Familiaris Consortio - Summary Outline


1.        The Church wishes to speak the truth about the family.

2.        Synod of 1980 is connected with previous synods.

3.        Only through acceptance of the Gospel will manís hope in the family be fulfilled.

Part One: Bright Spots and Shadows for the Family Today
(A). Need to Understand the Situation

4.        The Church must understand the present situation of marriage and the family.

5.        This understanding arises through faith and the Spiritís gift to clergy and laity.
(B). Present Situation

6.        Positive (awareness of personal freedom and interpersonal relationships, responsible procreation, education) and negative aspects (mistaken independence, view of authority, transmission of  values, divorce, abortion, contraception, poverty)

7.        Cultural and societal circumstances influence even the consciences of the faithful
(C). Need to respond

8.        Need for recovery of wisdom and moral values.

9.        Need for conversion of mind and heart.

Part Two: The Plan of God for Marriage and the Family

Two fundamental ways of love
(I) Marriage

(Marriage as communion)

11.     Love is manís fundamental vocation. The vocation to love in totality is realized in marriage or celibacy. Marriage follows from this plan of God for manís love.

12.     Marriage is a proclamation of Godís love for his people.
(Marriage as sacrament)

13.     In their marriage, a Christian man and woman, placed within the spousal covenant of Christ and the Church, love each other with the love of Christ, and their communion of love becomes a sacramental sign of Christís union with the Church.
Family: (Marriage and Children)

14.     Marriage and conjugal love are ordered to the procreation and education of children, and find their crowning in them, though the communion of life still has meaning and value when it is not possible to have children.

15.     Christian marriage builds upon the human and the ecclesial community.
(II) And Celibacy

16.     Virginity or celibacy presupposes and witnesses to the dignity of marriage; celibacy bears witness to the future resurrection and the supremacy of God above all.

Part Three: The Role of the Christian Family

17.     The familyís mission correspond to its nature: it is called to become ever more a community of life and love
(I). Forming a Community of Persons

18.     Love is the principle and goal of communion
(A) The form of the community
Fundamental communion is that of husband and wife

19.     The equal dignity of man and woman, and the complete self-giving requires unity of marriage (one man and one woman)

20.     Moreover this completeness, as well as the good of the children, requires indissolubility.
The family

21.     Upon the conjugal communion is built the communion of the family
(B) Parts of the community

22.     Men and women have equal dignity, as reason may recognize and as is taught by the word of God.

23.     Public roles should be fully open to women, yet clear recognition should be given to the particular value of their familial and maternal role.

24.     Women are offended by the mentality that treats humans as things, by discrimination, etc.

25.     Men: As husband and father, the man should love his wife and children, and appreciate his role in the family.

26.     Children: Every child should be esteemed and loved, especially in a Christian family.

27.     Elderly: The elderly in the family should be specially venerated and loved, and play a particular role within the family.
(II) Serving Life
(1). The transmission of life.

28.     Procreation is a share in Godís creative blessing, and a sign of conjugal love.

29.     The Church reaffirms her teaching on the transmission of life, particularly that conjugal love must be open to new life.

30.     Anti-life mentality comes from Godís absence from peopleís hearts. Yet human life is always a gift of Godís goodness.

31.     In the face of the many modern problems, it is importance to illustrate the biblical foundations, ethical gounds, and personalistic reasons for this doctrine.

32.     The union of the conjugal act, loving self-giving, and procreation is founded in an integral vision of the human person in Godís plan.

33.     The Church teaches the moral norm, and seeks to provide lovingly for her children.

34.     Godís plan for the transmission of life in the family is included in their call to holiness.

35.     Moral practical help and witness should be given married persons.
(2) Education

36.     Parents have the first right and duty to educate their children.

37.     Parents must educate their children in the essential values of life: justice, but above all love, in particular as regards sexuality, in which it pertains especially to parents to educate their children.

38.     The sacrament of marriage makes parentsí education of their children a true ďministryĒ of the Church.

39.     The family is the first school of following Christ.

40.     Parents have a right and duty to have an active relationship with other educating agents

41.     Married love serves life by begetting and educating children, but also by adoption, or by reaching out in other ways beyond the family.

(III) Participating in the Development of Society

42.     The family is the first and vital cell of society.

43.     It is, firstly, the place of experiencing and transmitting the fundamental human values of acceptance, service, solidarity, service, and thus contributes to human formation for community

44.     The family also participates in society in a social and political manner, through, e.g., hospitality and political action.

