Monday, April 20, 2009

JPII's Rule for Spouses Found

This is cool, I can't wait to read it.
Thursday printed edition, the Italian daily Il Messagero published an unknown booklet written by Cardinal Karol Wojtyla in 1968 to help married couples in his Polish diocese implement the Encyclical “Humanae Vitae,” released that same year by Pope Paul VI. The text, entitled “Rule for Spouses,” was never made public outside the Archdiocese of Krakow, but was recently discovered by a student from the John Paul II Institute for Life and Family in Rome.
A rough translationof the introduction can be found here. Here is a snip:

The present Rule arises from a series of pastoral experiences with several couples and, at the same time, on the basis of the marital experiences of these same couples. This was born at the same time as the release of the encyclical Humanae Vitae, which proposes again to couples and their pastors the evangelical needs of an authentic Christian marriage. The couples’ group that adopts this rule could take, consequently, the name “Human life.”

The Rule is addressed to married couples in their wholeness, and not simply to individual spouses. It is important, in fact, that this is adopted and realized by both spouses, and not by the husband or wife without the commitment of their respective partner.

In principle, this Rule teaches the spouses only about life according to the norms of Christian morality which derive from the order of the Commandments; it does not, conversely, oblige one to life according to the evangelical counsels as strictly intended. In the strictest sense, actually, the relation of the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience can only give themselves to those people called to the religious life. However, the experience of conjugal life demonstrates that the observance of the moral rules announced by the Church is not possible without a certain degree of asceticism; married couples belonging to Humanae Vitae groups should, then, reflect on how to put into practice the spirit of these evangelical counsels.

We will have to wait a short while for a full and better translation from the original Polish.

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