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At root behind the attack on marriage is a post-conciliar novelty demoting procreation as marriage’s primary end September 21, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, different religion, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Papa, priests, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society, SOD, the struggle for the Church.

I was unable to find a place to link to the below online.  This insightful and important analysis comes from a newsletter I received from the group associated with catholicism.org.  Dr. Maike Hickson took Don Pietro Leone’s* The Family Under Attack and expanded on some of its themes in an article in the aforementioned newsletter.  Her key point is that we have gotten to this point where the family is under great attack even within the Church, where major attempts are underway at the highest echelons of the Church to make a mockery of marriage, because of fundamental errors regarding the proper ends of marriage and the propering ordering of family relations. And we got to this point through the grave novelties introduced during and after Vatican II.

I can’t take very much as it would be both too long and unfair, but thought you might find the bits I include below worth consideration (my emphasis and comments):

Don Pietro deals, for example, with the very foundational question, “why the indissolubility of marriage is so important,” namely: for the procreation, protection, rearing and education of children unto eternal life.  The author puts it as follows:

“Our analysis of the nature of sexuality in the light of the moral law has shown us that it is a form of love that belongs in that lifelong relationship which is marriage: such a relationship alone provides the support that both parties need for undertaking the heavy burdens of parenthood, it alone provides a background for the development of mature and happy children, the basis for the highest and deepest union and friendship that exists between persons, and the support of these persons in their old age.”

Don Pietro also deals with the importance of the proper ordering of the finalities of marriage. He shows that, traditionally, the Catholic Church with reference to Holy Scripture has always taught that the procreation of life is the primary end of marriage…….The very fact of the existence of male and female lies in the procreation of children so as to fill the earth with mankind.  [And it is not ultimately up to us to determine when the earth has “enough” people.  It is up to God.]

In 1944 the Holy See released a document where it condemned the claimed that mutual help and love has the same importance as the procreation of new life within marriage; saying, moreover, that such a proposed equalization goes contrary to the Church’s teaching.  Don Leone quotes from this document:

“The Declaration of the Holy See ends with the following question addressed to the Cardinals of the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office: ‘Can one admit the doctrine of modern writers who deny that the procreation and education of children are the primary end of marriage, or teach that the secondary ends are not essentially subordinate to the primary end, but rather are of equal value and are independent of it?’  They replied: ‘No, this doctrine cannot be admitted.'” 

However, the pastoral Second Vatican Council quietly reversed (or implicitly rescinded) this condemnation advocating that mutual love and respect of the spouses is now the primary end of marriage, while procreation is subordinate and comes second.  Don Pietro Leone addresses this fundamental doctrinal problem, since there are grave consequences that ensue from this novel teaching. [Boy I’ll say.  By undermining marriage, you can basically repeal almost the whole moral edifice of the Church, since marriage as a Sacrament mirrors Christ’s relationship to the Church, and so much more] While the procreation of life reminds the spouses of their duties before God and gives their conjugal life, from the outset, the right aim, purpose, and direction, the finality of “mutual love and help” tends to turn the spouses into self-centered people who seek first their own fulfillment and happiness, not their children’s attainment of eternal life.  If this reversal of priorities happens, however, a marriage tends to become more fragile, its primary purpose having become obscure, the marriage itself could fail. [And all too often does, especially in this country, where Catholic rates of divorce are equal to, if not slightly greater, than the general population.]

Don Leone shows in other fields, such as contraception and the hierarchy of the family, how certain novel recent] teachings in the Church have also had weakening effects upon the modern family.  For example, he shows how, traditionally, and again with reference to Holy Scripture (Eph 5), the Catholic Church has taught that the man is the head of the family, that he has to rule and to suffer, with perseverance  and loyalty, for the greater good of his wife and children, as Christ did for His Church to the end.  On the basis of that hierarchy the authority of the husband is strengthened, while, at the same time, it fortifies his vocation to sacrifice for his wife and children.  However, in the novel teaching as we now have it, the husband and wife should mutually defer to one another, in a sort of diarchy of dialogue. [“Diarchy of dialogue” – I love it!  And I think this such a significant comment, that instead of the family headed by one figure, the husband/father, just as the Church proclaimed her sole role as THE Church founded by Christ, now we have endless and unproductive dialogue among equals, with the sects now held to be essentially the same as the Church in efficacy and constituent members of the Body of Christ!] The husband is not any more designated nor at all described as the head of the family.  The grave effect of this new teaching can be seen today: men are not any more as present in their families and they too often go to find their sought-for pleasures outside the home, or at the computer. Since they often do not feel any more respected and needed, they seek their putative fulfillment elsewhere……..[Again, I think this analysis is spot-on.  Certainly men have done their share in abandoning their roles as heads of families, but they have also come to this point after decades of brow-beating by feminists and others who have sought to ruin the image and actuation of fatherhood in order to achieve other, worldly goals.  As always, the children suffer the most from all this]

