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Marriage Prep with Saint Paul: An Introduction. By: John Straatmann Professor: Fr. Randy Soto Pauline Literature Kenrick School of Theology 10 December 2008. Marriage Prep with Saint Paul. St Paul on Marriage The Catholic Church on Marriage St Paul on homosexuality and sexual immorality

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Marriage Prep with Saint Paul: An Introduction

By: John Straatmann

Professor: Fr. Randy Soto

Pauline Literature

Kenrick School of Theology

10 December 2008


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Marriage Prep with Saint Paul

  • St Paul on Marriage

  • The Catholic Church on Marriage

  • St Paul on homosexuality and sexual immorality

  • “Prep” with Paul

  • Marriage prep in the Catholic Church

  • St Paul in the Wedding Liturgy

  • Pauline influence on Church teaching


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Saint Paul on Marriage

  • 1 Corinthians 7:8-11

    • “Now to the unmarried and to widows, I say: it is a good thing for them to remain as they are, as I do, but if they cannot exercise self-control they should marry, for it is better to marry than to be on fire. To the married, however, I give this instruction (not I, but the Lord): a wife should not separate from her husband--and if she does separate she must either remain single or become reconciled to her husband--and a husband should not divorce his wife.” (NAB)


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What the Church says about Marriage

  • “The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1601)


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What the Church says about Marriage

  • Marriage in the Lord

    • The nuptial covenant between God and his people Israel had prepared the way for the new and everlasting covenant in which the Son of God, by becoming incarnate and giving his life, has united to himself in a certain way all mankind saved by him, thus preparing for "the wedding-feast of the Lamb." (CCC 1612)

    • In his preaching Jesus unequivocally taught the original meaning of the union of man and woman as the Creator willed it from the beginning: permission given by Moses to divorce one's wife was a concession to the hardness of hearts. The matrimonial union of man and woman is indissoluble: God himself has determined it: "what therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder. “ (CCC 1614)


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Saint Paul on Homosexuality & Sexual Immorality

  • Romans 1:24-32 (human predicament without Christ; common vices) (Puskas)

    • Addresses homosexual relations; fornication; sexual immortality

    • “Therefore, God handed them over to impurity through the lusts of their bodies. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator.”

    • Homosexual activity is against a person’s nature

  • 1 Cor 6:9, 15-20

  • In turn, St Paul acknowledges and supports the sacredness of marriage & sexuality


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Marriage Prep in the Catholic Church

  • FOCCUS inventory (Facilitating Open Couple Communication, Understanding & Study)

  • Generally, a six-month waiting (Engagement) period is required in most dioceses; others, 4-12 months

  • Meetings with the priest, couple to couple formation, retreats, days of recollection, Marriage Encounter weekends


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Saint Paul in the Wedding Liturgy

  • “Christian Life”: Romans 12:1-2, 9-18

    • “Let love be sincere; hate what is evil, hold on to what is good; love one another with mutual affection…”

  • “The Qualities of Love”: 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:8

    • “Love is patient, love is kind…”

  • “Love perfects all virtues”: Colossians 3:12-17

    • “And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection.”

  • “Wives and husbands”: Ephesians 5:2, 21-33

    • “Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

    • “Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord.”

    • “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church…”


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Pauline Influence on Church Teaching

  • Pauline Privilege (1 Cor 7:12-16) (CIC 1143)

    • Jesus’ teaching on divorce

    • St. Paul’s teaching on divorce

    • Codex Iuris Canonici (1983 CIC)

      • Can.  1143 §1. A marriage entered into by two non-baptized persons is dissolved by means of the Pauline privilege in favor of the faith of the party who has received baptism by the very fact that a new marriage is contracted by the same party, provided that the non-baptized party departs.

  • §2. The non-baptized party is considered to depart if he or she does not wish to cohabit with the baptized party or to cohabit peacefully without offence to the Creator unless the baptized party, after baptism was received, has given the other a just cause for departing.


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Other Resources

  • USCCB: Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth

    http://www.usccb.org/laity/marriage/

  • http://www.foryourmarriage.org/

  • http://catholicweddinghelp.com/index.htm