The Marriage/Parenthood Disconnect, by John M. Grondelski 

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While conceptually distinctive, Catholic theology has always recognized marriage and parenthood typically go in tandem and that openness to life is a prerequisite to entering a valid marriage.

By John M. Grondelski, Crisis Magazine, Feb. 7, 2023

John M. Grondelski (Ph.D., Fordham) is a former associate dean of the School of Theology, Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey. All views expressed herein are his own.

John M. Grondelski

As Catholics observe “National Marriage Week” on February 7-14, we should be concerned about a growing trend to separate marriage and parenthood—because it is fundamentally reshaping the cultural idea of marriage in ways foreign to Catholic thought.

Yes, Catholic theology admits that marriage and parenthood are conceptually separate realities. Yes, post-menopausal septuagenarians can marry validly.

But they’re not the typical fiancés knocking on the rectory door, wanting to plan their wedding (notwithstanding the growing age for first marriage and the tendency to defer it). Most people getting married can become parents. …

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