CCC 343 Man is the summit of the Creator’s work, as the inspired account expresses by clearly distinguishing the creation of man from that of the other creatures.1
CCC 369 Man and woman have been created, which is to say, willed by God: on the one hand, in perfect equality as human persons; on the other, in their respective beings as man and woman. “Being man” or “being woman” is a reality which is good and willed by God: man and woman possess an inalienable dignity which comes to them immediately from God their Creator.2 Man and woman are both with one and the same dignity “in the image of God”. In their “being-man” and “being-woman”, they reflect the Creator’s wisdom and goodness.
CCC 371 God created man and woman together and willed each for the other. The Word of God gives us to understand this through various features of the sacred text. “It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make him a helper fit for him.”3 None of the animals can be man’s partner.4 The woman God “fashions” from the man’s rib and brings to him elicits on the man’s part a cry of wonder, an exclamation of love and communion: “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.”5 Man discovers woman as another “I”, sharing the same humanity.
CCC 372 Man and woman were made “for each other” – not that God left them half-made and incomplete: he created them to be a communion of persons, in which each can be “helpmate” to the other, for they are equal as persons (“bone of my bones. ..”) and complementary as masculine and feminine. In marriage God unites them in such a way that, by forming “one flesh”,6 they can transmit human life: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.”7 By transmitting human life to their descendants, man and woman as spouses and parents cooperate in a unique way in the Creator’s work.8
CCC 1605 Holy Scripture affirms that man and woman were created for one another: “It is not good that the man should be alone.”9 The woman, “flesh of his flesh,” his equal, his nearest in all things, is given to him by God as a “helpmate”; she thus represents God from whom comes our help.10 “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.”11 The Lord himself shows that this signifies an unbreakable union of their two lives by recalling what the plan of the Creator had been “in the beginning”: “So they are no longer two, but one flesh.”12
CCC 1607 According to faith the disorder we notice so painfully does not stem from the nature of man and woman, nor from the nature of their relations, but from sin. As a break with God, the first sin had for its first consequence the rupture of the original communion between man and woman. Their relations were distorted by mutual recriminations;13 their mutual attraction, the Creator’s own gift, changed into a relationship of domination and lust;14 and the beautiful vocation of man and woman to be fruitful, multiply, and subdue the earth was burdened by the pain of childbirth and the toil of work.15
CCC 1616 This is what the Apostle Paul makes clear when he says: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her,” adding at once: “‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one. This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the Church.”16
CCC 1625 The parties to a marriage covenant are a baptized man and woman, free to contract marriage, who freely express their consent; “to be free” means:
– not being under constraint;
– not impeded by any natural or ecclesiastical law.
CCC 1644 The love of the spouses requires, of its very nature, the unity and indissolubility of the spouses’ community of persons, which embraces their entire life: “so they are no longer two, but one flesh.”17 They “are called to grow continually in their communion through day-to-day fidelity to their marriage promise of total mutual self-giving.”18 This human communion is confirmed, purified, and completed by communion in Jesus Christ, given through the sacrament of Matrimony. It is deepened by lives of the common faith and by the Eucharist received together.
CCC 1652 “By its very nature the institution of marriage and married love is ordered to the procreation and education of the offspring and it is in them that it finds its crowning glory.”19
Children are the supreme gift of marriage and contribute greatly to the good of the parents themselves. God himself said: “It is not good that man should be alone,” and “from the beginning [he] made them male and female”; wishing to associate them in a special way in his own creative work, God blessed man and woman with the words: “Be fruitful and multiply.” Hence, true married love and the whole structure of family life which results from it, without diminishment of the other ends of marriage, are directed to disposing the spouses to cooperate valiantly with the love of the Creator and Savior, who through them will increase and enrich his family from day to day.20
CCC 2335 Each of the two sexes is an image of the power and tenderness of God, with equal dignity though in a different way. The union of man and woman in marriage is a way of imitating in the flesh the Creator’s generosity and fecundity: “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.”21 All human generations proceed from this union.22
CCC 2417 God entrusted animals to the stewardship of those whom he created in his own image.23 Hence it is legitimate to use animals for food and clothing. They may be domesticated to help man in his work and leisure. Medical and scientific experimentation on animals is a morally acceptable practice if it remains within reasonable limits and contributes to caring for or saving human lives.
1 Cf. Gen 1-26.
2 Cf. Gen 2:7, 22.
3 Gen 2:18.
4 Gen 2:19-20.
5 Gen 2:23.
6 Gen 2:24.
7 Gen 1:28.
8 Cf. GS 50 # 1.
9 Gen 2:18.
10 Cf. Gen 2:18-25.
11 Gen 2:24.
12 Mt 19:6.
13 Cf. Gen 3:12.
14 Cf. Gen 2:22; 3:16b.
15 Cf. Gen 1:28; 3:16-19.
16 Eph 5:25-26, 31-32; Cf. Gen 2:24.
17 Mt 19:6; cf. Gen 2:24.
18 FC 19.
19 GS 48 # 1; 50.
20 GS 50 # 1; cf. Gen 2:18; Mt 19:4; Gen 1:28.
21 Gen 2:24.
22 Cf. Gen 4:1-2, 25-26; 5:1.
23 Cf. Gen 2:19-20; 9:1-4.