I will tentatively be speaking at my parish on Aug 21 on the topic of marriage. -- I haven't figured out what I am going to title it. The sacramental teaching of the Catholic Church on marriage was one of the most powerful teachings in the process of my conversion. As Sheed and Ward said in their Catholic Evidence Training Outlines "marriage is, undoubtedly, the ordinary means of salvation for the ordinary run of men." There is no statement about marriage of which I am more convinced that isn't already affirmed by the Church. I think it is an important topic and I pray, by the grace of God, that I can do it justice. My goal is to present this in the style of what has recently been termed "affirmative orthodoxy". This style is very much used by Pope Benedict XVI and I think it goes a long way towards getting people to see the reasoning behind why the Church teaches what it does. To quote the Pope:
Christianity, Catholicism, isn't a collection of prohibitions: it's a positive option. It's very important that we look at it again because this idea has almost completely disappeared today. We've heard so much about what is not allowed that now it's time to say: we have a positive idea to offer, that man and woman are made for each other, that the scale of sexuality, eros, agape, indicates the level of love and it's in this way that marriage develops, first of all, as a joyful and blessing-filled encounter between a man and a woman, and then the family, that guarantees continuity among generations and through which generations are reconciled to each other and even cultures can meet. So, firstly it's important to stress what we want. Secondly, we can also see why we don't want something. I believe we need to see and reflect on the fact that it's not a Catholic invention that man and woman are made for each other, so that humanity can go on living: all cultures know this. .... all this is clearer if you say it first in a positive way. -- 2006 interview with German journalists ahead of his trip to Bavaria ... recorded by the German radio outlet Deutsche Welle:I will give more details as the date gets closer.