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This page contains Church documents -- from the popes, other offical documents of the Holy See, and the US Bishops -- of particular relevance to women and families. Additions to this section are made regularly. The lists below begin with the most recent document first. (Copyrights belong to the original copyright holders. All papal documents are copyrighted by the Libreria Editrice Vaticana)
Synod Propositions for the New Evangelization
Pope Benedict XVI received a document with 58 proposals from the Synod on the New Evangelization for the Christian Faith, which took place October 7-28, 2012. Though not yet official, Pope Benedict authorized the early release of the propositions by the Vatican Press Office on October 27. The list included proposals for action to aid the Church and individual Catholics in the mission of evangelizing the modern world. Pope Benedict will review the propositions before drafting a final version. Propositions on Vatican website: http://en.radiovaticana.va/articolo.asp?c=633514
NOTE: For more documents on the Liturgy, go to Church documents section on Adoremus web site: http://www.adoremus.org
Papal Documents:Pope Benedict XVI - Pope John Paul II - Other Popes - The Holy See - Vatican II Documents - US Bishops
Address to Pilgrimage of Families Pope Francis, 2013
Prayer to the Holy Family for the Families of the World Pope Francis, 2013
EVANGELII GAUDIUM, APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION, November 24, 2013
Lumen Fidei, The Light of Faith, Encyclical, June 29, 2013
Pope Benedict XVI [related page: Benedict XVI]
- Address of His Holiness Benedict XVI to the Bishops of United States of America on their Ad Limina visit, January 19, 2012
- Porta Fidei The Door of Faith Apostolic Letter of Pope Benedict XVI -Proclaiming for the Year of Faith, October 11, 2011
- POST-SYNODAL APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION VERBUM DOMINI OF THE HOLY FATHER BENEDICT XVI ON THE WORD OF GOD IN THE LIFE AND MISSION OF THE CHURCH - September 30, 2010, Spanish version on Vatican Website
- Caritas In Veritate, Encyclical Letter, of The Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI to the Bishops, Priests And Deacons, Men And Women Religious, the Lay Faithful and All People Of Good Will, On Integral Human Development, In Charity And Truth, June 29, 2009
- Letter of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, Proclaiming a Year for Priests on the 150th Anniversary of the "Dies Natalis" of the Cure of Ars, June 16, 2009
- Address of His Holiness Benedict XVI to the Members of the Congregation for the Clergy on the Occasion of Their Plenary Assembly, March 16, 2009
- MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS, BENEDICT XVI, FOR LENT 2009, December 11, 2008
- Address of His Holiness Benedict XVI to Participants at an International Congress Organized by the Pontifical Academy for Life, Friday, November 7, 2008
- Address Of His Holiness Benedict XVI, To Participants In The International Congress, Organized By The Pontifical Lateran University, On The 40th Anniversary Of The Encyclical 'Humanae Vitae', Clementine Hall, Saturday, May 10, 2008
- Pope Benedict XVI to Young People and Seminarians: Saint Joseph Seminary, Yonkers, New York, Saturday, April 19, 2008 - Apostolic journey to the United States of America and visit to the United Nations headquarters
- Address of His Holiness Benedict XVI to the Participants in the International Convention on the Theme, "Woman and Man, the Humanum in its Entirety", Clementine Hall, Saturday, February 9, 2008
- Address by Pope Benedict XVI at the University of Rome, La Sapienza, January 17, 2008
- Mass in the Sistine Chapel and Administration of the Sacrament of Baptism, Homily of His Holiness Benedict XVI, Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Sunday, January 13, 2008
- The Human Family, A Community of Peace -- Message of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI for the Celebration of the World Day of Peace, January 1, 2008
- Encyclical Letter, SPE SALVI of the Supreme Pontiff, Benedict XVI to the Bishops, Priests and Deacons, Men and Women Religious and All the Lay Faithful, On Christian Hope, November 30, 2007
- Link to Pope Benedict XVI Page with Article, writings, etc.
