The INSTITUTION OF THE FAMILY AND THE VIRTUOUS SOCIETY
Ethical societies are composed of virtuous communities, supported by the social whole according to the principle of subsidiarity, and virtuous persons, ruled by just laws. The most important community in any society is the family; the foundation of the family is marriage. In traditional societies, although the institution of the family takes on various forms, it has ethical obligations and promotes the common good of society. Within liberal societies, marriage is transformed into a relationship between contracting individuals, who are free to choose the rules for their marriages. Because the liberal model of marriage is based on emotions, which frequently change, marriages are less stable and their ability to promote the good of society is diminished. Therefore, we should safeguard or recover the understanding and reality of the family as a social institution with ethical obligations. Members of liberal societies are not obligated to accept the liberal redefinition of marriage. Catholics can understand the cultivation of ethical societies as one way of responding to the universal call to holiness.
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