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572

Part Three

2378

A child is not something

owed

to one, but is a

gift.

The

“supreme gift of marriage” is a human person. A child may not be

considered a piece of property, an idea to which an alleged “right to

a child” would lead. In this area, only the child possesses genuine

rights: the right “to be the fruit of the specific act of the conjugal

love of his parents,” and “the right to be respected as a person from

the moment of his conception.”

170

2379

The Gospel shows that physical sterility is not an absolute

evil. Spouses who still suffer from infertility after exhausting legiti­

mate medical procedures should unite themselves with the Lord’s

Cross, the source of all spiritual fecundity. They can give expression

to their generosity by adopting abandoned children or performing

demanding services for others.

IV.

O

ffenses

A

gainst

the

D

ignity of

M

arriage

Adultery

2380

Adultery

refers to marital infidelity. When two partners, of

whom at least one is married to another party, have sexual relations

—even transient ones—they commit adultery. Christ condemns

even adultery of mere desire.

171

The sixth commandment and the

New Testament forbid adultery absolutely.

172

The prophets de­

nounce the gravity of adultery; they see it as an image of the sin of

idolatry.

173

2381

Adultery is an injustice. He who commits adultery fails in

his commitment. He does injury to the sign of the covenant which

the marriage bond is, transgresses the rights of the other spouse,

and undermines the institution of marriage by breaking the con­

tract on which it is based. He compromises the good of human

generation and the welfare of children who need their parents’

stable union.

170 CDF,

Donum vitae

II, 8.

171 Cf.

Mt

5:27-28.

172 Cf.

Mt

5:32; 19:6;

Mk

10:11;

1 Cor

6:9-10.

173 Cf.

Hos

2:7;

Jer

5:7; 13:27.

1611

1640