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Woman is necessary for generation. the Sacrament of Marriage, book 1, chapter 17]

Woman is necessary for generation

De Sacramento Matrimonii, book 1, chapter 17

[On the Sacrament of Marriage, book 1, chapter 17]

Cardinal Bellarmine

From De Controversiis Christianae Fidei by Robert Cardinal Bellarmine SJ, written between 1586 and 1593, re-published at Rome in 1840; here vol. III, p. 1164.

Translated especially for womenpriests.orgfrom the original Latin
by Dr. Mary Ann Rossi -- credits

Paragraph numbering added to the text for easy reference.

Excerpt from Chapter 17

Woman is necessary for generation

§ 1. ...Rather God wanted humankind to be masculine and feminine in order that the human race might be propagated, not, however, so that everyone might be forced to live with a spouse.

§ 2. Indeed the passage It is not good for a man to be alone signifies that it was not good for the propagation of the race that man alone should be created, but that the creation of woman was also necessary. But it does not signify that it is not allowed, or even that it is not better for man himself to live a celibate life than to be joined in matrimony, especially if the race has been sufficiently propagated. In some ways the word of God is in mutual tension: It is not good for a man to be alone, with another word of God It is good for a man not to touch a woman.

§ 3. Finally Paul’s word Each man his own woman is said to married couples, beside this “If you are bound to a wife, do not seek divorce”. Or when he discusses whether to take a wife, he recommends it only to those who are free and who fear the danger of fornication. For otherwise, if some woman is bound to a husband through the bond of marriage and wants to divorce him, he does not say to her Each woman her own husband, but he says Remain unmarried or be reconciled to your husband. But if some woman is bound to God by the vow of continence and wishes to marry, he does not say to her, Each woman her husband, but They are condemned because they have made their first vow invalid. (1 Timothy 5). Finally, if some woman is divorced and trusting in God does not fear the danger of fornication, he does not say to her Each woman her own husband but She will be blessed if she remains in this state. (1 Corinth. 7). Thus far on the constancy of marriage.

Return to Summary of Bellarmine’s teaching?

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