1. "Matrimonii finis primarius est procreatio atque educatio prolis; secundarius mutuum adiutorium et remedium concupiscentiae" (c. 1013).
2. "However surprising it may seem, the fact is that canon 1013, 1 [CIC 1917] is the first document of the Church to list the ends [of marriage] and to set them out in an hierarchical order... This canon is also the first document of the Church to use the terminology of 'primary' and 'secondary'" (U. Navarrete, S.J., Periodica 56 : 368). cf. A. Sarmiento, El matrimonio cristiano (Pamplona: EUNSA, 2001), 360.
3. See C. Burke, "Marriage: A Personalist or an Institutional Understanding?" Communio 19 (1992): 278-304.
4. "By their very nature, the institution of matrimony itself and conjugal love are ordered to the procreation and education of children" (GS 48, repeated in GS 50).
5. "non posthabitis ceteris matrimonii finibus."
6. Pope John Paul II, Address to the Roman Rota, 26 January 1984, AAS 76 (1984): 644.
7. See Optatam totius 16.
8. See, e.g., cc. 747ff. in book 3; and cc. 849, 879, 897, 959, 998, 1008 in book 4.
9. Book 4, "The Sanctifying Office of the Church," part 1, title 7.
10. See also CCC 2201 and 2249.
11. "[D]uplex matrimonii finis." This point of the Catechism, we can note in passing, confirms that the expression "is ordered to" (in the Code or in CCC 1601) is simply equivalent to "has as an end."
12. I have written elsewhere at some length on this, and would refer the interested reader to these studies: "The "bonum coniugum" and the bonum prolis: Ends or Properties of Marriage?" The Jurist 49 (1989): 704-13; "Progressive Jurisprudential Thinking," The Jurist 58 (1998): 437-478.
13. See C. Burke, "Personalism and the 'bona' of Marriage," Studia Canonica 27 (1993): 401-412; Burke, "Marriage: A Personalist or an Institutional Understanding?", Communio 19 (1992), 278-304
14. See Burke, "Progressive Jurisprudential Thinking," 459ff.
15. As late as 1977 the Pontifical Commission for the Revision of the Code of Canon Law did consider a draft in which the remedium concupiscentiae appeared among the ends of marriage (Communicationes : 123). This passing nod to traditional terminology did not, however, prevent the consultors from dropping the notion completely when it came to the final draft of the new code, approved and promulgated only six years later.
16. Cf. the biblical juxtaposition of bonum and adiutorium in the Jahwist account of the divine institution of marriage in Genesis 2:18.
17. See C. Burke: "St. Augustine and Conjugal Sexuality," Communio 17 (1990): 545-65.
18. In Augustine's view offspring was certainly the purpose or end of marriage ("Cum sint ergo nuptiae causa generandi institutae" [De coniugiis adulterinis 12]). Nevertheless this was not his major point of focus and interest. He took the end of marriage for granted; his interest and arguments were directed to defending its goodness.
19. "In nuptiis tamen bona nuptialia diligantur, proles, fides, sacramentum... Haec bona nuptialia laudet in nuptiis, qui laudare vult nuptias" (De nuptiis et concupiscentia 1.17.19; cf. 1.21.23).
20. See B. Alves Pereira, La doctrine du mariage selon saint Augustin (Paris, 1930); A. Reuter, Sancti Aurelii Augustini doctrina de bonis matrimonii (Rome, 1942).
21. Of course, this is not the same as saying that one can do bad so as to achieve good.
22. "Deus utitur et malis bene" (De civitate dei 18.51); "non solum bonis, verum etiam malis bene uti novit [Deus]" (ibid. 14.27); "Deus omnipotens, Dominus universae creaturae, qui fecit omnia, sicut scriptum est, bona valde, sic ea ordinavit, ut et de bonis et de malis bene faciat" (De agone christiano 7); "Sicut autem bono male uti malum est, sic malo bene uti bonum est. Duo igitur haec, bonum et malum, et alia duo, usus bonus et usus malus, sibimet adiuncta quattuor differentias faciunt. Bene utitur bono continentiam dedicans Deo, male utitur bono continentiam dedicans idolo; male utitur malo concupiscentiam relaxans adulterio, bene utitur malo concupiscentiam restringens connubio" (De peccatorum meritis 1.57).
