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Fidelity and Fairness: Mulieris Dignitatem’s Wisdom Relating to Marital Commitments, Covenants, Contractual Relationships and the Roman Catholic Church

17 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2012  

Kevin H. Govern

Ave Maria School of Law; California University of Pennsylvania; John Jay College

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

In secular terms, a contract is a “promise, or set of promises, for breach of which the law gives a remedy, or the performance of which the law in some way recognizes as a duty.” In a spiritual context, the contract of marriage is both a covenant and a sacrament between a man and a woman, with inherent obligations of fidelity – the commitment to promise keeping – and to fairness – the commitment to giving from one spouse to the other their due and to equitably allocate the marital resources. With other covenants and contractual relationships guided by faith and reason, there too exists a similar commitment to fidelity and fairness.

This note will illuminate the clarity, wisdom, and beauty expressed in the Roman Catholic Church’s magisterium relating to marital commitments, covenants, and contractual relationships, so inspirationally expressed by His Holiness Pope John Paul II in his Apostolic Letter – Mulieris Dignitatem – On The Dignity And Vocation Of Women. In so doing, the Supreme Pontiff acted in his capacity of magister, or teacher, fulfilling a duty towards the people of God to enlighten them, so they might serve each other, and serve the Word itself, especially in relations between men and women.

Keywords: Contracts Law, Contract, Covenant, Promise, Breach, Duty, Marriage, Sacrament, Spouse, Fidelity, Fairness, Magister, Magisterium, John Paul II, Pope, Apostolic Letter, Mulieris Dignitatem, On The Dignity And Vocation Of Women, Pontiff

JEL Classification: K10

Suggested Citation

Govern, Kevin H., Fidelity and Fairness: Mulieris Dignitatem’s Wisdom Relating to Marital Commitments, Covenants, Contractual Relationships and the Roman Catholic Church (2009). Rutgers Journal of Law and Religion, Vol. 10, No. 2, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2093537 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2093537

Kevin H. Govern (Contact Author)

Ave Maria School of Law ( email )

1025 Commons Circle
Naples, FL 34119
United States
(239) 687-5390 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.avemarialaw.edu/faculty/kevin-h-govern/

California University of Pennsylvania ( email )

250 University Avenue
California, PA 15062
United States
(845) 234-8532 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.calu.edu/academics/faculty/Kevin-Govern.aspx

John Jay College ( email )

524 West 59th Street
New York, NY 10019
United States
(845) 234-8532 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.jjay.cuny.edu/faculty/kevin-govern

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