Marriage: God himself is the Author of Marriage and has endowed it with various benefits and purposes.
The characteristic traits of marriage are:
Indissolubility and Fidelity
In its “objective” truth, Marriage is ordered to the procreation and education of children.
The marriage union, in fact, gives fullness of life to that sincere gift of self, the fruit of which is children, who in turn are a gift for the parents, for the whole family, and all of society.
Intimately united to the church by virtue of the sacrament that makes it (Marriage and Family) a “domestic church” or a “little church,” the Christian Family is called therefore “to be a sign of unity for the world and in this way to exercise its Prophetic role by bearing witness to the Kingdom and Peace of Christ, towards which the whole world is journeying.”
The natural dimension of their love (husband and wife) is constantly purified, strengthened and elevated by sacramental grace. In this manner, besides offering each other mutual help on the path to holiness, Christian spouses become a sign and an instrument of Christ’s love in the world.
Love and the Formation of a Community of Persons:
By constructing daily a network of interpersonal relationships, both internal and external, the family is instead “The first and irreplaceable school of social life, and example and stimulus for the broader community relationship marked by respect, justice, dialogue and love.
Love is also expressed in the generous attention shown to the elderly who live in families: their presence can take on great value.
They still bring forth fruit in old age (Ps 92:15)
The elderly constitute an important school of life, capable of transmitting values, and traditions, and of fostering the growth of younger generations, who thus learn to seek not only their own good but also that of others.
De Facto Unions:
The number of which is progressively increasing, are based on a false conception of an individual’s vision of marriage and family.
Marriage is not a simple agreement to live together but a relationship with a social dimension that is unique with respect to all other relationships, since the family – attending as it does to caring for and educating children – is the principle instrument for making each person grow in an integral manner and integrating him positively into social life.
Making “de facto unions” legally equivalent to the family would discredit the model of the family.
Homosexual persons are to be fully respected in their human dignity and encouraged to follow God’s plan with particular attention in the exercise of Christianity.
This duty calls for respect but does not justify the legitimization of behavior that is not consistent with moral law, even less does it justify the recognition of a right to marriage between persons of the same sex and its being considered equivalent to the family.