Theology of the Body


Elsewhere on my site one can find a study of mine concerning the origin, use and effects of the term remedium concupiscentiae, formerly designated as a 'secondary' end of marriage. The two articles that follow here have been condensed by Faith Magazine from portions of that study. In publication, considerations of space made it necessary to omit certain passages or references that fill in the argument. Those interested can refer to the full study: "A Postscript to the remedium concupiscentiae" (The Thomist 70 (2006) 481-536) at node/934 on the site.

1. The Theology of the Body and Concupiscence

The Theology of the Body and Concupiscence Faith (March–April 2012)
Since 1983 the Church's magisterium has expressed the ends of marriage as two: procreation, and the good of the spouses. Much has been written about this, especially as to the omission of the former, hierarchical concept: primary and secondary ends. My own analysis is that the Church, rather than any hierarchy of ends, now wishes to emphasise their intimate connection and interdependence, especially so as to help overcome the modern mindset that marriage can be truly fruitful and "fulfilling" independently of the children who may be born of and nourish any genuine conjugal love. Here I wish simply to draw conclusions from the apparent disappearance of the former two "secondary ends", the mutuum adiutorium and the remedium concupiscentiae.

2. The Theology of the Body and the Healing of Concupiscence

The Theology of the Body and the Healing of Concupiscence (FAITH July-August 2012)
Rediscovering Conjugal Love as it was 'in the beginning'
The constant reference point for married life and vocation which Pope John Paul II presented throughout his 1979-1984 weekly Catechesis was "marriage constituted in the beginning, in the state of original innocence, in the context of the sacrament of creation" (Theology of the Body, 338), called to be a "visible sign of God's creative love" (ibid. 379). That original human state was marked by a perfect harmony, within each one, of body and spirit. "This harmony, that is precisely purity of heart, enabled man and woman in the state of original innocence to experience simply (and in a way that originally made them both happy) the uniting power of their bodies, which was, so to speak, the unsuspected substratum of their personal union or communio personarum" (ib. 204).

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