CCC 699 The hand. Jesus heals the sick and blesses little children by laying hands on them.1 In his name the apostles will do the same.2 Even more pointedly, it is by the Apostles’ imposition of hands that the Holy Spirit is given.3 The Letter to the Hebrews lists the imposition of hands among the “fundamental elements” of its teaching.4 The Church has kept this sign of the all-powerful outpouring of the Holy Spirit in its sacramental epicleses.
CCC 1244 First Holy Communion. Having become a child of God clothed with the wedding garment, the neophyte is admitted “to the marriage supper of the Lamb”5 and receives the food of the new life, the body and blood of Christ. The Eastern Churches maintain a lively awareness of the unity of Christian initiation by giving Holy Communion to all the newly baptized and confirmed, even little children, recalling the Lord’s words: “Let the children come to me, do not hinder them.”6 The Latin Church, which reserves admission to Holy Communion to those who have attained the age of reason, expresses the orientation of Baptism to the Eucharist by having the newly baptized child brought to the altar for the praying of the Our Father.
CCC 1261 As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus’ tenderness toward children which caused him to say: “Let the children come to me, do not hinder them,”7 allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism. All the more urgent is the Church’s call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy Baptism.
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 1639 The consent by which the spouses mutually give and receive one another is sealed by God himself.8 From their covenant arises “an institution, confirmed by the divine law,. .. even in the eyes of society.”9 The covenant between the spouses is integrated into God’s covenant with man: “Authentic married love is caught up into divine love.”10
CCC 1650 Today there are numerous Catholics in many countries who have recourse to civil divorce and contract new civil unions. In fidelity to the words of Jesus Christ – “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery”11 the Church maintains that a new union cannot be recognized as valid, if the first marriage was. If the divorced are remarried civilly, they find themselves in a situation that objectively contravenes God’s law. Consequently, they cannot receive Eucharistic communion as long as this situation persists. For the same reason, they cannot exercise certain ecclesial responsibilities. Reconciliation through the sacrament of Penance can be granted only to those who have repented for having violated the sign of the covenant and of fidelity to Christ, and who are committed to living in complete continence.
CCC 2364 The married couple forms “the intimate partnership of life and love established by the Creator and governed by his laws; it is rooted in the conjugal covenant, that is, in their irrevocable personal consent.”12 Both give themselves definitively and totally to one another. They are no longer two; from now on they form one flesh. The covenant they freely contracted imposes on the spouses the obligation to preserve it as unique and indissoluble.13 “What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.”14
CCC 2380 Adultery refers to marital infidelity. When two partners, of whom at least one is married to another party, have sexual relations – even transient ones – they commit adultery. Christ condemns even adultery of mere desire.15 The sixth commandment and the New Testament forbid adultery absolutely.16 The prophets denounce the gravity of adultery; they see it as an image of the sin of idolatry.17
CCC 2382 The Lord Jesus insisted on the original intention of the Creator who willed that marriage be indissoluble.18 He abrogates the accommodations that had slipped into the old Law.19
Between the baptized, “a ratified and consummated marriage cannot be dissolved by any human power or for any reason other than death.”20
1 Cf. Mk 6:5; 8:23; 10:16.
2 Cf. Mk 16:18; Acts 5:12; 14:3.
3 Cf. Acts 8:17-19; 13:3; 19:6.
4 Cf. Heb 6:2.
5 Rev 19:9.
6 Mk 10 14.
7 Mk 10 14; cf. 1 Tim 2:4.
8 Cf. Mk 10:9.
9 GS 48 # 1.
10 GS 48 # 2.
11 Mk 10:11-12.
12 GS 48 # 1.
13 Cf. CIC, can. 1056.
14 Mk 109; cf. Mt 19:1-12; 1 Cor 7: 10-11.
15 Cf. Mt 5:27-28.
16 Cf. Mt 5:32; 19:6; Mk 10:11; 1 Cor 6:9-10.
17 Cf. Hos 2:7; Jer 5:7; 13:27.
18 Cf. Mt 5:31-32; 19:3-9; Mk 10 9; Lk 16:18; 1 Cor 7:10-ll.
19 Cf. Mt 19:7-9.
20 CIC, can. 1141.