Casti Connubii EN 121

121 Wherefore, those who have the care of the State and of the public good cannot neglect the needs of married people and their families, without bringing great harm upon the State and on the common welfare. Hence, in making the laws and in disposing of public funds they must do their utmost to relieve the needs of the poor, considering such a task as one of the most important of their administrative duties.

122 We are sorry to note that not infrequently nowadays it happens that through a certain inversion of the true order of things, ready and bountiful assistance is provided for the unmarried mother and her illegitimate offspring (who, of course must be helped in order to avoid a greater evil) which is denied to legitimate mothers or given sparingly or almost grudgingly.

123 But not only in regard to temporal goods, Venerable Brethren, is it the concern of the public authority to make proper provision for matrimony and the family, but also in other things which concern the good of souls. just laws must be made for the protection of chastity, for reciprocal conjugal aid, and for similar purposes, and these must be faithfully enforced, because, as history testifies, the prosperity of the State and the temporal happiness of its citizens cannot remain safe and sound where the foundation on which they are established, which is the moral order, is weakened and where the very fountainhead from which the State draws its life, namely, wedlock and the family, is obstructed by the vices of its citizens.

124 For the preservation of the moral order neither the laws and sanctions of the temporal power are sufficient, nor is the beauty of virtue and the expounding of its necessity. Religious authority must enter in to enlighten the mind, to direct the will, and to strengthen human frailty by the assistance of divine grace. Such an authority is found nowhere save in the Church instituted by Christ the Lord. Hence We earnestly exhort in the Lord all those who hold the reins of power that they establish and maintain firmly harmony and friendship with this Church of Christ so that through the united activity and energy of both powers the tremendous evils, fruits of those wanton liberties which assail both marriage and the family and are a menace to both Church and State, may be effectively frustrated.

125 Governments can assist the Church greatly in the execution of its important office, if, in laying down their ordinances, they take account of what is prescribed by divine and ecclesiastical law, and if penalties are fixed for offenders. For as it is, there are those who think that whatever is permitted by the laws of the State, or at least is not punished by them, is allowed also in the moral order, and, because they neither fear God nor see any reason to fear the laws of man, they act even against their conscience, thus often bringing ruin upon themselves and upon many others. There will be no peril to or lessening of the rights and integrity of the State from its association with the Church. Such suspicion and fear is empty and groundless, as Leo XIII has already so clearly set forth: "It is generally agreed," he says, "that the Founder of the Church, Jesus Christ, wished the spiritual power to be distinct from the civil, and each to be free and unhampered in doing its own work, not forgetting, however, that it is expedient to both, and in the interest of everybody, that there be a harmonious relationship. . . If the civil power combines in a friendly manner with the spiritual power of the Church, it necessarily follows that both parties will greatly benefit. The dignity of the State will be enhanced, and with religion as its guide, there will never be a rule that is not just; while for the Church there will be at hand a safeguard and defense which will operate to the public good of the faithful." (96)

96. Encycl. , 10 Febr. 1880.

126 To bring forward a recent and clear example of what is meant, it has happened quite in consonance with right order and entirely according to the law of Christ, that in the solemn Convention happily entered into between the Holy See and the Kingdom of Italy (29) , also in matrimonial affairs a peaceful settlement and friendly cooperation has been obtained, such as befitted the glorious history of the Italian people and its ancient and sacred traditions. These decrees are to be found in the Lateran Treaty: "The Italian State, desirous of restoring to the institution of matrimony, which is the basis of the family, that dignity conformable to the traditions of its people, assigns ad civil effects of the sacrament of matrimony all that is attributed to it in canon law" (30) . To this fundamental norm are added further clauses in the common pact.

127 This might well be a striking example to all of how, even in our own day, (in which, sad to say, the absolute separation of the civil power from the Church, and indeed from every religion, is so often taught), the one supreme authority can be united and associated with the other without detriment to the rights and supreme power of either, thus protecting Christian parents from pernicious evils and menacing ruin.

128 All these things which, Venerable Brethren, prompted by Our past solicitude We put before you, We wish, according to the norm of Christian prudence, to be promulgated widely among all Our beloved children committed to your care as members of the great family of Christ, that all may be thoroughly acquainted with sound teaching concerning marriage, so that they may be ever on their guard against the dangers advocated by the teachers of error, and most of all, that "denying ungodliness and worldly desires, they may live soberly and justly, and godly in this world, looking for the blessed hope and coming of the glory of the great God and Our Savior Jesus Christ" (31) .

129 May the Father, "of whom all paternity in heaven and earth is named," (32) Who strengthens the weak and gives courage to the pusillanimous and fainthearted; and Christ Our Lord and Redeemer, "the Institutor and Perfecter of the holy sacraments," (33) Who desired marriage to be and made it the mystical image of His own ineffable union with the Church; and the Holy Ghost, Love of God, the Light of hearts and the Strength of the mind, grant that all will perceive, will admit with a ready will, and by the grace of God will put into practice, what We by this letter have expounded concerning the holy sacrament of Matrimony, the wonderful law and will of God respecting it, the errors and impending dangers, and the remedies with which they can be counteracted, so that the fruitfulness dedicated to God will flourish again vigorously in Christian wedlock.

130 We most humbly pour forth Our earnest prayer at the Throne of His grace, that God, the Author of all graces, the inspirer of all good desires and deeds, (34) may bring this about and deign to give it bountifully according to the greatness of His liberality and omnipotence, and as a token of the abundant blessing of the same Omnipotent God, we most lovingly grant to you, Venerable Brethren, and tot he clergy and people committed to your watchful care, the Apostolic Benediction.

Given at Rome, in St. Peter's, this 31st day of December, of the year 1930, the Ninth of Our Pontificate.

1. St. Thomas Aquinas, "Summa Theologica,"
I-II 91,1-2
2. Encyclical 10 February 1880
3. St. Augustine, "Ennarration in Psalmis," 143
4. Rm 1,24-26
5. Jc 4,6
6. Rm 7,8
7. Nowadays, we call it "genetics."
10. I Vatican Council, Session II, Chapter 4; Code of Canon Law, CIS 1324.
11. Ac 20,8
12. Jn 8,32ff; Ga 5,13
13. Encyclical, 10 February 1880
14. St. Robert Bellarmine, "De controversies," tome II, "De Matrimonio," Controversy II, chapter 6.
15. 1Tm 4,14
16. 1Tm 1,6-7
17. Ga 6,9
18. Ep 4,13
19. Encyclical "Divini Illius Magistri ," 31 December 1929
20. Ep 6,2-3 Ex 20,12
21. Encyclical , 15 May 1891
22. Lc 10,7
23. Dt 24,14-15
24. , 15 May 1891; "Guilds" in this context, means "associations," such as a Labor Union, or one of the charitable organizations like the Red Cross, Salvation Army, Catholic Relief Services, Save the Children, Foster Parents, etc. It does NOT mean a public agency of the state.
25. Mt 25,34ff.
29. The Concordat which resulted, after many years of negotiation over the appropriation of the physical properties of the Papal States by the Government of Italy, in the establishment of the Vatican City
30. Concordat, article 34, Acta Apostolici Sedis, 21 (1929), page 290.
31. Tt 2,12-13
32. Ep 3,15
33. Council of Trent, Session XXIV
34. Phm 1,2-13.

Casti Connubii EN 121