23. De nupt. et conc. 1.9; 1.27; 2.34; 2.36; De continentia 27; Contra Julianum 3.53; 4.35; 4.65; 5.46, 66; Imperfectum opus contra Iulianum praefatio; 1.65; 2.31; 4.29; 4.107; 5.13; 5.20; 5.23; Contra duas epistolas Pelagianorum 1.33; De gratia Christi et de peccato originali 2.42; De Trinitate 13.23; etc.
24. "[S]ic utantur coniuges boni malo concupiscentiae, sicut sapiens ad opera utique bona ministro utitur imprudente" (Contra Iulianum 5.60); "Ego enim dico, uti libidine non semper esse peccatum; quia malo bene uti non est peccatum" (ibid.); "bellum quod in se casti sentiunt, sive continentes, sive etiam coniugati, hoc dicimus in paradiso, ante peccatum nullo modo esse potuisse. Ipsae ergo etiam nunc sunt nuptiae, sed in generandis filiis tunc nullo malo uterentur, nunc concupiscentiae malo bene utuntur" (ibid. 3.57); "hoc enim malo bene utuntur fideles coniugati" (ibid. 3.54) (cf. ibid. 4.1; 4.35; 5.63; etc.).
25. "[W]ith shameful lust to have licit intercourse, is to use an evil well; to have it illicitly, is to use an evil badly" ("pudenda libidine qui licite concumbit, malo bene utitur; qui autem illicite, malo male utitur" [De nupt. et conc. 2.36]).
26. "sexual intercourse necessary for begetting is free from blame, and it alone is [truly] nuptial" ("Concubitus enim necessarius causa generandi, inculpabilis et solus ipse nuptialis est" [De bono coniugali 11]); cf. "Only for the cause of procreating is the union of the sexes free from blame" ("Sola enim generandi causa est inculpabilis sexus utriusque commixtio" [Sermo 351].
27. "non nuptiarum sit hoc malum, sed veniale sit propter nuptiarum bonum" (De bono viduitatis 4.5.
28. "illis excessibus concumbendi, qui non fiunt causa prolis voluntate dominante, sed causa voluptatis vincente libidine, quae sunt in coniugibus peccata venialia" (De nupt. et conc. 1.27); "veniale peccatum sit propter nuptias Christianas" (Contra Julianum 4.33; cf. 3.43; contra ep. Pel. 1.33; 3.30.
29. Nowhere in the New Testament does the Vulgate employ "venia" in this sense; in the Old Testament four occurrences are to be found (Num 15:28; Wis 12:11; Sir 3:14-15; 25:34). "Indulgentia" appears three times in the Old Testament (Jdt 8:14, Isa 61:1; 63:7); and once, in the passage we are considering, in the New Testament.
30. Contra ep. Pel. 1.33; De nupt. et conc. 16; De gr. et pecc. or. 2.43; cf. Contra Julianum 2.20; 5.63; Imperf. opus contra Julianum 1.68; etc.
31. The Revised Standard Version has "I say this by way of concession, not of command"; the New American Bible (1986) also uses "concession"; the Jerusalem Bible renders the whole passage more loosely: "This is a suggestion, not a rule."
32. The spouse who seeks married intercourse simply because he or she will otherwise not be continent, sins venially (IV Sent., d. 31, q. 2, a. 2, ad 2).
33. "videtur apostolus inconvenienter loqui; indulgentia enim non est nisi de peccato. Per hoc ergo quod apostolus, secundum indulgentiam se dicit matrimonium concessisse, videtur exprimere quod matrimonium sit peccatum" (Super I Cor., c. 7, lect. 1).
34. "apostolus hic indulget, id est, permittit matrimonium, quod est minus bonum quam virginitas, quae non praecipitur, quae est maius bonum" (ibid.).