- LITTERAE APOSTOLICAE, MOTU PROPRIO DATAE, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM
July 7, 2007
- SACRAMENTUM CARITATIS, BENEDICT XVI, February 22, 2007
- ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI, TO THE MEMBERS OF THE TRIBUNAL OF THE ROMAN ROTA, Clementine Hall, Saturday, January 27, 2007
- ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI TO THE PARTICIPANTS IN THE SYMPOSIUM ON THE THEME: "STEM CELLS: WHAT FUTURE FOR THERAPY?" ORGANIZED BY THE PONTIFICAL ACADEMY FOR LIFE, Hall of the Swiss, Castel Gandolfo, Saturday, 16 September 2006
- Homily of the Holy Father, Apostolic Journey of His Holiness Benedict XVI to Valencia, Spain on the Occasion of the Fifth World Meeting of Families, Sunday, July 9, 2006
- Deus Caritas Est, Encyclical, December 25, 2005
- Pope Benedict XVI, On the Beatification of Cardinal Clemens August von Galen, October 9, 2005
- For the Approval and Publication of the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church -- Motu Proprio of the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI, June 28 2005 [links to the Vatican Website]
- Address of His Holiness Benedict XVI to the Participants in the Ecclesial Diocesan Convention of Rome, Basilica of Saint John Lateran, Monday, June 6, 2005 -- "Family and Christian community: formation of the person and transmission of the faith"
- Homily of Pope Benedict XVI at the Mass of Inauguration of his Petrine Ministry - April 24, 2005
- Cardinal Ratzinger's Homily in Mass Before Conclave -- Jesus Christ: "The Measure of True Humanism" -- April 18, 2005
- Funeral Mass of the Roman Pontiff John Paul II Homily of His Eminence Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger -- Saint Peter's Square -- Friday, April 8, 2005
- Regina Caeli Message, Eucharistic Celebration for the Repose of the Soul of Pope John Paul II, Feast of the Divine Mercy, Second Sunday of Easter, April 3, 2005.
- Urbi et Orbi Message - Easter Day, March 27, 2005
- On the Occasion of the International Convention on "Natural Regulation of Fertility and Culture of Life", Message of John Paul II, From the Vatican, January 28, 2004
- Mane Nobiscum Domine - Apostolic Letter for the Year of the Eucharist (October 7, 2004)
- Lourdes - Homily - Annunciation, Immaculate Conception August 15, Prayer, August, 14 2004
- "Life-sustaining Treatments and 'Vegetative state': Scientific Advances and Ethical Dilemmas" (March 20, 2004) Address to the Participants at the International Congress
- Ecclesia In Europa - Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation - On Jesus Christ Alive in His Church, the Source of Hope for Europe (June 28, 2003).
- Ecclesia de Eucharistia Encyclical, (April 17, 2003
- 11th World Day of the Sick - Pope John Paul II's Message English version | Spanish version
- Message for World Day of the Sick
- Message for Lent 2003
- Rosarium Virginis Mariae - Apostolic Letter on the Mysteries on the Rosary, additional mysteries of light included (October 16, 2002)
- "You are the Salt of the Earth!" - World Youth Day - final message (July 28, 2002)
- Misericordia Dei - On the Sacrament of Confession, Apostolic Letter (April 7, 2002)
- Christian Response to Suffering - Message from the Holy Father for World Day of the Sick (2/11/02)
- Address of John Paul II to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith -Moral issues (1/18/02)
- Message on Familiaris Consortio - 20th Anniversary (November 22, 2001)
- Notification on women as ordained deacons, September 17, 2001 (on the Adoremus website)
- Altar Servers -- More than "Helpers of the Parish Priest" - Address at the General Audience (August 1, 2001)
- Novo Millennio Ineunte - At the Beginning of the New Millennium - Apostolic Letter (January 6, 2001)
- Fides Et Ratio, On the Relationship Between Faith and Reason, September 14, 1998, The Feast of the Triumph of the Cross.
