Why must the promise be made in writing? Surely you can take a man’s word for it!

In many cases, yes. But sad experience has shown that some were not in good faith, and even granting good faith at the time there is no guarantee that such dispositions will persevere. Human nature is mutable. Why does the law of the land demand both signatures for the marriage itself in writing? Surely at the moment of marriage both are in good faith? The promise concerning the children is just as important as the marriage itself. On that promise the eternal welfare of the children may depend, surely a great responsibility. All serious contracts demand permanent signed records, and as no one resents them in other matters, so no one should resent them in this. Death could carry off the Catholic partner, and it may be very necessary to have written records of the promise. And if a man really intends to grant such a condition he should not mind putting his signature to it.

Radio Replies Volume 1 by Rev. Dr. Leslie Rumble MSC and Rev. Charles Mortimer Carty

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The Case for Catholicism - Answers to Classic and Contemporary Protestant Objections

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