The Church and the family in Belgium, 1850-1914.

The Catholic Church has played an essential role in the evolution of the Western family. The Council of Trent seems to mark a culmination. Yet the nineteenth century called whole sections of the Church’s doctrine in matrimonial matters into question, while modifications in society drove it to transform its approach to the familial system. This evolution between 1850 and 1914 is analysed in three steps: doctrinal and moral positions, episcopal declarations and propositions and moral education manuals.