End or Effect, but Not Property – Good of the Spouses
- Posted by Mary's Advocates
- On January 19, 2023
One cannot use as proof of invalidity the assertion that the parties did not experience and end goal of marriage. Rota Judge Comac Burke talks about this, for example, in The Bonum Coniugum and the Bonum Prolis; Ends or Properties of Marriage? (The Jurist 49 (1989), 704-713).
Msgr. Cormac Burke writes:
“Canon 1055 of the new Code presents matrimony as being directed to two ends” …
… The ‘bonum coniugum’: an end, not a property, of matrimony
“It has been suggested  that the ‘bonum coniugum‘ should be regarded as a fourth ‘bonum‘ (i.e. ‘good’ or value) of marriage, to be added to the traditional three ‘bona’ distinguished by St. Augustine: the ‘bonum fidei‘, the ‘bonum sacramenti‘ and the ‘bonum prolis‘: a suggestion which, as I see it, would clearly place the ‘bonum coniugum’ among the properties of marriage .”
“This analysis does not seem acceptable, as I think emerges from a consideration of St. Augustine’s doctrine of the ‘bona matrimonialia‘.”
English translation of canon 1055 §1 on www.intertext shows the following: “Can. 1055 §1 The marriage covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of their whole life, and which of its own very nature is ordered to the well-being of the spouses and to the procreation and upbringing of children, has, between the baptised, been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.”
English translation on Vatican.va shows: “The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life and which is ordered by its nature to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring, has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament between the baptized.”
Original Latin on Vatican.va shows “Matrimoniale foedus, quo vir et mulier inter se totius vitae consortium constituunt, indole sua naturali ad bonum coniugum atque ad prolis generationem et educationem ordinatum, a Christo Domino ad sacramenti dignitatem inter baptizatos evectum est.
The words highlighted in yellow are of importance. Do they mean that good of the spouses is a philosophically defining end of marriage, such that absence of it is an invalid marriage, or does it means something else.
Simple translation using “Latin-words.com” shows the following:
|indole||innate character; inborn quality;|
|naturali||natural, normal, typical, characteristic;|
|Bonum coniugum||good of the spouses|
|atque||and, as well/soon as; together with;|
|Generationem et educationem||generation, action/process of procreating, begetting; and bringing up; rearing;|
|ordinatum||order/arrange, set in order; adjust, regulate; compose; well-ordered; appointed;|
Kate Godfrey-Howell’s dissertation says:
Godfrey-Howell’s dissertation is a study comparing what Wrenn and fellows were teaching within the Canon Law Society of America in contrast to what others were teaching. Cardinal Raymond Burke wrote a 9-page forward to the 2020 hardback publication of the dissertation titled Consensual Incapacity to Marry. The doctorate was granted by the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (Rome). Godfrey-Howell has a section named “The Nature of the Bond and the Person: Properties and Ends of Marriage and the Foundations for the Moral Approach” (pg. 196-204 See Scan).
I can’t imagine trying to condense her work and citations into a couple sentences. When reading, it took me a lot of concentration to see the difference between her restating the opinion of US canonists, in contrast to drawing her own conclusions. I found that she doesn’t make original conclusions, so much as she summarizes for the reader her findings in authors who are opposed to Wrenn and fellows. Notable, for example, is this statement on page 197.