It is trite to say that the christian - and also the canonical - perception of marriage, especially since the Second Vatican Council, has become more and more "personalistic". Personalism itself needs to be properly understood. It is not to be confused with subjectivism or individualism, which convey the false suggestion that the individual person can find human fufillment in relating just to himself and making himself the centre of his concerns and ambitions. In order to preclude this possible confusion, some wisely insist that personalism necessarily involves interpersonalism. Interpersonalism in fact stresses more directly the capacity and need for self-transcendence in the individual; and insists on man's "social dimension" as a vital aspect to his personalistic fulfillment.
I. The Facts
8. On the juridic effect of a psychic anomaly: Enormously increased investigation in this century into the concept of "mental health", has led to acceptance of the fact that psychic infirmities are much more frequent than was formerly acknowledged. It has been established not only that such pathologies exist in varying degrees, but that many psychic disorders affect a person just in some areas of his or her life, while leaving intact his or her capacity to act normally in other areas. In the field of civil law and secular courts, these findings have opened up new debates about the proper legal understanding of personal responsibility or accountability, and about the validity of certain acts.
Use of proper terminology. The years 1968-1983 witnessed the revision of the old Code of Canon Law, so as to bring the law of the Church more in line with the ecclesial spirit of the Second Vatican Council. It was a period when many new ideas, being proposed and debated in doctrine or jurisprudence, were considered in depth by the Pontifical Commisssion charged with the revision. Concepts, phrases and formulae were weighed and sifted; many were passed over or rejected; others were molded and developed until they reached a final configuration in which they were approved and incorporated into the new Code.