45.     Conversely, society and the state must respect and foster the family.

46.     Some fundamental rights of the family, which are often ignored or attacked.

47.     The Christian familyís social and particular role is marked by its share in the kingship of Christ.

48.     The political action of the family extends even to new international order.

(IV) Sharing in the Life and Mission of the Church

49.     The family is educated and formed by the Church; in turn, it is a sign of Christís love and communicates this love.

50.     The specific ecclesial role of the family consists in building up the kingdom of God by familial love and life.

1. As believing and evangelizing community

51.     The celebration of the sacrament of marriage is the first proclamation of their faith as a couple, which must then be prolonged in married life

52.     Having accepted the Gospel itself, the family becomes an evangelizing community

53.     This evangelization concerns the children in the family, but also involves cooperation with other evangelizing activities in the diocese and parish.

54.     The familyís evangelizing mission extends to the whole world

2. As community in dialogue with God.

55.     Through the sacraments, prayer, and its life, the family is engaged in a dialogue with God.

56.     The sacrament of marriage accompanies and graces the married couple through their married life

57.     The Eucharist it the source of Christian marriage.

58.     Sacrament of penance offers grace and opportunity for renewal and forgiveness within the family.

59.     Family prayer follows from and fosters the communion bestowed by Baptism and Matrimony. Its object is family life itself.

60.     Parents are educators and examples for their children in prayer.

61.     Family prayer prepares for and extends liturgical prayer. Certain suggested private prayers.

62.     Prayer is located at the heart of a responsible and active life in society.

3. As community at the service of man.

63.     The family is called to exercise a service of love towards God and towards fellow human beings.

64.     From the inner circle of the family, love is to be extended to the whole ecclesial community, and indeed all human beings.


Part Four: Pastoral Care of the Family: Stages, Structures, Agents, and Situations

I.  Stages of Pastoral Care of the Family


65.     Church accompanies the family.

66.     Church helps prepare for marriage: remote, proximate, immediate preparation.

67.     Celebration of marriage involves whole Christian community.

68.     Marriage and evangelization of Non-believing Baptized Persons: an implicit acceptance of the sacrament is enough; only if the couple explicitly rejects what the Church intends to do should they not be allowed the celebration of marriage in the Church.

69.     Pastoral care after marriage

II. Structures of Family Pastoral Care

70.     Both universal and particular levels of the community are concerned with marriage.

71.     Families as apostles to families.

72.     Associations of families for families.

III. Agents of the Pastoral Care of Families

73.     Bishops and priests.

74.     Men and women religious.

75.     Lay specialists.

76.     Recipients and agents of social communication.

IV. Pastoral care of the family in difficult cases

77.     Particular cases: migrant workers, soldiers, sailors and itinerants, prisoners, etc., ideologically divided families

78.     Mixed marriages

79.     Irregular situations are becoming more widespread, and are of concern.

80.     a) Trial Marriages: such are contrary to reason, which sees that human persons must be the term of self-giving love without limitations of time other circumstances; they are also inadmissible for reasons deriving from faith: (1) the gift of the body in a sexual relationship is a real symbol of the giving of the whole person; (and this giving now requires for its full truth the love of charity, given by Christ) (2) marriage between two baptized persons is a real symbol of the union of Christ and the Church; therefore between baptized persons there can only be indissoluble marriage.

81.     b) De Facto Free Unions

82.     c) Catholics in civil marriages. This is better than no bond at all, but is still problematic; the pastoral aim of the Church is to induce these persons to bring their life into conformity with their faith.

83.     d) Separated or Divorced Persons Who Have not Remarried. Respect, understanding, love, and help is to be offered.

84.     E) Divorced and Remarried Persons. Various reasons for this situation. These persons must share in the Churchís life; nevertheless they cannot be admitted to Eucharistic Communion, because (1) their state of life objectively contradicts the union of love between Christ and the Church signified and effected by the Eucharist; (2) for a special pastoral reason, namely to avoid error and confusion regarding the Churchís teaching on the indissolubility of reason. Reconciliation requires either separation of the partners, or, when for serious reasons that is not possible, acceptance of the duty to live in complete continence.

85.     Those without a family.

86. Conclusion. All are called to foster the family. Invocation of the Holy Family.

Full Text of Familiaris Consortio

Summary Outline of Casti Connubii by Pope Pius XI (1930) - Also the history of various events concerning divorce and contraception that lead up to the encyclical.

Summary Outline of On the Good of Marriage, by St. Augustine.