Leo XIII and legal fiction

A propos of nothing, I was re-reading my way through arguably one of the Church’s finest pieces of social teaching, Pope Leo XIII’s great encyclical Rerum Novarum when the following passage, perhaps providentially jumped out. It  answers much of the argument amongst Christians, not only as to whether or not ‘gay marriage’ is permissible, but also addresses the concerns of those who believe that by stressing family as being the purpose of marriage, apologists and defenders are perhaps being utilitarian and not Christian in approach.

In choosing a state of life, it is indisputable that all are at full liberty to follow the counsel of Jesus Christ as to observing virginity, or to bind themselves by the marriage tie. No human law can abolish the natural and original right of marriage, nor in any way limit the chief and principal purpose of marriage ordained by God’s authority from the beginning: “Increase and multiply.”(Genesis 1:28) Hence we have the family, the “society” of a man’s house – a society very small, one must admit, but none the less a true society, and one older than any State. Consequently, it has rights and duties peculiar to itself which are quite independent of the State. 

Also whilst we’re on the subject, a blogger known as ‘gentlemind’ has posted a wonderful Q&A demonstrating how marriage exists to bind procreation to parenting. Crucially:

The cost of inventing the legal fiction of same-sex marriage is that we will have to legally pretend that parents and children are not physically related. That is what happens when we seek to legally redefine nature: nature legally disappears.

5 thoughts on “Leo XIII and legal fiction

  1. Caroline,

    I’m going to take the liberty of copying the italicised paragraphs and pasting them into my Facebook page. I will happily remove them if you require me to do so. Many thanks for your great blog.

    Regards,

    John Emberson.

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