35. "Alio modo potest accipi indulgentia prout respicit culpam... Et secundum hoc indulgentia refertur ad actum coniugalem secundum quod habet annexam culpam venialem ... scilicet cum quis ad actum matrimonialem ex concupiscentia excitatur, quae tamen infra limites matrimonii sistit, ut scilicet cum sola uxore sit contentus. Quandoque vero est culpa mortalis, puta cum concupiscentia fertur extra limites matrimonii, scilicet cum aliquis accedit ad uxorem, aeque libenter vel libentius ad aliam accessurus" (ibid.; cf. STh suppl., q. 40, a. 6).
36. "Justified," as used by these two authors, would seem to have a much more positive meaning than modern parlance attributes to it. It is not merely that the act is "excused," but that it is rendered just in the biblical sense, that is, holy and pleasing to God.
37. IV Sent., d. 31, q. 2, a. 2.
38. See IV Sent., d. 31, q. 2, a. 1.
39. "Nuptiarum igitur bonum semper est quidem bonum; sed in populo Dei fuit aliquando legis obsequium; nunc est infirmitatis remedium, in quibusdam vero humanitatis solatium" (De bono vid. 8.11; cf. Gen. ad litt. 9.7).
40. "Dixisti enim: 'Sanctam virginitatem confidentia suae salutis et roboris contempsisse remedia, ut gloriosa posset exercere certamina'. Quaero quae remedia contempserit? Respondebis: Nuptias. Quaero: Ista remedia contra quem morbum sunt necessaria? Remedium quippe a medendo, id est a medicando, nomen accepit. Simul itaque videmus ambo remedium nuptiarum: cur tu laudas libidinis morbum ... si non ei resistat aut continentiae retinaculum, aut coniugale remedium?" (Contra Jul. 3.21.42).
41. IV Sent., d. 33, q. 2, a. 1, ad 4; Super I Cor. c. 7, lect. 1.
42. IV Sent., d. 2, q. 1, a. 1.
43. IV Sent., d. 26, q. 2, a. 3, ad 4.
44. STh III, q. 65, a. 1; cf. IV Sent., d. 2, q. 2; d. 26, q. 2.
45. Hugh of St. Victor, De sacramentis 2.11 (PL 176:494).
46. Peter Lombard, IV Sent., d. 26 (PL 192:908-9).
47. "Est usus matrimonii ... in remedium contra concupiscentiam, dum illa refrenat ut medicamentum" (Bonaventure, IV Sent., d. 26, a. 1, q. 1).
48. "Coniugium ... quod est in remedium libidinosae concupiscentiae" (Alexander of Hales, In lib. IV, d. 26 [Glossa in IV Libros Sententiarum (Quaracchi, 1957), 457]).
49. One of the few exceptions is Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621): "Tertius finis est ut sit coniugium in remedium contra concupiscentiam" (De sacramento matrimonii 1.10).
50. Hermann Busenbaum, Medulla theologiae moralis, tract. 6, De matrimonio, c. 2.
51. "Fines [matrimonii] intrinseci accidentales sunt duo, procreatio prolis, et remedium concupiscentiae" (Alphonsus Liguori, Theologiae moralis [Turin, 1888], lib. 6, p. 881).
52. Here is an extensive though not exhaustive list: A. Ballerini, S.J., Opus theologicum morale (Prati, 1892), 6:167; G. Bucceroni, S.J., Institutiones theologiae moralis secundum doctrinam S. Thomae et S. Alphonsi (Rome, 1898), 2:334; C. Marc, C.Ss.R., Institutiones morales Alphonsianae (Lugduni, 1900), 2:447; C. Pesch, S.J., Praelectiones dogmaticae (Freiburg, 1900), "De sacramentis," pars 2, n. 691; A. Lehmkuhl, S.J., Theologia moralis (Freiburg im Breisgau, 1914), 2:616; F. M. Cappello, S.J., Tractactus canonico-moralis (Rome, 1927), 3:39; L. Wouters, C.Ss.R., Manuale theologiae moralis (Bruges, 1933), 2:542; E. Genicot, S.J., Institutiones theologiae moralis (Brussels, 1936), 2:410; J. Aertnys, C.Ss.R. and C. A. Damen, C.Ss.R., Theologia moralis (Turin, 1950), 2:473; H. Noldin, S.J., Summa theologiae moralis (Innsbruck, 1962), 429; B. H. Merkelbach, O.P., Summa theologiae moralis (Bruges, 1956), 3:759; E. F. Regatillo, S.J., et M. Zalba, S.J., Theologiae moralis summa (Madrid, 1954), 3:582; G. Mausbach, Teologia morale (Alba, 1956), 3:144; Ad. Tanquerey, Synopsis theologiae moralis et pastoralis (Paris, 1955), 381.