- Teachers of Moral Truth - Consciences Must Be Formed to Discern the Objective Moral Law, Ad Limina Address (June 27, 1998)
- Apostolos Suos - On the Nature of Episcopal Conferences - Apostolic Letter "Motu Proprio" (May 21, 1998)
- Pope John Paul II: Bishops Must Stand Firmly on the Side of Life Encouraging Those Who Defend It Against the Culture of Death - ad limina address to US bishops (October 2, 1998)
- The Pastoral Care of the Divorced and Remarried - On the EWTN Website - John Paul II to the Pontifical Council for the Family - January 24, 1997
- Letter to Women - June 29, 1995
- Evangelium Vitae - The Gospel of Life - Encyclical (March 25, 1995)/ *WFF Study Guide for EV add June 2009
- Women: Teachers of Peace - Message on World Day of Peace (January 1, 1995)
- Ordinatio Sacerdotalis - On Priestly Ordination - Apostolic Letter, 1994 (See also Responsum ad dubium, below)
- Letter to Families - for the Year of the Family (February 2, 1994)
- Veritatis Splendor - August 6, 1993
- Fidei Depositum - The Deposit of Faith - Apostolic Constitution on the Publication of the Cathechism of the Catholic Church (October 11, 1992)
- The Pastoral Care of the Family message to Pontifical Council on the Family 1992
- Redemptoris Custos - St. Joseph, Guardian of the Redeemer - Apostolic Exhortation, 1989
- Mulieris Dignitatem - On the Dignity and Vocation of Women -Apostolic Letter, 1988
- Christifidelis Laici - On the Vocation of the Laity - Apostolic Exhortation 1988
- Redemptoris Mater - The Mother of the Redeemer - Encyclical, 1987
- Familiaris Consortio - On the Christian Family - Apostolic Exhortation, 1981
- Theology of the Body, John Paul II starting September 5, 1979 and ending November 28, 1984 - links to EWTN
- Redemptor Hominis - The Redeemer of Man - Encyclical, 1979
- Evangelii Nuntiandi- Pope Paul VI - Apostolic Exhoration on Evangelization - (December 8, 1975)
- Laudis Canticum, Apostolic Constitution promulgating the revised book of the Liturgy of the Hours, Pope Paul VI, November 1, 1970
- Humanae Vitae - On Human Life - Pope Paul VI (Encyclical, 1968)
- Paenitemini - Pope Paul VI - Apostolic Constitution On Penance (February 17, 1966).
- Closing of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Address of Pope Paul VI -- To Women, December 8, 1965
- Veterum Sapientia - Pope John XXIII On the Promotion of the Study of Latin (Apostolic Constitution, February 22, 1962 )
- Sacerdotii Nostri Primordia - Pope John XXIII - Encyclical on the Priesthood (Centennial of Saint John Vianney, August 1, 1959).
- Apostolic Constitution: Munificentissimus Deus -- Defining the Dogma of the Assumption, Pope Pius XII, November 1, 1950
- Quamquam Pluries, On Devotion to St. Joseph, Encyclical, August 15th, 1889, Pope Leo XIII
- Ineffabilis Deus - Pope Pius IX - Apostolic Constitution defining the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. December 8, 1854
Documents, Statements of the Holy See:
- Circular Letter - The Ritual Expression of the Gift of Peace at Mass, CDW, July 12, 2014
- On May 22, 2012, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith released 1978 "Norms" on apparitions, with a new preface by Cardinal Levada: "Norms Regarding the Manner of Proceeding in the Discernemnt of Presumed Apparitions or Revelations" Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith - February 25, 1978 http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19780225_norme-apparizioni_en.html . New Preface from Cardinal William Levada (14 December 2011)
- Prepartory Catecheses for the Sixth World Encounter of Families, Pontifical Council for the Family, (Mexico, January 16-18, 2009)
- Why the Concept of Brain Death is Valid as a Definition of Death: Statement by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and Response to Objections (no longer on the Vatican Website, links to EWTN forum) September 2008
- Statements of the Holy See Delegation On Draft resolution A/C.3/62/L.29 entitled "Moratorium on the use of the death penalty", November 15, 2007, Holy See Delegation to UN
- Responses to Certain Questions of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Concerning Artificial Nutrition and Hydration, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, August 1, 2007
- Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, June 29, 2007
- The Hope of Salvation for Infants Who Die Without Being Baptized
Report by the International Theological Commission - January 19, 2007
- Prepartory Catecheses for the Fifth World Meeting of Families, Pontifical Council for the Family, (Valencia, July 1-9, 2006)
- Pontifical Council for the Family, The Family and Human Procreation, Vatican City, May 13, 2006.
