1. In response to the question whether matrimony is a society or a community,
it is emphasized that the question, as such, is improperly formed,because,
while the concept of society that has been applied to matrimony is a philosophicaljuridical
notion, the notion of community is a sociological concepto Matrimony is a
society -a union for certain ends- but it presents differences in regard to the
notion of society in general, elaborated by the proponents of natural law. For
this reason, it must be considered as a society in the strict, but analogical, sense.
Matrimony is also a community, but its essence is not the community of life
nor the community of love, but the «unity of the man and the woman in their
natures .• Matrimony can be described as the community which the man and woman
form, whose basic structure is founded upon the unity in the natures. Two individual
and complementary natures are integrated by means of a juridical coupling
which binds them, and, by the virtue of which, each spouse is a co-participant of
the other in manhood and in femininity. The community of life and of love are
contained in the «unity of the natures», and, from this unity, these eIements are
born as its own manifestations and attributes. But they are not the essence nar
the formal constituent of matrimony.
2. Having analysed with ca re the nature of conjugal love, it is concluded, afirmatively,
that this love is not the loving sentiment, without an act of the voluntad
(di/ectio). Its essence is not, properly speaking, sensible love, but rather the
love of the will. Conjugal love is a specific type of love. One loves the entire
person of the other spouse, but in as much as he is aman or she is a woman.
One loves the person, characterized by the sexual distinction. Conjugal love is not
the end of matrimony. In regard to matrimony, such a philosophical category is not
applicable to love, because it is not a product of matrimony, but something previous
to it, and its principal motor. Love is related to the ends of matrimony because
those ends are the proper works of love, which is an operative force. There are
two essencial characteristics of conjugal love: fullness and totality. These include
the surrender for all of one's life (perpetuityl. the exclusiveness (unity and fidelityl,
and the loving of the other spouse in all of his or her sexual dimension (the
acceptance of the other's potential paternity or maternity; to love the other as a
possible father or mother, without excluding completely or in part the fecundity
of the union).
3. Man and woman, by nature, have sorne differentiating traits which, by their
own virtue, are complementary. The complementing cannot be denied, but it does
not signify that the man is superior to the woman. Both are equal in value and
dignity: not only in that which they have in common (to be human persons), but
also in those things which each possesses distinctly (masculinity and femininity).
Man and woman are not incomplete beings which require being made complete,
mutually, as if each one had an incomplete human nature. Man and woman are not
complementary in respect to their own persons. (Both participate completely in
the human nature and are complete human individuals). They are, rather, complementary
in respect to the order of the ends of matrimony. In relation to these
ends, the man and woman contribute complementary values and activities. The
mutual complement is not realized through personal qualities, but rather by means
of the natural potencies affected by the sexual distinction. In consequence, matrimony
do es not unite them in their qualities, but in their natural sexual potencies.
The specifically matrimonial complementing is not extended to all of the facets
of life but only to the ends of matrimony: mutual help in the home, and the procreation
and education of children. The mutual complement is not the end of matrimony,
but rather specific trait of the activity that tends to the ends of matrimony.
That is, in the activity to obtain the ends of matrimony, the man and woman contribute
4. There do es not exist any contradiction between natural law and the exigencies
of love. Nor can love be considered as the supreme measure of the relations
between man and woman. There exist, in effect, orderly and disorderly loves. The
order of love is virtue and natural law. The dynamics of conjugal love is the
dynamics of the person who loves, penetrated by will, freedom and responsability.
It is not a mere fact, but a duty, an active responsability. The juridical dimension
of matrimony is a dimension of justice inherent in human nature, and which does
not receive its force from the human sources of Law.
5. Not all of the unions between man and woman, although they may be
recognized by positive law, are truly matrimonial. They may receive the name of
matrimony, but only those unions which are in accord with the natural law are truly
matrimonial. What is the criterion to distinguish a matrimony in conformity with
the natural law -the only true matrimony- from the other unions? There are three
requisites which identify a matrimony: unity, perpetuity, and dedication to one's
children. These three requisites (which St. Agustine called the .three goods of
matrimony») are the golden rule of matrimony and of conjugal love.