Immorlity of Divorce


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This research reveal the reasons why Divorce is immoral and unacceptable. This paper is based in the Philippine context but may also apply to other countries.

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Immorlity of Divorce

  1. 1. Layda, Alex S., Siena College, Quezon City Graduate School (2013) Research Paper On the IMMORALITY of DIVORCE LAYDA, ALEX S. Siena College, Quezon City Graduate School 2013-2014 Page | 0 The Immorality of Divorce
  2. 2. Layda, Alex S., Siena College, Quezon City Graduate School (2013) I. TOPIC The Immorality of Divorce II. INTRODUCTION When two different people, a man and a woman start to like each other, they become closer and soon begin to establish an intimate relationship that is next level to friendship. This relationship is bounded by exchange of trust and as they bring it to the next level, they form a union which is driven by their desire to be one so they wear each other’s ring exchange vows of love and fidelity with the blessing of the Church; thus, it is called marriage and they become husband and wife. Webster defines marriage as “the state of being united to a person as husband or wife in a consensual and conjugal relationship recognized by law”. Likewise, marriage as recognized by law is also a matrimony recognized by God for in the Gospel according to Matthew 19:6 which is read, “Consequently they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together let no man separate” explicitly conveys that marriage is a lifetime contract while it is holy and sacramental for which the blessing of the Divine it has obtained. However, marriage has always been faced with numerous hazards that most of the times threaten its lifetime indissolubility and one of these is divorce which in most countries in the world is legal. In the Philippines, it has been a debated issue between opposite parties whether divorce should be legalized that is allegedly next to the Page | 1 The Immorality of Divorce
  3. 3. Layda, Alex S., Siena College, Quezon City Graduate School (2013) Reproductive Health Bill which was passed some recent months ago. Divorce basically is the process of dissolving the conjugality of marriage which the Catholic Church strongly opposes. In times gone by, the Philippines is the only remaining country in the world that does not have Divorce Law and it was just some months ago after the passing of the RHB arose the arguments of its legalization which constantly creates turmoil across confused pinoy citizens about the moral and ethical aspect of marriage and sanctity of life. Thus, these questions remained up heated, “Is Divorce moral? “ In fact, divorce is another proposed bill of which the Divine institution is not recognized; it is sad to tell that some of the Filipinos including the legislators are seem to be solving the problem like practical atheists who forgetfully intend to disregard the rule of the natural law. According to, one of the reliable websites about the catholic faith posted by the admin last January 23, 2013 says that, “the origin of marriage is God, in the book of Genesis 1:27-28 – “Male and female he created them. And God Bless them saying: Increase and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it.” It was of divine plan to make the first man and woman as the parent of mankind their union is planned by God, henceforth marriage is a “vocare” it is avocation both the husband and the wife are called for each other to participate divine love which eternal that’s why marriage is a life time commitment. The Catholic Church maintains, “The Church, since she is faithful to her Lord, cannot recognize the union of people who are civilly divorced and remarried” (CCC 349). The Catholic Church always speak on behalf Page | 2 The Immorality of Divorce
  4. 4. Layda, Alex S., Siena College, Quezon City Graduate School (2013) of God without compromising one single doctrine for each single religious tenet comes from divine norms which is a must for respect. For the Lord said, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery” too (Mk.10:11-12). Now, they who favor divorce say that there are a lot of battered wives and husbands and a lot of unfaithful marriage partners; therefore divorce for them is the best option. But such response to the problem is not necessary and would never solve the problem. For if the wife divorces her husband and marries another there is no guarantee that her next marriage is a perfect one, and so she might divorce her next husband and divorce the third soon and so forth towards infinity? Now where is the sanctity of marriage? Divorce was practice by paganism before and it was the Lord Himself who died for this teaching insisting the sanctity of marriage”. Page | 3 The Immorality of Divorce
  5. 5. Layda, Alex S., Siena College, Quezon City Graduate School (2013) III. DEFINITIN OFTERMS Adultery – a voluntary sexual intercourse between a married man and someone other than his wife or between a married woman and someone other than her husband. Church – the whole body of Christians. Divine – proceeding directly from God. Divorce – to dissolve the marriage contract. Illegal – not according to or authorized by law. Immoral – conflicting with generally or traditionally held moral principals. Marriage – the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law. Married – being in the state of matrimony: wedded. Matrimony – the union of man and woman as husband and wife. Moral – principles of right and wrong conforming to a standard of right behavior. Natural Law – a body of law or a specific principle held to be derived from nature and binding upon human society. Netizens – an active participant in the online community of the internet. Vocation – a Divine call ABBREVIATIONS RHB – Reproductive Health Bill CCC – Catechism of the Catholic Church Page | 4 The Immorality of Divorce
