This chapter explores the shifts in the theological understanding of Christian marriage, from the Tridentine and post-Tridentine era, to the Vatican II and post-Vatican II period. The analysis is divided into five main parts. The first summarizes the main points of the Council of Trent's position on marriage. The second considers the post-Tridentine understanding of the meaning of marriage as reflected in the 1917 Code of Canon Law. The third considers the principal developments of the Church's perception of marriage as presented by the bishops at the Second Vatican Council. The fourth explores some of the practical implications emanating from this change of understanding. The final section explores further questions that emerge from this new perception of marriage, questions that the hierarchical magisterium has not yet sufficiently addressed.
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