53. T. Slater, S.J., A Manual of Moral Theology (New York, 1925), 200; H. Davis, S.J., Moral and Pastoral Theology (New York, 1958), 4:69.
54. Dictionary of Moral Theology (Westminster, Md.: Newman Press, 1962), 732.
55. Bernard Häring, The Law of Christ (Cork: Mercier Press, 1967): translated from the 7th German edition of Das Gesetz Christi of 1963.
56. New Catholic Encyclopedia (1967), s.v. "MARRIAGE (THEOLOGY OF)."
57. Biblia Comentada 6:403 (Madrid: BAC, 1965).
58. John C. Ford, S.J., and Gerald Kelly, S.J., Contemporary Moral Theology (Westminster, Md.: Newman Press, 1963), 2:48, 75.
59. Ibid., 2:48.
60. Ibid., 2:97. Augustine might have been surprised at this comment which fails to grasp the distinction he makes between sexual pleasure (which is a good accompaniment of marital intercourse) and lust which is its bad accompaniment: see Burke, "St. Augustine and Conjugal Sexuality," 551-53.
61. Ford and Kelly, Contemporary Moral Theology, 2:99.
62. The 1950 edition of a much-used manual thus explains the purpose of the remedium concupiscentiae, as an end of marriage: "so that those who are conscious of their weakness, and do not want to sustain the attack of the flesh, can use the remedy of matrimony in order to avoid sins of lust" [Aertnys-Damen, Theologia Moralis, 2:473]).
63. H. Doms, "Conception personnaliste du mariage d'après S. Thomas," Revue Thomiste 45 (1939): 763.
64. See A. Perego, "Fine ed essenza della società coniugale," Divus Thomas 56 (1953): 357ff.
65. H. Denzinger, ed., Enchiridion symbolorum, 21-23 ed. (Herder, 1937), n. 2241.
66. D. M. Prümmer, Manuale theologiae moralis (Barcelona: Herder, 1961), 3:504.
67. Pope John Paul II, The Theology of the Body: Human Love in the Divine Plan (Boston: Pauline Books, 1997).
68. 1 Cor 7:1-2, 8-9. Saint Thomas, it should be noticed, is quite critical of St. Paul's phrase, "It is better to marry than to burn," which he considers an "abusive" way of putting things: "Est autem hic attendendum quod apostolus utitur abusiva comparatione; nam nubere bonum est, licet minus, uri autem est malum. Melius est ergo, id est magis tolerandum, quod homo minus bonum habeat, quam quod incurrat incontinentiae malum" (Super I Cor., c. 7, lect. 1) (emphasis added).
69. It is good news to hear of the new translation by Michael Waldstein of Theology of the Body. However, in one point of his rendering of John Paul II's text, there seems to be room for disagreement (I follow his comments given in an interview with Zenit, 1 June 2006). He considers that the English translations hitherto in use are misleading in speaking of "lust," when simple sexual desire is closer to John Paul II's thought ("Desire can be good or bad; lust is a vice", he rightly says). As a particular example he adduces precisely the passage in Matt 5:28. Translations up to now have followed the Revised Standard Version according to which Jesus says, "Whoever looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Waldstein considers that "John Paul II's translation is much closer to the Greek original; it has 'Whoever looks at a woman to desire her'...".