- Letter on “Instruction” From the Vatican's Congregation on Catholic Education, Congregation for Catholic Education, Nov. 4, 2005
- "Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in view of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders.", Congregation for Catholic Education, Nov. 4, 2005
- Eucharistic Coherence of Politicians and Legislators, Pontifical Council for the Family, Intervention of H.E. Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo at the XI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, October 7, 2005
- Instrumentum laboris of the 11th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (July 7, 2005) links to the Vatican website.
- Way of the Cross at the Colosseum, Good Friday, March 24, 2005, Mediations and Prayers by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger -- Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff
- Introduction of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, CDF, March 20, 2005 [Links to the Vatican Website]
- The Year of the Eucharist: Children: First Holy Communion, Vatican City State, Darío Card. Castrillón Hoyos , Prefect of the Congregation for Clergy , January 8, 2005
- Letter to Bishops On the Collaboration of Men and Women in the Church and in the World -Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith - May 31, 2004 (released July 31, 2004)
- Interview with Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo concerning condom use, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family on Dutch radio program - October 20, 2003
- The Eucharist and the Priest: Inseparably United by the Love of God Theme for the World Day of Prayer for the Santification of Priests - A commentary on Ecclesia de Eucharistia Congregation for Clergy - June 27, 2003 - Solemnity of the Sacred Heart
- Considerations Regarding Proposals To Give Legal Recognition To Unions Between Homosexual Persons Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith - June 3, 2003
- Jesus Christ: The Bearer of the Water of Life - A Christian Reflection on the "New Age" - Pontifical Councils for Culture, Interreligious Dialogue (March 2, 2003)
- Pontifical Academy for Life on Ethics and Biomedical Research, Final Statement Following 9th General Assembly, Ninth General Assembly, the Pontifical Council for Life, Feb. 24-26, 2003.
- Decree on the Attempted Priestly ordination of Some Catholic Women Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (December 21, 2002)
- Doctrinal Note on some questions regarding the participation of Catholics in political life --Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (November 24, 2002)
- Intervention by the Holy See Delegation at the Special Committe of the 57th General Assembly of the United Nations on Human Embryonic Cloning (September 23, 2002)
- "The Priest, Pastor and Leader of the Parish Community" - Congregation of the Clergy (August 4, 2002)
- Vatican Warning on Mock Ordination of Women - From the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (July 10, 2002)
- Starting Afresh From Christ: A Renewed Committment To Consecrated Life In The Third Millennium Congregation For Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life - Instruction (June 14, 2002)
- Explanatory comments on Misericordia Dei - Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (March 2, 2002)
- Observations on the English-language Translation of the Roman Missal (dated March 16, 2002) - Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments: Introductory letter from Cardinal Jorge Medina Estévez to bishops, with complete document from the Congregation critiquing the proposed revision by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy [ICEL] of the Roman Missal, second typical edition -- as submitted to the Holy See for approval.
