We have studied the establishment and prevalence over many centuries of the notion that marriage is ordered to the "remedy of concupiscence." The practical effect of this, in our view, has been to create a certain idea that marriage "legitimizes" concupiscence, an idea which, if further analyzed, amounts to saying that "marriage legitimizes disordered sexuality."
I believe that Christian life has suffered from those longstanding and widely held views which have regarded concupiscence not as a force to be resisted (and purified) in marriage, but as simply legitimized by marriage itself where, in consequence, it can be given free rein. The understanding of marriage as an outlet for concupiscence is, I claim, what seems to be implied in the simple phrase remedium concupiscentiae, and what has in fact been the well-nigh universal interpretation given to the term.
From the standpoint of pastoral theology, I have endeavored to show that the longstanding use of this term has propagated a narrow and impoverished view of marriage which has consistently ignored the consideration of matrimony as a sacrament of sanctification. If so, then the disappearance of the term should further facilitate the renewed theological, ascetical, and vocational understanding of marriage which has been emerging in the last three quarters of a century, and which the current magisterium has so insistently fostered.
In this renewed understanding, rather than being a "remedy" or even as an outlet for concupiscence, marriage should be seen and presented as a call to a particular growth in love - in an effort, with the help of grace, to recapture the purity and chaste self-donation of the original human sexual-conjugal condition.
A balanced Christian vision will avoid both naive optimism and radical pessimism about human nature. It will always see man as a sick creature made for a divine destiny. This balanced view is needed also because the pathologies of human nature can only be properly evaluated by those who both face up to the reality of sin and, being convinced of the goodness of creation and the nature of original health, know the means and effectiveness of the Redemption worked by Christ - which enables us, despite our ailments, to achieve something much greater still than the fullness of that original health.