A bit of background: the letter was written as a response to the decision of the Lambeth Conference of the Anglican church (1930) which, departing from Christian tradition, permitted the use of birth control by married couples, reinforcing however that abstinence would be the preferred route. On Chaste Wedlock covers the topics of marriage, contraception, and abortion.
His Holiness clearly and expeditiously lays out the premise and purpose of this encyclical: the dignity of chaste wedlock and its place as the foundation for domestic society and therefore all relationships, and its elevation to the rank of a sacrament. It is apparent from even the opening paragraphs his concern for the dignity of the marriage union as well the sons and daughters that have this vocation, how they can be subject to a corrupt society in their relationships and how the Church maintains her duty to protect that which God Himself has ordained.
My favorite line, thus far:
“By matrimony, therefore, the souls of the contracting parties are joined and knit together more directly and more intimately than are their bodies, and that not by any passing affection of sense of spirit, but by a deliberate and firm act of the will; and from this union of souls by God’s decree, a sacred and inviolable bond arises.“
Please head over to Leila’s blog and join in, and thanks, Leila, for opening this discussion. I hope to continue to take part.