It is unfortunate that the public debate surrounding the upcoming synod on the family “has had the effect of restricting the discussion almost exclusively to access to Communion for those who are divorced and remarried” and to “so-called ‘gay marriage,’” a leading German canonist said in an article published in the June 10 edition of L’Osservatore Romano.
Instead, stated Father Winfried Aymans, the synod should examine topics related to the “religious significance of the Catholic conception of faith about marriage.”
Traditionally, said Father Aymans, canon law has used the language of “contract” between the spouses to discuss marriage, but the fathers of the Second Vatican Council chose to use “covenant” along with “irrevocable personal consent.” Father Aymans called upon the synod to emphasize that sacramental marriage is a covenant initiated by God and consented to by the spouses.
In addition, Father Aymans noted that canon law currently presumes the sacramentality of marriages between baptized Christians. The synod, he believes, should consider whether the marriage of Protestants whose ecclesial communities reject the sacramentality of marriage might instead be presumed to be non-sacramental. http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=25204