When Our Lady appeared to the children of Fatima, she warned that without conversion, Russia would continue to spreads its errors throughout the world. The “errors” to which she was referring were mainly those of Communism, rooted in the philosophy of Karl Marx. More than an economic theory, Marxism views all of history as the conflict between oppressors and oppressed and seeks to do away with all division, natural or not. Marx himself presented it as a conflict between capital and labor, but those categories can readily be adapted to any two groups including gender, race or sexual orientation. While the fruit of the Marxist tree that is Communism may be dying, the Marxist roots are alive and thriving within our own liberal democracy, a society that is deeply (and deliberately) divided. This makes Our Lady’s words all the more prescient and ought to give us pause as we mark the 100th anniversary of her appearance at Fatima.
All of the prior Marxist attempts to remake human nature and society have met one almost insurmountable obstacle—the Family. Marx himself envisioned this obstacle and called for the abolition of the family in the Communist Manifesto saying, “Abolition of the family! Even the most radical flare up at this infamous proposal of the Communists.”
As long as the foundation of society remained strong and in place, any attempt to change society as a whole would ultimately fail. But weaken the foundation and society will fall with it.
Not surprisingly, the Communist Party USA has been one of the most vocal supporters of the push for gay marriage. They knew that by subverting marriage, the Family would ultimately be laid waste. Ultimately this is why those who oppose Gay Marriage cannot give up the fight. By removing one of the means by which the Marxist spread their errors, we are hastening the reign of the Immaculate Heart.
Thinking Clearly about Marriage
Pascal said that our first moral obligation is to think clearly so that before we do anything we must understand why Marriage and the Family are intrinsically linked. Without marriage, the Family ceases to exist.
Amidst all the debate in the past decade about redefining marriage, neither side could actually define either the classical definition or the revisionist version. In order to see why the family and marriage are linked, we must begin by offering a definition of marriage. Marriage is the complete union of two persons. It is the total union of their persons at every level of their temporal being—spiritual, emotional and bodily. The conjugal bond is what makes marriage unique in comparison to any other relationship or community of persons.
What revisionists have tried to do is to remove one of the elements. They would almost certainly call it an emotional and spiritual bond. Although it may seem surprising it is the bodily union that they must remove; not because it isn’t a sexual relationship but because it is not a conjugal relationship.
Men and women are capable of performing all biological processes on their own, save one, procreation. To perform this process they need a complementary other. In other words, in performing acts that may lead to procreation, they become a single “organism.” It is not just any sexual activity that unites them, but only sexual activity that is intrinsically ordered to procreation. In order to be unitive, sexual activity must also be the kind that is procreative. Any other sexual activity (including contracepted) simply becomes the exchange of pleasure and does not unite the two people physically any more than a handshake, a back rub, or putting one’s finger in another’s ear. Only in the marital embrace can two spouses be physically united, an act that same-sex couples cannot perform. Marriage, under the revisionists’ definition must therefore no longer be a complete union of two persons since the couple is unable to become one flesh.
A word of explanation as to why I have been careful about calling them acts that are “ordered to procreation.” As a biological process, procreation has aspects that are under control of the person and aspects that are not. One may choose to breathe, but one cannot choose to get oxygen into the blood. Provided the conditions are right, that happens “automatically” and is outside the direct control of the person. So too with acts ordered to procreation. A couple can engage in the marital embrace, but whether conception occurs or not, happens after the fact and is outside of their direct control. In other words, it is not the actual conception of the child that causes the act to be unitive. It is unitive because it is a procreative act. Grasping this helps us to see why an infertile couple may still be married (because they are capable of procreative acts even if they do not lead to conception) and a same-sex couple may not.
Marriage and the Family
It also helps us to understand what it means when we say that children are the end of marriage. They are not the purpose of marriage—the purpose is the total union or communion of the persons—but they are the fruit of marriage. In short, they are a natural result of the communion of persons in marriage.
With all that has been said, we can understand that the Church is not being old-fashioned when she defines the family as “born of the intimate communion of life and love founded on the marriage between one man and one woman” (Gaudium et Spes, 48). The family as the first society a person belongs to forms that person in his vision of reality. Each child learns that he or she was generated from an act of love and was quite literally loved into existence. It is the school of love where the child learns both how to love and be loved. In short, “a society built on a family scale is the best guarantee against drifting off course into individualism or collectivism, because within the family the person is always at the center of attention as an end and never as a means” (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 213).
Joining the Battle
If the goal is to destroy the family, then get rid of marriage. Erotic love is too powerful to destroy it altogether, but modifying it to the point that it becomes unrecognizable is sufficient to destroy the family. Not surprisingly with a change in marriage we are seeing a change in what people call a family. A “family” that is not founded upon marriage as the communion of persons is built on sand. It is only the complete bond of the spouses to each other that keeps the family together.
Since the Obergefell decision almost two years ago, many Catholics have disengaged from the battle for marriage. It is time to pick up the battle once again, especially considering what Sr. Lucia, the Fatima visionary once said. “The final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family. Don’t be afraid because anyone who operates for the sanctity of marriage and the family will always be contended and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue. However, Our Lady has already crushed its head.” Let us re-engage and fight for marriage and the family!