Posted by admin on June 24, 2012
The Roman Catholic teachings now encourage couples to contract both the civil as well as the canonical marriage because the well being of society and the church is founded on the well being of families and the well being of the families is founded on stable marriages.
Therefore, the couple’s mutual love must be regulated and assisted by the society through the civil marriage and by the church through the Sacrament of Matrimony.
This disposition of the Catholic Church is interwoven into the fabric of civil law and the law applied uniformly to Filipinos except for Muslim Filipinos.
Unlike before, civil marriage was frowned upon by church officials and that to undergo into it is a “mortal sin” as decreed by Vatican, Rome. With the evolving minds and the constant realities of present changes from the standard norms, the acceptance of the church to the nature of civil marriage is indeed well appreciated.
Though the church and state affairs are independent as provided by the country’s constitution, it is still a fact that any person residing in the country are still guided by the supreme law of the land. And the church or temples of any religious denominations are not above or exempted by the provisions of the constitution.
In all intents and purpose, the ecclesiastical power could no longer ignore the legitimacy and validity of civil partnerships as performed by the state, in which case the latter is no longer an obstacle to a legal celebration of the canonical marriage. The amended section under the Civil Code of the Philippines, Chapter III entitled Marriage to the Family Code of the Philippines as promulgated on July 6, 1987, is now relevant and specific to allow ecclesiastics to recognize civil marriages.
So, in the Philippines, the Sacrament of Marriage incorporates also the Civil Marriage in accordance to the prescribed formalities.
The Code of Cannon Law; Canon 1055 states; that the marriage covenant, by which man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of their whole life and which of its own very nature is ordered to the well-being of the spouses and to the procreation and upbringing of children, has, between the baptized, been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.
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Marriage is a sacrament because the covenant between the spouses signifies the union of Christ and the Church. The Sacrament of Matrimony gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved his Church.
St Paul under Ephesians verse 22-33 states: Let women be subject to their husbands, as to the Lord; because man is the head of the woman, as Christ is Head of the Church: Himself is Savior of His Body. But as the Church is subject to Christ, so also women to their husbands in all things. Husbands love your wives, as Christ also hath loved the Church and delivered Himself up for it that He might sanctify it, cleansing it with the laver of water in the word of life, that He Himself might present to himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it may be holy and without blemish. So also the men ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He, who loveth his wife, loves himself. For no man ever hated his own flesh but he nourishes and cherishes it, as also Christ the Church; for we are members of His body, of his flesh and of his bones. For this cause man shall leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife and they two shall be one flesh. This mystery is great, but I say I Christ and in the Church. Nevertheless, let you also severally each love his wife and he loves himself and let the wife fear her husband.
It is exactly for this Bible passage that the real ministers and primary characters of the Sacrament of Marriage are the spouses. The priest only assists in administering the rites. The priest simply receives the consent of the spouses and bestows the blessing in the name of the church, which Christ has loved.
Likewise, the writings of St Paul strongly inculcated these duties to those entering marriage to have only worthy and holy motives for each other. Further emphasizing, that couples to frequently reflect on the duties and obligations as imposed in the word of God.
The holy sacrament of matrimony was instituted by Almighty God in the beginning of the world and under the law of nature had a particular blessing annexed to it. Marriage is such a sublime sacrament that it signifies the eternal life in paradise. A paradise analogous to the earthly paradise to be initially experience on, till death do us part.