- A sacrament is a rite of passage and the Catholic Church considers marriage as one because they believe it imparts spiritual grace to the participants. The use of the term sacrament means that the Catholic Church treats it as a spiritual issue and as a promise that is a covenant under God. The visible sign of the sacrament in marriage is the rituals and prayers that the couple are required to participate in to remember their covenant. The rituals symbolize that marriage should represent the unconditional love of God.
- The common objections are:
- Cohabitation – if two people love each other, why can’t they just live together?
Response: By doing so, they will not be dying to self as the bible encourages but will do so for selfish reasons so that they can walk out when it does not suit them.
- Same sex marriage– people claim it is unfair and bigoted.
Response: Same sex marriages do not achieve what marriage intends and Catholics consider it unchaste.
- Divorce and remarriage– people argue that they should be allowed to divorce when they want to and be permitted to remarry.
Response– marriage is not a contract but it is a covenant that is ended only by the death of one partner.
- The Catholic Church has been accused of propagating poverty through big families. The Catholic Church teaches that artificial family planning is immoral because, seed should not be wasted as it is divine, it is a sin that endangers the unborn, they consider male contraception as castration, they believe that sex is only for procreation and not leisure and believe that lust, which is a sin, is the main driver of contraception. They however advocate for the natural birth control that is safe and effective. It is done through observing a woman’s body to determine when she is fertile or not. This they argue is not immoral.
- Aquinas describes love ‘as to will the good of another’ He argues that ‘love is the standard for all human actions’ while infatuation is the opposite and is selfish.
- Pope Paul 6 talked of the culture of contraception by comparing it to abortion that leads to death. He argued that in future it may result in forced sterilization by governments, that morals would be lowered, sexual revolution where even abortion is exercised as a right and he went on to explain that it would lead to other vices such as premarital sex, fornication and adultery. I agree with his assessment because all of the above mentioned is happening in the world today, 4 decades after the document was authored.
- The church drastically changes in the 20th century and teachings of marriage change as well. Marriage in the said century is less a sacrament and more the natural process of life. Procreation and love are inseparable between couples. Marriage became just as important as chastity not beneath it. Pope Francis made it simpler for women to seek forgiveness after abortion. Some churches allowed gay marriages. Significant impacts would be that the church teaching on marriage for procreation will die with the birth of gay marriages. The legalization of abortion in some countries and the universal use of contraceptives will lead to more death of fetuses.
The Catholic Church teaches that a marriage that has been