It is seldom that translations are not debatable. In this case I would not agree with Michael Waldstein. The Friburg Greek Lexicon gives three shades of meaning (and three biblical examples) for the Greek word used here, epithumeo: "(1) gener. of a strong impulse toward someth. desire, long for (Lk 16.21); (2) in a good sense, of natural or commendable desire long for, earnestly desire (Lk 22.15); (3) in a bad sense, of unrestricted desire for a forbidden pers. or thing lust for or after, crave, covet (Mt 5.28; Acts 20.33)" (cf. BibleWorks commentary). Surely it is indisputable that in this passage Jesus is speaking of desire that is gravely disordered; otherwise how explain his judgment that the look is equivalent to having "already committed adultery with her in his heart"? It is clear that John Paul II himself, in his audience of 17 September 1980, proposes this understanding (Theology of the Body, 148; cf. ibid., 157).
Randall Colton, in a recent article, shows the philosophical confusion that results from identifying lust with simple sexual desire (see Randall Colton, "Two Rival Versions of Sexual Virtue: Simon Blackburn and John Paul II on Lust and Chastity," The Thomist 70 : 71-101).
70. A rotal sentence quotes St. Thomas, "Man is naturally made for marriage. Hence the conjugal bond, or marriage, is natural" (STh suppl., q. 41, a. 1), and adds: "Marriage as proposed by the Church corresponds to the natural understanding which man and woman have of that exclusive, permanent and fruitful union with a member of the other sex to which one is naturally led by the human conjugal instinct" (coram C. Burke, 12 December 1994, Rotae Romanae Decisiones [Rome: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1997], vol. 86, p. 719).
71. Conjugal union is a matter of both body and spirit. To be attracted by the body of one's spouse and to want to be united in body with the spouse is indeed part of normal conjugal desire. But another, and more important, part of that desire is to be attracted by the person of the other and to want to have a union of persons. The importance of this double aspect becomes clearer if we think in terms of love and not just of attraction or desire. Human spousal love is directed not mainly to the body but above all to the person of the other. The two loves - for the body and for the person - should ideally be in perfect harmony. In practice they often are not. In fact they can be in opposition (i.e., when desire for the body detaches itself from love for the person). That this can happen is nothing new, but it is certainly disturbing and a matter to be taken firmly into account.
72. I am seeking to develop an argument in personalist terms, and Augustine can scarcely be classified as a personalist in the modern sense. He nowhere distinguishes concupiscence from good sexual attraction, and some of his statements can indeed appear to equate concupiscence with simple sexual desire or with the pleasure accompanying marital intercourse. Nevertheless, as I have sought to show elsewhere, this is not his true mind: concupiscence for him does not mean the physical pleasure accompanying conjugal intercourse (which he defends), but the tendency to let the urge for that pleasure eclipse its true purpose and meaning (see Burke, "St. Augustine and Conjugal Sexuality," 551-53). Those modern commentators who accuse Augustine of pessimism fail at least as much he does to distinguish between "good" and "bad" sexual desire. My wish is not to present Augustine as a personalist but rather to draw attention to the depth and realism of his analysis, so underappreciated today.
73. See GS 12, 23, 26, 28-29, 40-46.
74. GS 47-52.
75. GS 49.
76. It is clear that there is no consummation through a copula not carried out "humano modo," as verified for instance in the case of contraceptive intercourse - where there is no true unio carnuum. It is not so clear to what degree or at what point insistence (short of physical brute force) of one party overcoming the reluctance of the other to have intercourse so "dehumanizes" the act that it can scarcely be considered any longer a physical expression of marital union.
77. C. Burke, "The Inviolability of the Conjugal Act," in John F. Boyle, ed., Creative Love: The Ethics of Human Reproduction (Front Royal, Va.: Christendom Press, 1989), 151-67.
78. George Bernard Shaw was being perhaps crude, but not flippant nor cynical, when he commented that contraception amounts to "mutual masturbation."
79. Countless examples could be cited of the strong reaction the pope's words provoked in many quarters, revealing just how far our world is from appreciating the true challenges of married love.
80. Aquinas, Super I Cor., c. 7, lect. 1.
81. Abstaining from or renouncing secular activities and the satisfactions or pleasures that may derive from them has been central to religious life since its inception. While the roots of this religious spirituality go back to Jesus' invitation to the rich young man (Matt 19:21), it is debatable whether it has offered the necessary inspiration and dynamism to guide lay people in general and married people in particular to the full goal of Christian life. It is true that Jesus said "whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:33), yet it is also clear that celibacy, whether in religious life or otherwise, is not the only Christian way and indeed that, despite St. Paul's wish ("I wish that all were as I myself am"), God is not calling everyone to be celibate. Pope John Paul II recalls how Paul himself acknowledges that each one "has his own special gift from God."
