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Reviewed by:
  • El Contenido Esencial Del Bonus Prolis
  • Juan-Diego Brunetta O.P.
El Contenido Esencial Del Bonus Prolis by Carlos A. Cerezuela García. Rome: Editrice Pontificia Università Gregoriana, 2009.

El Contenido Esencial del Bonum Prolis, written in Spanish, is the doctoral dissertation of Carlos Cerezuela García examining the doctrinal development of the good of children in marriage (canons 1055 §1 and 1061 §1) and the historical-juridical development of the invalidating effect of the exclusion of this good (canon 1101 §2). He states that the purpose of this study is "to clarify what the will of the parties must be regarding the procreation and education of children, at the time of the celebration of the marriage, in order that the marriage not be undermined by a defect of consent, but acquire all of its effects, both sanctifying and juridical" (7).

In the traditional style of doctoral research, the author first undertakes a diachronic review of the canonical tradition, from the sacred Scriptures to the promulgation of the 1983 Code, concerning the bonum prolis. Cerezuela García demonstrates that in different periods various emphases were placed on the elements of the exchange of conjugal rights and the care and education of children. Moreover, as the canonical science developed over the centuries so too did the articulation of the proper ends of marriage, the juridical doctrine of matrimonial validity and the role of the consenting will of the parties. In this review, the author is thorough in his consideration of the canonical sources and the manner in which they are synthesized in the 1983 Code. He concludes that the distinct essential elements that comprise the bonum prolis are the right-duty of conjugal acts; the right-duty of not impeding the procreation of a child and conserving the life of the child once conceived; the right-duty of overcoming sterility or other impediment [End Page 281] through morally licit means; and the care and fostering of the physical life of the child, as well as his or her basic human education (218).

In the second part of this work, which will prove the most useful to those in marriage tribunal ministry, Cerezuela García examines each of the essential elements above and includes a treatment of the doctrine of "responsible parenting," the temporary exclusion of the good of children, the use of artificial reproductive assistance technologies, and the influence of AIDS on the bonum prolis. Lastly, the author considers the exclusion of the bonum prolis and the proofs necessary to demonstrate this exclusion in the context of a canonical investigation.

In sum, while this work reads like the doctoral dissertation that it is, Cerezuela García's treatment of contemporary issues related to the bonum prolis urges me to recommend this work.

Juan-Diego Brunetta O.P.
St. Catherine of Siena Priory
New York, New York


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pp. 281-282
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