  6. 6. Layda, Alex S., Siena College, Quezon City Graduate School (2013) IV. OTHER’S OPINIONS Following are the random list of opinions of people who answers “Divorce is not wrong” for the question, “Is divorce wrong or not?” taken from another website that act as a debate room for netizens who are interested with the topic and a survey poll. Code names are used by these people for security. 1. No divorce is not wrong; if two people can't make it together, why making each others life miserable, get it over with. 2. edward.mack8425 Are you thinking of getting divorced? Divorce is now a normal part of our society since about 50% of marriages end in divorce. 3. chazlsmith1968 Sometimes divorce is the only choice. Definitely when the couple made a mistake to begin with. Page | 5 The Immorality of Divorce
  7. 7. Layda, Alex S., Siena College, Quezon City Graduate School (2013) V. THESIS In these times, when human knowledge cannot fathom and explain anymore and unsure whether an act is moral or immoral due to over suffocation of sideways arguments, the best thing to do is to always go back to the basic ideas and principles. In this issue, it is best in the first place to take the account of the Creation history as the primary basis in which God the Supreme Being among us all established first the Earth and everything on it and lastly He placed Man at the heart of His creations. That is to say, God had prepared everything before He created man so that all that man’s needs will already be available to him. To Adam and Eve, He created them and blessed them and said, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the birds of the heavens, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth” (Genesis 1:27-28 NIV). Adam and Eve were the first husband and wife in the history of mankind whom the Creator has blessed; thus, it was the first celebration of the Sacrament of Matrimony. With this, the Creator already taught us that marriage is sacred in nature; for, He, as Divine presided the sacrament and so it is Holy. In His utterance of the words, “Go and multiply and subdue the earth” is evidence that from the beginning He already sent the first couple for a mission – to propagate the Church. This mission is lifetime and so their bond as a couple; for, they cannot fulfill the Creator’s command if they are separated under His blessing. With this, the Creator already made us Page | 6 The Immorality of Divorce
  8. 8. Layda, Alex S., Siena College, Quezon City Graduate School (2013) understand that marriage is a life-long commitment. Therefore, in the natural sense, marriage is sacred until the end life and divorce had no place. In this, I do not favor divorce because it is contrary with the natural origin and build up of marriage, thus it is against Natural Law which is the rule of conduct whom the Creator prescribed to us in the constitution of nature. This Law is the directive norm of all movement and action. This is found in the nature of human kind as it is written and inscribed in their hearts ever since Creation. Thus, every action must be governed by human reason as it is the way to understand Natural Law. Actions that are in conformity with this law are thereby constituted right and morally good as it is the basis of the morality of action. It states the essential precepts which govern the moral life, and anything that is in contrary, is thereby wrong and morally evil. This, is universal, that is tantamount to say, that it applies to the whole human race and is in itself the same for all. It is immutable and permanent throughout history. Divorce on the other hand aims to dissolve the marriage contract between spouses and it clearly violates natural law especially in the following aspects: 1. On the Nature of Marriage – Natural Law, as it is applied to canonical and sacramental marriage, constitutes marriage as a life commitment with natural indissoluble bond. Divorce on the other hand breaks and voids this natural bond which as a result makes it immoral. The Catechism of the Catholic Church affirms that “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” (CCC 2384). Page | 7 The Immorality of Divorce
  9. 9. Layda, Alex S., Siena College, Quezon City Graduate School (2013) 2. On the Nature of Family – Webster defines family as “the basic unit in society traditionally consisting of two parents rearing their children”. It is also likely to say that it is composed of father, mother and children who in the total sense form an exclusive and fundamental unit of society. Natural Law, as it is applied to the nature of family, constitutes it as a community of love, peace and unity. A community that is naturally in tact and is a place of growth and development for each member; in which, morals and faith are first practiced with the guidance of the family elders as they serve as models. However, this becomes impossible with the divorce as it will ruin the family by breaking it up and which can later on be resulting into dysfunction. In this, the children are gravely affected and they are most likely to exhibit rebellious behavior because of this traumatic experience and can later on be a societal problem. The Catechism of the Catholic Church confirms that “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 truly makes it a plague on society” (CCC 2385). Likewise, late Pope John Paul II, in his statement during the Vatican’s Council on Family Concerns on November 20, 2004 reiterated that “Family, based on marriage, is a natural, irreplaceable institution and fundamental element of the common good of every society and whoever destroys this fundamental fabric of human coexistence, by not respecting its identity and by distorting its tasks, delivers a deep wound to society and often provokes irreparable damage”. Page | 8 The Immorality of Divorce