…….After presenting the major arguments of the papal magisterial texts Humanae Vitae and Familiaris Consortio in a detailed manner, Don Pietro Leone summarizes his appreciation, as well as his criticism of these recent magisterial texts, as follows: [Which is a subject I’ve discussed on this blog in the past (note, I was a newbie blogger then and not nearly so tradition-oriented as I am now), that the very language used by post-conciliar popes in magisterial statements on contraception or the family actually undermines, and gravely so, the very things they are striving to protect or prevent.  That is, for instance, acceptance by Pope Paul VI of the language of overpopulation and the “primacy” of the unitive end of marriage badly undermines his argument against contraception in Humanae Vitae]

“It is incumbent on the commentator first to acknowledge with gratitude that contraception has been condemned in modern Church teaching as vigorously as in the past; but second that this teaching is at divergence from Tradition in a number of points, of which we shall proceed to consider three: 1) It no longer accords priority to the procreative finality of marriage, but rather accords priority )at least implicitly) to “love;’ 2) It condemns contraception not for its frustration of the procreative finality of marriage, but rather for its rupture of the bond between ‘the unitve and procreative meanings of the conjugal act’; 3) It advocates natural birth control [Instilling what many consider a contraceptive mentality. I skipped a bit where Robert de Mattei’s history of Vatican II is mentioned, wherein he outlines the modernist’s success at VII getting the “unitive” instilled in documents as “first among equals” regarding the ends of marriage.]

————End Quote————

I can’t fairly take any more. I took really more than I should have, anyway, but it was just too excellent to stop!  I thank Dr. Hickson for this tour de force.

The post has already gotten long so I’ll limit my concluding comments to this: I must get that book!  But I think the main points made are all too key: we did not arrive at this point in the Church with Synods and Cardinals and, it seems, even Popes apparently ready to gut the Church’s 2000 year belief and practice regarding the family on the altar of worldly expediency and progressive zeitgeist accidentally, nor of a sudden.  There have been steady, concerted efforts to arrive at this point, and some of those have even been advanced in papal documents over the past 50+ years.  That the personalist and other philosophies underlying these documents are apparently at odds with the pre-revolutionary Magisterium, and appear often to totally contradict key elements of that Magisterium, is central to understanding the crisis afflicting the Church.  It is not a crisis of a few progressive modernists run amok and being permitted, by some failure of authority, to spread error and heresy without rebuke, but of a corruption of almost the entirety of the clergy, episcopate, and laity in a revolutionary mindset which is – it certainly seems – radically at odds with the Sacred Deposit of Faith they have been given such graces to uphold and pass on.

I do not know how it is that the Church, the very vehicle Christ instituted on earth to prevent this kind of thing from happening, has come to this point, but I do know that satan has been heavily involved, as we were warned by both Pope Leo XIII and Pope St. Pius X.  May they pray for us and our Church in this hour of desperate trial.

* – Dom Pietro Leone is the nom de plume of a high-ranking and influential priest in the Diocese of Rome.  May we be blessed with many more like him.


1. Brian E. Breslin - September 22, 2015

Well done, Tantum. Thanks for mining this.

2. S. Armaticus - September 22, 2015
Tantumblogo - September 22, 2015

It was written in 1832. The Revolution always seeks the same goals, no matter the timeframe.

S. Armaticus - September 23, 2015

“We learn from history that we do not learn from history.”
― Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

3. T -13: Moving The Goal Posts – Reblog | The Deus Ex Machina Blog - September 22, 2015

[…] Moving The Goal Posts post that appeared on the always excellant Dallas Area Catholics blog (see here). These two post, when read together provide very concise and insightful context of where we are […]

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