Interview with Miguel Ayuso on the book De Matrimonio

Source: FSSPX News

Miguel Ayuso.

Coinciding with the Synod on the Family, a collective work has appeared, De Matrimonio (On marriage), a book addressed to the Holy Father, the cardinals and the bishops of the whole world. The coordinator of this work is Miguel Ayuso, president of the International Union of Catholic Jurists, professor of political science and constitutional law at the Pontifical University of Comillas in Madrid, whom we warmly thank for answering DICI’s questions.

DICI: What is the goal of the International Union of Catholic Jurists in publishing the work on the eve of the Synod?

Miguel Ayuso: The International Union of Catholic Jurists has engaged with the battle of the Synod on the Family by publishing this multilingual work, De Matrimonio, with Marcial Pons publishing (Madrid, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, and Sao Paulo). Our research was focused on the natural law, rather than on theology. When we approach canon law, it is chiefly starting from its roots in natural law: it can be observed in this way that the family is not outdated but eclipsed by the autonomous development of a false legal system that leads of necessity to social self-destruction. It can also be observed that the process of the destruction of marriage is ancient and that, if it carries through until the actual “evaporation” of marriage, it is chiefly because this process too often takes place amid indifference or languidity of its natural defenders. At the same time, the only consideration of social ravages caused by this destruction is an a contrario witness to the ontological necessity of indissolubility.

The authors of this book are from all over the world; does that mean that unanimity exists amongst canonists on the questions set by the Synod?

The book assembles the contributions of nine authors, each writing in his own language: Danilo Castellano (Italy), Ricardo Dip (Brazil), Brian McCall (USA), Wolfgang Waldstein (Austria), Bernard Dumont (France), Alejandro Ordóñez (Colombia), José María Sánchez (Spain), Luis De Ruschi (Argentina) and myself. The whole work is entirely organic. But it is clear that unfortunately unanimity is not generally present in the secular world or in the ecclesiastical world. Another unique aspect of the book involves the rejection of the liberal option in which the Catholic world contents itself with the defense of a pluralism where Catholics would have the right to affirm their own identity alongside other identities.

Have you received any support from ecclesiastical canonists, officially or unofficially?

We have received neither official nor officious support from anyone. There are two unique aspects to our process, I repeat, as much because of the subject as the object: that of being a study carried out by lay professionals in the law based on the natural law. Even when we took up the defence of the canonical conception of the sacrament, we founded ourselves essentially on natural law, thus avoiding the dangerous trap of dissociating natural commitment from the sacrament of marriage, which would only be valid on the condition of adhering consciously to Catholic doctrine.

Do the two recent Motu Proprios reforming canon law with regard to marriage annulments reinforce the solidity of your book?

This very recent reform, that we were naturally unable to take into consideration, is somewhat complex. It can first of all be said that the current context, which is highly unclear from the doctrinal point of view, is not particularly conducive to a clear understanding. Then it seems that this reform was decided on precipitately. It raises nonetheless several questions of varying importance. The reduction of the length of the process and the attribution of jurisdiction to the bishop in some situations can be interpreted in the first case as a requirement of justice and in the second as a restitution of jurisdiction; but at the same time it is also true that they may promote levity and dispersion. Of particular concern to me is the tendency to conflate the marriage which is null with the marriage that has failed. But forgive me if, for the moment, I stop there; I think an opportunity to comment on this reform after more deliberation will arise.

(Source : DICI – DICI no. 322 dated October 9, 2015)

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