Catholic Free Press

Catholic Free Press Digital Edition

  • Jul
  • 25

Professor explains why marriage really matters

Posted By July 25, 2013 | 12:52 pm | Lead Story #2
Christopher Klofft_3327WEB

By Jessica Valera
CFP Correspondent

WORCESTER – There is no doubt that marriage is a contentious issue in the United States today Assumption College professor and theologian Christopher P. Klofft acknowledged during a talk at Immaculate Conception Church Monday evening. As “one of the most important social issues” of our day, Klofft encouraged Catholics to know their position on the issue and to be examples of truth and love.
“What we say and how we witness is going to be very important, because we are all affected,” he said.
Klofft discussed the theological meaning of marriage and its relevance to the issue, yet a secular definition of marriage also reveals its importance to society.
“The entire story of God’s people contained in the Scriptures, the entire love story that God has conveyed to us, begins and ends with marriage,” he said. “The entirety of the importance of God’s people is carried through the sacrament of marriage.”
He explained how God created human persons as man and woman, two different ways of being a body, and, yet, “two different ways that we equally image God.”
“And from that, God calls us into a specific kind of relationship, different from all other relationships, in which a male-bodied person and a female-bodied person can become one,” Klofft said. “God calls the man and the woman to live in a permanent relationship capable of bringing about new life.”
“God is relationship. God is a communion of persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,” he said. “Now, in addition to God being a communion of persons in himself, God also enters into relationship with human beings, the only body-creatures that are made in his image.”
Klofft explained that God created human beings as a body-creature in his image through covenant, which is “a promise made between two persons in which each person promises to give their very self to the other as a gift.”
He then explained that the Holy Spirit is the personified love between the Father and the Son, and that this manifestation is present in marriage.
“Husband and wife love one another. Husband loves his wife. Wife loves her husband. They love one another. And this love is made manifest through action of their bodies in the creation of a new body,” he said. “The child is the literally personified love of the mother and father, the embodied personified love of the mother and father.”
God gives us an example of how to love, how to give ourselves wholly and fully as a gift to another, thus showing that “God’s love is not like a marriage, rather marriage is an image of God’s love,” Klofft said.
The Catholic view of marriage is the universal truth for all humankind, he said.
“Marriage is an invitation to make real the covenantal love between God and humanity visible to the whole world,” he said.
Klofft described marriage as the “witness of sacrificial self-gift to the other.”
“Married persons are stewards of an awesome gift God has given us, and correspondingly, bares an awesome responsibility,” he said.
He noted that “the basic critique that the Church receives on marriage is that it denies marriage to some people,” which, he said, is not true.
“The Church does not deny marriage to some persons,” he said. “Rather, what the Church does, is articulate and defend what has been revealed by the Creator of the universe on the meaning of marriage.”
Klofft also provided a rational defense of marriage for those who are not people of faith. He described two broad approaches to marriage as the “conjugal view of marriage” and the “revisionist view of marriage.”
“The conjugal view of marriage recognizes the value of the relationship of one man and one woman united permanently with the possibility, and even the expectation, that their relationship will result in children,” he said.
“The revisionist view challenges in all parts the conjugal view of marriage. It doesn’t necessarily mean one man and one woman, it does not mean a necessarily permanent relationship, it does not mean children necessarily have anything to do with them,” he explained.
The revisionist view of marriage turns marriage into a legally recognized friendship with the expectation of a sexual element, according to Klofft.
“The definition of marriage that is currently being presented to us … as the new definition of marriage, is the legal recognition of an emotional bond,” he said. “Furthermore, this revisionist view of marriage has no basis for permanence, or exclusivity, other than the desires of the persons involved.”
Referencing Pope Francis’s recent remarks on homosexuality, Klofft briefly discussed the subject by clearly stating “the Church has not changed its teaching on homosexuality just as it has not changed its teaching on marriage,” and “by definition …, it is impossible for two people of the same sex to actually be married.”
“What we need to do now … is to be witnesses to this truth in word and action whenever and however we can,” he said. “We need to return to the vigorous life of happy, healthy, holy marriage, the living witness to God’s everlasting covenant with us, and we need to proceed in confidence, knowing that we are living toward the wedding feast, the consummation of the kingdom, and God’s word cannot be silenced.”