Catholic - Divorce and Remarriage
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Catholic - Divorce and Remarriage



The Catholic Church's position on divorce and remarriage.

The Catholic Church's position on divorce and remarriage.



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  • 8 minutes and 37 seconds

Catholic - Divorce and Remarriage Catholic - Divorce and Remarriage Presentation Transcript

  • What Does The Catholic Church Say About Divorce and Remarriage Copyrighted material that appears in this article is included under the provisions of the Fair Use Clause of the National Copyright Act, which allows limited reproduction of copyrighted materials for educational and religious use when no financial charge is made for viewing. Produced by:
  • Scripture and Divorce
    • The Catholic Church’s position on divorce and remarriage is found in Scripture.
    • The Church isn’t opposed to a legal divorce when necessary but is against divorce and remarriage unless the first marriage has been annulled (more on that later).
    • Malachi 2:16 “For I hate divorce, says the Lord the
    • God of Israel, and covering one’s garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So take heed to yourselves and do not be faithless.”
    • Luke 16:18 Jesus says, “Every one who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.
  • What Does Jesus Say?
    • Mt. 5:31-32 Jesus says:
    • 31 “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’
    • 32   But I say to you that every one who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity , makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
    • Jesus doesn’t hate the people going through the tragedy of divorce, but He hates the concept of divorce because it injures people emotionally, financially and can lead to adultery.
  • What’s In A Word?
    • Some argue that the phrase “except for unchastity” constitutes an “exception clause” that allows for divorce and remarriage in cases where one or both spouses commit adultery.
    • But this is a misreading of the text. The Greek word here for unchastity, porneia, refers to sexual unlawfulness in which two “spouses” are not validly married (cf. John
    • 4:17-18), though they live as if they were.
    • In such cases, to separate and then marry someone else would not constitute adultery, since the two parties were not really married in God’s eyes (i.e. sacramentally) in the first place.
    • A valid marriage, however, cannot be dissolved.
  • What Does The Catechism Say?
    • What does the Catechism of the Catholic Church say: Again, the Church isn’t opposed to a legal divorce when necessary but is against divorce and remarriage unless the first marriage has been annulled: the remarried spouse is then in a situation of public and permanent adultery:
    • CCC 2384  Divorce is a grave offense against the natural law. It claims to break the contract, to which the spouses freely consented, to live with each other till death. Divorce does injury to the covenant of salvation, of which sacramental marriage is the sign. Contracting a new union, even if it is recognized by civil law, adds to the gravity of the rupture: the remarried spouse is then in a situation of public and permanent adultery:
  • More From The Catechism
    • 2385  Divorce is immoral also because it introduces disorder into the family and into society. This disorder brings grave harm to the deserted spouse, to children traumatized by the separation of their parents and often torn between them, and because of its contagious effect which makes it truly a plague on society.
    • 2386  It can happen that one of the spouses is the innocent victim of a divorce decreed by civil law; this spouse therefore has not contravened [gone against] the moral law. There is a considerable difference between a spouse who has sincerely tried to be faithful to the sacrament of marriage and is unjustly abandoned, and one who through his own grave fault destroys a canonically valid marriage.
  • Jesus And The Pharisees
    • Mt. 19:3-10, when the Pharisees tested Christ by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” Christ answered: “Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female,
    • 5      and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?
    • 6      So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.”
  • Adultery
    • 7      They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?”
    • 8      He said to them, “For your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.
    • 9      And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another, commits adultery; and he who marries a divorced woman, commits adultery.”
  • Invalid Marriages?
    • Examples of an invalid marriages might be marrying your sister, getting married when under the influence, getting married because she’s pregnant, or “we’ll give it a try marriage.”
    • There are many others and if you are in this situation you would be wise to speak with your priest about it.
    • Keep in mind the real clear issue is remarriage .
    • St. Paul tells us about the obligation of a wife (Romans 7:2-3)
    • 2 Thus a married woman is bound by law to her husband as long as he lives; but if her husband dies she is discharged from the law concerning the husband.
    • 3      Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.
  • Illegitimate Children?
    • One question that often comes up about getting an annulment is: If I get an annulment that means the marriage never existed.
    • If the marriage never existed then my children will be considered illegitimate.
    • WRONG!
    • Ask yourself this question, Where you civilly married when your children were conceived?
    • So no matter what your children are legitimate and your marriage was civilly valid.
  • Is this really serious?
    • Is remarriage really all that serious?
    • If you find yourself in this situation you need to contact your priest for a sacramental confession and get advice on how to correct things and/or seek an annulment if possible before it’s too late.
    • Remember the Biblical story about the Prodigal Son.
    • God is always willing to welcome you back but you do need to ask .