A Marriage Handbook: A CTS Vintage Booklet

A Marriage handbook is the last one of the booklets beautifully posted in “Lux Occulta” to be examined here.

What immediately takes the attention of the reader is the political incorrectness of this booklet, more so today than it was at the time for sure. This is rather natural as the booklet is a popularised synopsis of Casti Connubii, Pius XI’s encyclical letter on marriage.

All the “uncomfortable” parts are considered without embarrassment, in encouraging but rather clear words: mixed marriages, abortion, divorce, the respective roles of the parents, the difference to a christian education dealing with marriage and “sex education”. One sees that the problem of those times where largely the problems of our times (poverty, for example, or the surprising fact that apparently there was already a certain number of single mothers).

By reading the rather slender booklet, you’ll discover a view of marriage certainly not taught for the last forty years at least, and still very powerful so many years later, as if these booklet had been written to help us recover Catholic values rather than to help past generations to keep them. Shocking as it may seem to many a modern reader, this booklet makes – as all of Catholic teaching – deep sense and he who spends some times pondering the truths herein contained has spent his time wisely.

Just a curiosity: the reference to the Italian state adopting the law of the Church for the regulation of marriages is literally true. The “Patti Lateranensi” between the Fascist Government and the newly-constituted “State of The Vatican City” established the rule that Canon Law would rule Italian marriages, with e.g. the consequence that marriages could only be annulled if the Sacra Rota (the Church’s tribunal) said so and the Italian government had – unbelievably from a secular perspective – no saying in the matter.

One wouldn’t necessarily advocate for 2010’s Britain the same rules applied in 1930’s Italy. Still, this booklet shows how much can be improved or, better, restored.


Posted on September 12, 2010, in Catholicism and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Mundabor, thanks for your kind comments. Your info on the Italian system is very interesting (BTW what happened to marriages or divorces contracted before the Lateran Treaty? Did they have to be resolemnized by the Church?)

    I’ve put up loads more pamphlets since then. You should take a read. I’d be interested in your opinions.

  2. Thanks Shane,
    I am aware of the extent of your library and will not fail to have a look at the one or other booklet 😉

    As to what happened in Italy, it is not that you had to be married in the Church.
    The Concordat intriduced the “matrimonio concordatario”, by which the religious marriage was civil marriage at the same time. But you still had the possibility to marry only in the town hall, and in this case (AFAIK) separation and annulment were decided by the laws of the State.
    But if you were married with the “matrimonio concordatario”, the Sacra Rota called the shots instead. There was of course no divorce in either case.

    The fact is, at the time really almost no one avoided the religious ceremony. Even before the concordate the double ceremony was the absolute standard, the civil ceremony alone being the reserve of obdurate socialists and anarchists. A woman living with a partner and only married in the church was considered a concubine (rightly so, let me add), concordate or no concordate. The Concordate recognised the fact that for most Italian the civil part of the ceremony was just a couple of signatures and the Sacrament the real deal.


    P.s. saucy detail: Mussolini was one of those eccentrics anarco-socialists married in the Church only. Gasparri insisted on him marrying in the Church when it was clear an agreement would be reached, which the Duce – who was a rather flexible chap – duly did.
    Can you imagine the Church hierarchy of today being so beautifully inflexible in such matters of principle…

  3. P.P.S.
    The matrimonio concordatario is still in place, but nowadays
    1) there is divorce, and
    2) it is the civil authorities which decide on the civil part of the deal.

    The sacramente continues to be a sacrament and dealt with by the sacra rota, but its decision only apply to the canonical law side of the matters.

    Let me become the next Duce and see how fast this all changes 😉


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