- "Twenty years since 'Familiaris Consortio': The Anthropological and Pastoral Dimension" - Pontifical Council for the Family Conclusions of the Theological-Pastoral Congress (December 20, 2001)
- Directory on Popular Piety and Devotions - Excerpt: Chapter V - Marian devotions - (December 2001)
- Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy, Principles and Guidelines -- Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Vatican City - December 2001 (Vatican link)
- Liturgiam authenticam Instruction on the use of Vernacular Languages in the Pubication of the Books of the Roman Liturgy - Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (effective April 25, 2001)
- Respect for the dignity of the dying Pontifical Academy for Life (December 9, 2000)
- Children: Springtime of the Family and Society Pontifical Council for the Family (October 11-13, 2000)
- Instruction on Prayers for Healing-- Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith -- September 14, 2000
- About the Instruction on Prayers for Healing (Summary, excerpts in Voices, March 2001)
- Declaration on the Production and the Scientific and Therapeutic Use of Human Embryonic Stem Cells -- Pontifical Academy for Life -- August 25, 2000
- Dominus Iesus -- Declaration "Dominus Iesus" on the Unicity and Salvific Universality of Jesus Christ and the Church (August 6, 2000); Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
- Family, Marriage and "De facto" Unions - Pontifical Council for The Family (July 26, 2000)
- On the Integrity of the Sacrament of Penance Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (March 20, 2000)
- Holy Water: Lent and Triduum, Response by the Congregation for Divine Worship to the question of removing Holy Water from the Holy Water fonts during Lent, March 14, 2000
- The Catholic School on theThreshold of the Third Millennium Congregation for Catholic Education, (December 28, 1997)
- Click here for PDF VERSION of the Letter from Congregation for Divine Worship to NCCB Rejection of revision of Ordination Ritual - Jorge Medina Estévez, Archbishop Pro-Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, to His Excellency The Most Reverend Anthony M. Pilla, Bishop of Cleveland President, National Conference of Catholic Bishops (September 20, 1997) and Full version of the "Observations" on ICEL Ordination Rite - Congregation for Divine Worship (September 20, 1997)
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- Ecclesiae de Mysterio - Instruction on Certain Questions Regarding the Collaboration of the Non-Ordained Faithful in the Sacred Ministry of Priest. Eight Vatican dicasteries (August 15, 1997)
- Vatican Letter to US Bishops on Sex-ed Congregation for Catholic Education (May 2, 1997)
- Vademecum for Confessors Concerning Some Aspects of the Morality of Conjugal Life Pontifical Council for the Family - February 12, 1997.
- Preparation for the Sacrament of Marriage Pontifical Council for the Family (May 13, 1996)
- The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality Guidelines for Education within the Family - Pontifical Council for the Family (December 8, 1995)
- The Charter for Health Care Workers - Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers (1995)
- Responsum ad Dubium - on Ordination Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (1995)
- The Family, the Heart of the Civilization of Love Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo (Address to WFF conference 1994)
- Guide for Catechists Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (1993)
- Paschalis Sollemnitatis - Circular Letter Concerning the Preparation and Celebration of the Easter Feasts - Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (January 16, 1988)
- Donum Vitae -- Instruction on Respect for Human Life in its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation Replies to Certain Questions of the Day -- Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (February 22, 1987)
- Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons -- Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith -- October 1, 1986.
