An Apostolic Declaration on Marriage and the Family

An Apostolic Declaration on Marriage and the Family

By the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ invested in our apostolic office, we reaffirm for the sake of clarity that which has been faithfully handed down to us through the Holy writings of the Apostles and that which was divinely ordained since creation.

Man (male & female) is created in the image and likeness of God, and is ontologically designed as a recipient of the love, life, and light of God, with the vocation is to transmit that same love, live and light into the world among his fellow man, first and foremost in the marital union of husband and wife.

  1. The rights of the person have a fundamental divine dimension that finds a vital expression in the construct of the family.
  2. The family is based on marriage, that intimate lifelong partnership and sharing of life, rights, privileges and responsibilities, in complementarity between one man and one woman, freely contracted and publicly expressed in an indissoluble bond of matrimony.
  3. Marriage is the first divinely ordained institution. Its pattern is immutable for it is given by God and can by no means be altered by man to accommodate his changing opinions.
  4. It is to the institution of marriage as ordained by God, which is the union of one man with one woman, that God has exclusively entrusted the transmission of life.
  5. In holy matrimony, a man occupies the sacred office of husband and a woman occupies the sacred office of wife. This union extends into a family where the husband becomes a father and the wife a mother.
  6. The family structure of father, mother and children is the human, earthly reflection of the shared love, life and light of the divine, heavenly family: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  7. The natural society that consists of the family exists prior to any community including the State with inalienable rights given directly by God.
  8. The family and society are mutually linked by vital and organic bonds with a complementary function in the advancement of what is beneficial for humanity.
  9. Once the divinely ordain family structure is disregarded, the consequences will be reflected in society.
  10. As it has been observed, the transmission of life outside the divinely instituted marital bond leaves the children vulnerable.
  11. We uphold the dignity and sanctity of all life from initial conception to delivery and affirm that all children, whether born in or out of wedlock, enjoy the same right and blessing bestowed by God.
  12. Any alternate form of marital union other than one man and one woman joined for life cannot be endorsed by the Church for it attempts to change God’s original pattern.
  13. The sanctity of the marital institution necessitates shared spiritual convictions and professions of faith, which is the responsibility on their part to transmit to their offspring.
  14. It is the God-given responsibility of the husband to provide for his household both spiritually and financially.
  15. It is the God-given responsibility of the husband and wife to ensure that their family actively participates in the mission of the Church both spiritually and financially.
  16. It is the responsibility of the father and the mother to ensure that their children are educated in conformity with their spiritual convictions and professions of faith and reserve the inalienable right to refrain their children from any educational program which is a violation of such.
  17. Divorce attacks the very institution of marriage and of the family, especially affecting the children.
  18. The sanctity of marriage intricately involves faithfulness, loyalty and the sexual consecration of the husband and the wife exclusively to each other.
  19. Considering the capital role families played in the apostolic founding of the Church in the 1st century, it is our conviction that strong families will result in the amplified strength of the Church in her witness to the world in the 21st century.
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