82. There are various reasons why abstinence may enter periodically into conjugal life, but it would seem fundamentally flawed to propose abstinence as an ideal, or as a condition for holiness, in those called to Christian marriage. Saint Paul's suggestion to spouses to abstain "for a time" (1 Cor 7:5) cannot be broadened into a general norm.
83. Interpersonal harmony, between spirit and spirit, was not a necessary part of that state. Man and woman had freely to create that harmony between themselves, and each one with God. How in their first test they failed to do so, and then had to seek to restore it, forms the background to the whole human drama and to our present study.
84. See John Paul II, Theology of the Body, 122-23.
85. "... contemporary anthropology, which likes to refer to so-called fundamental experiences, such as the 'experience of shame'" (John Paul II, Theology of the Body, 52).
86. Ibid., 204. John Paul II is at one with Augustine's analysis of the situation. Original nakedness provoked no untoward desire and hence no shame in Adam and Eve, "not because they could not see, but because they felt nothing in their members to make them ashamed of what they saw" (De nupt. et conc. 1.5.6).
87. John Paul II, Theology of the Body, 414; cf. 75, 120-22, 127, 349, etc. Augustine emphasizes that the desires of concupiscence must be resisted; otherwise they dominate us: "Est ergo in nobis peccati concupiscentia, quae non est permittenda regnare; sunt eius desideria, quibus non est oboediendum, ne oboedientibus regnet" (De Continentia, 8).
88. See Theology of the Body, 151-152 for the "depersonalizing" effect of concupiscence.
89. "in amore concupiscentiae amans proprie amat seipsum, cum vult illud bonum quod concupiscit" (Aquinas, I-II, q. 27, a. 3).
90. This certainly implies a restraint, but it is a restraint that should be an expression of love and consideration, just as when husband or wife restrains his or her temper out of consideration for the other.
91. "In earthly life, the dominion of the spirit over the body - and the simultaneous subordination of the body to the spirit - can, as the result of persevering work on themselves, express a personality that is spiritually mature" (Theology of the Body, 241). This implies not a one-sided victory of the spirit over the body, but a perfect harmony between the two; so it "does not signify any disincarnation of the body nor, consequently, a dehumanization of man. On the contrary, it signifies his perfect realization. In fact, in the composite, psychosomatic being which man is, perfection cannot consist in a mutual opposition of spirit and body. But it consists in a deep harmony between them, in safe-guarding the primacy of the spirit" (ibid.). John Paul II, applying the pauline phrase about "discord in the body" (1 Cor 12:25) to the phenomenon of bodily shame resulting from original sin, insists on how a "transformation of this state" can be achieved "to the point of gradual victory over that discord in the body. This victory can and must take place in man's heart. This is the way to purity, that is, 'to control one's own body in holiness and honor'." (ibid. 204-205).
92. Pope John Paul has provided this clear and positive guidance - albeit in a dense catechesis whose very length may make it appear inaccessible to the ordinary reader. The "popularising" of his teaching, in a form accessible to married couples and those preparing for marriage, is a pastoral task of immense importance.
93. Augustine, Sermo 128.
94. Karol Wojtyla: Love and Responsibility, (San Francisco, Ignatius Press, 1993), 60.
95. Concupiscence is an effect of original sin. What stems from sin, can only be remedied by virtue. So it is not marriage itself but marital chastity that remedies concupiscence.
96. C. Burke, "Marriage as a Sacrament of Sanctification": Annales Theologici 9 (1995): 85-86.
97. Augustine, Contra Julianum, 5:62.
98. "ut scivi quoniam aliter non possum esse continens nisi Deus det, et hoc ipsum erat sapientiae scire cuius esset hoc donum, adii Dominum et deprecatus sum illum" (Vulgate).
99. Augustine, De Continentia, 1.
100. Augustine, Contra Julianum, 3:43.