- Educational Guidance in Human Love Guideline for sex education - Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education (November 1, 1983)
- Charter of the Rights of the Family Pontifical Council on the Family (1983)
- Declaration on Euthanasia Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (May 5, 1980)
- Persona Humana Declaration on Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics; Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Franjo Cardinal Seper, Prefect (December 29, 1975)
- Declaration on Procured Abortion - Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (June 28, 1974)
- Directory for Masses with Children - Congregation for Divine Worship (November 1, 1973)
- Liturgy of the Hours documents -- Laudis Canticum, Apostolic Constitution promulgating the revised book of the Liturgy of the Hours, Pope Paul VI, November 1, 1970 (Adoremus Site) | Decree promulgating the revised Liturgy of the Hours , The Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship Decree, April 11,1971, Arthur Cardinal Tabera, Prefect, A. Bugnini, Secretary (Adoremus Site) | General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours, Congregation for Divine Worship, February 2, 1971 (EWTN site)
- Religiosorum institutio On the Careful Selection and Training of Religious - Sacred Congregation for Religious (February 2, 1961)
- DIUTURNI TEMPORIS, Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII on the Rosary, September 5, 1898
- Adiutricem, Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII on the Rosary, September 5, 1895
- THE DIDACHE, or Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, about 367AD
- Lumen Gentium, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Second Vatican Council - Pope Paul VI 1964
- Unitatis Redintegratio - Decree on Ecumenism, 1964
- Documents of the Second Vatican Council (Vatican web site)
U.S. Bishops & Bishops' Conference Documents, Statements:
Bioethics Watch: The Distinction between Direct Abortion and Legitimate Medical Procedures June 23, 2010 statement from US Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine
USCCB Meeting November 2009 (USCCB Site): Marriage Love and Life in the Divine Plan (USCCB Site)
Health Care Reform section of the USCCB web site: www.usccb.org/healthcare/.
US Bishops Roman Missal Formation site - http://www.usccb.org/romanmissal/
(Click here for chronology of statements (with links) from Committee on Women, Laity, Family and Youth.)
- Go to Catholics and Political Responsibility section for
This timely section includes Church documents; links to USCCB documents and statements; letters and statements of diocesan bishops; and selected articles and commentary on the subject.
- Between Man and Woman: Questions and Answers about Marriage and Same-Sex Unions
(Click title for link to this document on the USCCB web site)
Issued by the USCCB on November 12, 2003, this document is intended to provide guidance to Catholics in the US confronted by a"growing movement today [that] favors making those relationships commonly called same-sex unions the legal equivalent of marriage." Following are the concluding paragraphs of this document (it is available from the USCCB in English and Spanish versions)
8. In light of the Church's teaching about the truth and beauty of marriage, what should Catholics do?
There is to be no separation between one's faith and life in either public or private realms. All Catholics should act on their beliefs with a well-formed conscience based on Sacred Scripture and Tradition. They should be a community of conscience within society. By their voice and their vote, they should contribute to society's welfare and test its public life by the standards of right reason and Gospel truth. Responsible citizenship is a virtue. Participation in the political process is a moral obligation. This is particularly urgent in light of the need to defend marriage and to oppose the legalization of same-sex unions as marriages.
Married couples themselves, by the witness of their faithful, life-giving love, are the best advocates for marriage. By their example, they are the first teachers of the next generation about the dignity of marriage and the need to uphold it. As leaders of their family-which the Second Vatican Council called a "domestic Church" (Lumen Gentium, no. 11)-couples should bring their gifts as well as their needs to the larger Church. There, with the help of other couples and their pastors and collaborators, they can strengthen their commitment and sustain their sacrament over a lifetime.
Marriage is a basic human and social institution. Though it is regulated by civil laws and church laws, it did not originate from either the Church or state, but from God. Therefore, neither Church nor state can alter the basic meaning and structure of marriage.
Marriage, whose nature and purposes are established by God, can only be the union of a man and a woman and must remain such in law. In a manner unlike any other relationship, marriage makes a unique and irreplaceable contribution to the common good of society, especially through the procreation and education of children.
The union of husband and wife becomes, over a lifetime, a great good for themselves, their family, communities, and society. Marriage is a gift to be cherished and protected.
- Canon 891 - Age of Confirmation - USCCB implementation
- Canon 1246 - Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation - USCCB implementation
- Canon 1250-1253 - Fasting and abstinence - Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, Fridays of Lent and Fridays outside of Lent.
- Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services - 4th Edition June 2001 -
on United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Web site http://www.usccb.org/about/doctrine/ethical-and-religious-directives/
Developed by the Committee on Doctrine of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and approved as the national code by the full body of bishops at its June 2001 General Meeting. NOTE: See Pope John Paul II's address March 20, 2004 - Life Sustaining Treatments & "Persistent Vegetative State"
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