Prophecy and Diplomacy: The Moral Doctrine of John Paul II : a Jesuit Symposium

By John J. Conley; Joseph W. Koterski | Go to book overview

10. MARITAL ETHICS

The Prophetic Mission of
Marriage: John Paul II's
Vision of Human Sexuality

Martin X. Moleski, S.J.


INTRODUCTION

I shall not attempt a comprehensive overview of the whole of John Paul II's teaching on marriage. Richard M. Horgan and John M. Le Voir have provided a detailed summary of his work in the second edition of Covenant of Love: Pope John Paul II on Sexuality, Marriage, and Family in the Modern World, with a Commentary on Familiaris Consortio.1 Ramón García de Haro provides abundant background material for understanding John Paul II in the second edition of Marriage and the Family in the Documents of the Magisterium: A Course in the Theology of Marriage.2 My purpose here is to highlight the revelatory power of sacramental sexuality. In the collection of his Wednesday addresses entitled The Theology of Marriage and Celibacy,John Paul II gives a compact account of his vision of human sexuality: “& On the basis of the ‘prophetism of the body’ the ministers of the Sacrament of Marriage perform an act of prophetic character. They confirm in this way their participation in the prophetic mission of the Church received from Christ. A prophet is one who expresses in human words the truth coming from God, one who speaks this truth in the place of God, in His name and in a certain sense with His authority.”3 This

1 San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1992 [1985].

2 San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1993 [1989].

3The Theology of Marriage and Celibacy: Catechesis on Marriage and Celibacy in the Light of the Resurrection of the Body (Boston: Daughters of St. Paul, 1986), 318–19. Hereafter TMC.

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