16 June 2008
Bishops’ Statement on the Christian Theology of Marriage
At their June General last week, the Bishops addressed the issue of the Christian theology of marriage. In view of the current debate in our society about the nature of marriage, sometimes promoted by individuals or institutions who claim support from Christian ideals, the Bishops reiterated that marriage presupposes the mutuality and complementarity of the sexes. Christian tradition holds that sexual differentiation is intrinsic to our understanding of the sacrament of marriage. Marriage has a meaning that is not reducible to individuals’ intentions and society’s laws. Marriage is not perceived as just any kind of relationship, but as a quite specific kind of relationship, with certain core characteristics.
The Church affirms that marriage involves more than the commitment of two people to each other. It is oriented towards the sharing of their lives and the support they will give each other, and also towards the creation of new human beings as the fruit of their love. It is for the sake of these two objectives that the loving marital relationship between a woman and a man needs to be one that is faithful, exclusive and lasting.
Martin Long, Director of Communications (086 172 7678)
Brenda Drumm, Communications Officer (087 233 7797)