https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=4858

Pope Pius XI, Casti connubii, 1930 https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=3370

Pope St. John Paul II, Mulieris Dignitatem https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=3381

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All podcast music by Thomas V. Mirus unless otherwise stated.

Thomas V. Mirus is a pianist, composer, and occasional amateur comedian living in New York City. He produces and hosts The Catholic Culture Podcast. See full bio.

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