The Peace Treaty

When we pledge our faithfulness to another on our wedding day, we’re mocking the changeableness of life, saying that we trust in the covenant of marriage to transcend the weakness of our flesh, the fickleness of our passions, and the fragility of our egos. Continue Reading »

The Ties that Bind

Recently I attended my son’s installation ceremony as a member of the student government at his elementary school. The passage into office was marked by a series of oaths in which students made vows to uphold the integrity of their charges and the duties that flowed from those vows. In the ancient Roman world, the term most employed to refer to the civic relationship to which such vows bound a person was pietas. Continue Reading »

A Pope and a Psychiatrist on Transsexual Marriages

The suffering of those who feel themselves to be transsexual can be so great—to the point of making them suicidal—that from the perspective of the Church one can hardly categorically forbid surgical and hormonal measures to reduce their suffering, as a last resort after attempting other measures. The proscription of self-mutilation must here be weighed against the good of reducing suffering. Continue Reading »

What Francis Forgets About Marriage

The Church affirms that human beings are by nature suited to contract marriage, and she teaches that Christian couples can call upon the graces of the sacrament of Matrimony in living out the marriages they contract. Against such an ancient and affirming tradition, Francis’s assertion that “the great majority of our sacramental marriages are null” shocked both common sense and Catholic sensibility. Continue Reading »