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Thomas Aquinas College Chaplain Asks, What is Marriage?

Thomas Aquinas College Chaplain Fr. Joseph Illo asked one of the most relevant questions of the day at the second 2013 Summer Seminar weekend on July 20, 2013, when he asked, “What is Marriage?”

Thomas Aquinas College is one of the faithful Catholic colleges recommended by The Cardinal Newman Society.

Fr. Illo called on Catholics today to defend the institution of marriage.

“We have been pushed by the cataclysmic social revolutions of our time to define marriage for those who seek to redefine it. On Thursday night the College showed a classic movie to the students, Casablanca. It has been some years since I watched the 1942 film,and it struck me how clearly the concept of marriage was assumed in that movie. Ingrid Bergman (the Norwegian beauty “Ilsa”) is in love with two men, but only one of them is her husband. She had been told he perished in a concentration camp when she fell in love with Rick in Paris. When she finds her husband still alive, she leaves Rick so as to be faithful to her vows. When she and her husband find themselves in Rick’s Casablanca nightclub some years later, she realizes she does not have the strength to leave him a second time. “You will have to think for all three of us,” she pleads of Rick. Deeply in love with her, Rick thinks correctly, respects her marriage vows, and arranges safe transport for Ilsa and her husband to America. He is left quite alone in German-occupied Africa, but one gets the sense at the end of the movie that Rick will find happiness because he has done the right thing.

The year is 2013, and people no longer assume that respecting marriage vows is the right thing. It has been some years since vows took precedence over “falling in love,” and feelings now trump promises. The responsibility to think through, articulate, and defend Marriage falls squarely on the shoulders of each person here. If we Christians do not render this vital service for the common good, I can’t imagine who will have the tools or the motivation to do so.”

You can read Fr. Illo’s commentary in its entirety by clicking here.

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