Marriage involves family, new life


A letter in the Oct. 21 issue suggested that “Neither the word (marriage) nor monogamous heterosexuals suffer when it is applied to other similar unions.” This is not true.

“Man cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself” (Gaudium et Spes 24). 

This gift of love always wants to be shared even more. “A child does not come from outside as something added on to the mutual love of the spouses, but springs from the very heart of that mutual giving …” (Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) 2366). 

In marriage, the spouses give of themselves to each other and out of the intensity of their shared sexual love may come a tiny new life. Refusal to share sexual love with new life, whether through contraception or homosexuality, is selfishness which diminishes love. 


Marriage has been established by the Creator (CCC 1603) and it comes to us as part of a system of interconnected behaviors including sex, love, marriage, children and family. We know that small, careless actions can add up to produce harm to others far away, such as the unintended harm to the global environment that comes from many small acts of pollution. In the same way, seemingly small, selfish choices to sterilize a sexual relationship eventually add up to produce harm to the greater community of love that surrounds us.

“A man and a woman united in marriage, together with their children, form a family. This institution is prior to any recognition by public authority, which has an obligation to recognize it (CCC 2202).” Changing the meaning of marriage inevitably changes the way that we think and act towards it. Rather than “wait and see how this develops,” we are obliged to support our bishops in their call to action.

Roy Doorenbos

St. Mary Parish, Grinnell

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