A Reminder: The Teaching of the Catholic Church on Marital Obedience

Second only to the Church’s teachings on usury and the duties of the state to the Catholic faith, the Church’s teaching on obedience in marriage is one of the most maligned and ignored by those tasked with defending it. When you encounter the modern view on this question, as with the others, simply quote the Church’s teaching and demand that the defender of the modern view produce a verbatim retraction (which of course will not be forthcoming):

“On the other hand, the duties of a wife are thus summed up by the Prince of the Apostles: Let wives be subject to their husbands. that if any believe not the word, they may be won without the word by the conversation of the wives, considering your chaste conversation with fear. Let not their adorning be the outward plaiting of the hair, or the wearing of gold, or the putting on of apparel: but the hidden man of the heart in the incorruptibility of a quiet and meek spirit, which is rich in the sight of God. For after this manner heretofore the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling hint lord.

To train their children in the practice of virtue and to pay particular attention to their domestic concerns should also be especial objects of their attention. The wife should love to remain at home, unless compelled by necessity to go out; and she should never presume to leave home without her husband’s consent.

Again, and in this the conjugal union chiefly consists, let wives never forget that next to God they are to love their husbands, to esteem them above all others, yielding to them in all things not inconsistent with Christian piety, a willing and ready obedience.” [i]Catechism of the Council of Trent: The Sacrament of Matrimony[/i]

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