The family is the only natural and truly human context for procreation. That is the core message of a document released today by the Pontifical Council for the Family and signed by Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo.
The document entitled, "Family and Human Procreation," is intended to be “an object of study, both for its doctrine and in its pastoral application,” according to a press release signed by Fr. Abelardo Lobato, OP, consultor of the Vatican dicastery.
The document opens with an introduction explaining the relationship between the family and procreation, followed by four chapters covering “procreation and why the family is the only appropriate place for it, what is meant by integral procreation within the family and what social, juridical, political, economic and cultural aspects does service to the family entail.”
According to Fr. Lobato, a fifth chapter presents the theme “from two complementary perspectives: the theological, in that the family is an image of the Trinity; and the pastoral, because the family lies at the foundation of the Church and is a place of evangelization.”
“The document,” Fr. Lobato explained, “aims not only to find a doctrinal approach to the problem, but also to open doors to future research on the questions that are the object of discussion today.”
The explanatory note also says that “procreation is the means of transmitting life by the loving union of man and woman,” and it “must be truly human.” This means that it must be the “fruit of the actions of man,” and the “fruit of a human act, free, rational, and responsible for the transmission of life.”
“The human being is a familial being,” Fr. Lobato's note adds, "and for this reason has the characteristics of a social, political, economic, cultural, juridical and religious being. The family is involved with each of these aspects, which are essential to it. The family requires services, help, protection and constant promotion; and the document indicates how each of these elements should develop. It emphasizes the juridical dimension and recalls that in 1983 the Holy See published the first 'Charter of the Rights of the Family,' which is a solid defense of that institution.”
“The doctrine concerning integral human procreation,” the note concludes, “is corroborated by the theology of creation and by the mystery of salvation revealed in Jesus Christ and put into effect in the new evangelization. The Creator wished human beings to be two-in-one; the Redeemer assumed the familial condition in Nazareth reminding everyone of the nature of the family since the beginning of the divine plan: two in a single flesh.”