National Catholic Register

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Head and Heart Of the Family

BY Jim Cosgrove

June 21-27, 1998 Issue | Posted 6/21/98 at 2:00 PM

 

In Casti Connubii, his 1930 encyclical on Christian marriage, Pope Pius XI spoke of the distinct roles of husband and wife in the family:

“This subjection [of wife to husband], however, does not deny or take away the liberty which fully belongs to the woman both in view of her dignity as a human person, and in view of her most noble office as wife and mother and companion; nor does it bid her obey her husband's every request if not in harmony with right reason or with the dignity due to wife…. But it forbids that exaggerated liberty which cares not for the good of the family; it forbids that in this body which is the family, the heart be separated from the head to the great detriment of the whole body and the proximate danger of ruin. For if the man is the head, the woman is the heart, and as he occupies the chief place in ruling, so she may and ought to claim for herself the chief place in love.”