Finality and Marriage
Finality and Marriage
Moral philosophy within the ethical institution that is Roman Catholicism has witnessed and is witnessing in this century, with increasing intransigence, the debate regarding the very meaning as well as the appropriate means of accomplishing the Biblical injunction, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it" (Gn 1:27-28), and the Biblical injunction, "For this reason a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh" (Gn 2:18, 22- 24). The issues within the debate include (1) the delineation of the essential nature of marriage, (2) the specification and valuation of the ends of marriage, and (3) the examination of the implications in regard to the regulation of the accomplishment or avoidance of the reproductive finality brought about by the transition in the understanding of the nature of marriage and the ends of marriage. The debate continues within a matrix that is marked by the presence of a variety of pressures including the affirmation of the dignity of women as full participants in the progressive enterprise of human existence, the advances in the sciences as they relate to humanity, and the increasing demands on the resources of families to educate children to be contributing members, as people called to union with God, in modern society.
This work attempts to contribute to that ongoing discussion with an examination of the position of the tradition as enunciated in the documents of the tradition. It begins with a study of the documents of the immediate past. These documents are Casti connubii and the Allocutions of Pope Pius XII. It continues with an examination of the position of the tradition as found in the documents of the present. These documents are Gaudium et spes, Humanae vitae, and The Instruction on Respect for Human Life in Its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation (hereinafter referred to as Donum vitae). The work, then, attempts to delineate an emerging position regarding the essential nature of marriage, the ordering of the several finalities to be accomplished in marriage, and the implications of this position on the regulation of reproduction. The account of the emergent position provides the . . .