Catechism of the Catholic Church

Life in Christ 561 2334 “In creating men ‘male and female,’ God gives man and woman an equal personal dignity.” 119 “Man is a person, man and woman equally so, since both were created in the image and likeness of the personal God.” 120 2335 Each of the two sexes is an image of the power and tender­ ness of God, with equal dignity though in a different way. The union of man and woman in marriage is a way of imitating in the flesh the Creator’s generosity and fecundity: “Therefore a man leaves his fa­ ther and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.” 121 All human generations proceed from this union. 122 2336 Jesus came to restore creation to the purity of its origins. In the Sermon on the Mount, he interprets God’s plan strictly: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” 123 What God has joined together, let not man put asunder. 124 The tradition of the Church has understood the sixth com­ mandment as encompassing the whole of human sexuality. II. T he V ocation to C hastity 2337 Chastity means the successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being. Sexuality, in which man’s belonging to the bodily and biological world is expressed, becomes personal and truly human when it is integrated into the relationship of one person to another, in the complete and lifelong mutual gift of a man and a woman. The virtue of chastity therefore involves the integrity of the person and the integrality of the gift. 119 FC 22; cf. GS 49 § 2. 120 MD 6. 121 Gen 2:24. 122 Cf. Gen 4:1-2, 25-26; 5:1. 123 Mt 5:27-28. 124 Cf. Mt 19:6. 357 2205 1614 2349 2520