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'Quick Help' Page: Why Are Children Born Out Of Fornication Or Adultery Called Illegitimate?

 

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Illegitimate Children

Conception Outside of Marriage

Procreation Outside of Lawful Marriage

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Arrow Question / Issue:

Why are children born out of fornication or adultery called illegitimate?

 

Arrow Answer / Resources:

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Since "natural law and positive divine law demand that procreated new life be the fruit of marriage alone" (Pope Pius XII), those created outside the law care called illegitimate...

"Illegitimate is that which is against the law. Now those who are born out of wedlock are born contrary to the law. Therefore they are illegitimate." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

Children can be legitimized, however...

"An illegitimate child can be legitimized, not so that he be born of a legitimate intercourse, because this intercourse is a thing of the past and can never be legitimized from the moment that it was once illegitimate. But the child is said to be legitimized, in so far as the losses which an illegitimate child ought to incur are withdrawn by the authority of the law." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")


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