17 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2012
Date Written: 2009
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: 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