Monday, September 03, 2007

Woman, Chief in Love

Just like yesterday's words from St. Frances of Rome, today's "Daily Catholic Quotation" speaks to the role of the woman in the family:
"If the man is the head of the family, the woman is the heart, and as he occupies the chief place in ruling, so she may and ought to claim for herself the chief place in love." —Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii, no. 27
I hyperlinked the source of the quotation so that you can read it for yourself. Casti Connubii is an amazing document, and Pope Paul VI relied on it heavily when he wrote Humanae Vitae. Pope Pius XI wrote Casti Connubii in response to the Anglican Lambeth Conference of 1930, when the Church of England permitted the use of contraceptives (he refers to the Anglicans in no. 56). Today, this document is considered a landmark encyclical in the Catholic Church's teaching on sexual morality and the family.

Here is the entire article no. 27 (from which we derive today's quotation), along with the preceding article:
26. Domestic society being confirmed, therefore, by this bond of love, there should flourish in it that "order of love," as St. Augustine calls it. This order includes both the primacy of the husband with regard to the wife and children, the ready subjection of the wife and her willing obedience, which the Apostle commends in these words: "Let women be subject to their husbands as to the Lord, because the husband is the head of the wife, and Christ is the head of the Church."[29]
27. This subjection, however, does not deny or take away the liberty which fully belongs to the woman both in view of her dignity as a human person, and in view of her most noble office as wife and mother and companion; nor does it bid her obey her husband's every request if not in harmony with right reason or with the dignity due to wife; nor, in fine, does it imply that the wife should be put on a level with those persons who in law are called minors, to whom it is not customary to allow free exercise of their rights on account of their lack of mature judgment, or of their ignorance of human affairs. But it forbids that exaggerated liberty which cares not for the good of the family; it forbids that in this body which is the family, the heart be separated from the head to the great detriment of the whole body and the proximate danger of ruin. For if the man is the head, the woman is the heart, and as he occupies the chief place in ruling, so she may and ought to claim for herself the chief place in love.
For more on Casti Connubii, see the following articles: For more on the role of the woman in the family, go here.

Pax Christi,

1 comment:

GoGettyer said...

hey brother,

I'm wondering what your thoughts are on this issue:

It smacks of the typical anticlerical character of English news, but the facts are sound. I've had my struggles with the Church's stance on contraception before and they've gone to rest, but this hits close to home since the Philippines is where my parents are from, and it officially follows many of the Church's teachings...yet these tragedies still take place.


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