  10. 10. Layda, Alex S., Siena College, Quezon City Graduate School (2013) 3. On the Nature of the Mission of Spouses – On the Ecclesial aspect, the married couples are naturally partner of the Church in introducing the Christian Faith to their children as they are their first religion teachers. Through this, the parents help propagate the people of God through their children and by this they exercise their mission as what the Creator told them way back. The married couples, as they have drawn themselves to an unequaled commitment, freely accepted the gifts of special marital obligations, which are inseparable aspect of matrimony. Therefore, they have the most responsibility to ensure the harmony of the family by keeping themselves in the right moral state. The Canon Law, Title II: The Obligations and Rights of the Lay Members of Christ’s Faithful, asserts that “Those who are married are bound by the special obligation, in accordance with their own vocation, to strive for the building up of the people of God through marriage and family” (Canon Law 226. 1). 4. On the Nature of Children’s Growth – In an exclusive family, the children naturally grow and develop under the care and guidance of their mother and father. It is where they learn from their parents the values of fidelity, love, trust and obedience in order for them to be a good citizen and pro active Christian. It is also from their parents that they learn how to be a good mother or father to their children and how to be a good husband or wife to their spouse someday. They bank on their childhood experiences with their parents when they become grown ups. However, if the parents are divorced, the children will most certainly grow up either in their relatives or with the father or with the mother alone because they are torn apart between them. And this can be possibly repeated to the next family generation. Acquiring a stable and mature value system is Page | 9 The Immorality of Divorce
  11. 11. Layda, Alex S., Siena College, Quezon City Graduate School (2013) an important part of identity formation in adolescence (Erikson, 1968). Before adolescents commit themselves to a particular value system, they may explore their parents’ values, evaluating and comparing them with other ideological alternatives. Thus, parental ideas and values may play a major role in identity formation (Marcia, 1966). The above aspects explained how divorce defies natural law in the universal sense. In the local society of the Philippines today, divorce is not yet present that is why it is being deliberately debated in the congress whether it shall be made into a law or not. However, divorce will not conform with the Philippine laws and constitutions if ever it will be legalized as on the Article II, Section 12 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution on the Declaration of the Duties and State Policies says that “The state recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution…the neutral and primary rights of parents in rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the government” ( Thus, divorce, with its nonconformity with the Philippine constitution is therefore can be declared as illegal and non-permissible. In the same way, the Legislators cannot favor, allow and sign such Bill Proposal for it is opposite with the duties of the state; the duty to recognize the sanctity of family life, to protect and strengthen it. Page | 10 The Immorality of Divorce
  12. 12. Layda, Alex S., Siena College, Quezon City Graduate School (2013) VI. CORROLARY At this juncture, the opinions of the people on the morality of divorce which were stated above will now be answered. 1. No, divorce is not wrong; if two people can't make it together, why making each others life miserable, get it over with. The fact that the husband and wife confessed their marriage vows, they actually meant they will love each other and make each other’s life cordially comfortable and not to make it miserable. If they cannot make it together and they want to divorce and remarry, their second marriage does not actually assure them that it will be successful compared to their previous and original marriage. The truth that they have entered married life, they knew that there is no coming out. A man can no longer go back to his mother’s womb after his birth and he has no choice but live his life accordingly and so as the married person can no longer get out of marriage but make the most of his married life. Making each other’s life miserable is not the secret of marriage but by making it comfortable to one another. Page | 11 The Immorality of Divorce
  13. 13. Layda, Alex S., Siena College, Quezon City Graduate School (2013) 2. edward.mack8425 Are you thinking of getting divorced? Divorce is now a normal part of our society since about 50% of marriages end in divorce. Even if all marriages would end up divorced it does not mean that it is already moral and acceptable. The amount of number of divorces does not make it reasonable to be morally good. In fact, if 50% of marriages end up divorced, then, that is a lot to worry about. 3. chazlsmith1968 Sometimes divorce is the only choice. Definitely when the couple made a mistake to begin with. Naturally, ever since life sprouted from the earth through the power of the Divine Creator, there has never been a mistake. Remember that marriage is a vocation which the Creator has freely called each married couple and the fact that the Creator has called them; it is not a mistake for the Creator is perfect and all-knowing. He knows all challenges in our lives even before we encounter them. He knew that each marriage will be shaken by tremendous problems but divorce has never been part of the choices. It is just us who gives up too easily. Page | 12 The Immorality of Divorce
  14. 14. Layda, Alex S., Siena College, Quezon City Graduate School (2013) VII. CONCLUSION The Divorce Bill has been pending in the House of Representatives for number of years now but that does not mean that we will cease with our continuous crusade. With the above reasons that explained why divorce is unacceptable, I therefore state that divorce is morally evil because it does not conform to natural law particularly on the nature of Marriage, Family, and Mission of spouses and on the aspect of natural growth of children. Furthermore, divorce does not only violate natural law but also the Philippine Constitution. In the total sense, divorce is immoral and illegal. In times of marital problems, the primary consideration should be the children, try to ask one child to imagine if his parents are divorced and if would be rejoicing due to that. When I ask anybody I have not hear somebody affirming divorce to be a good thing to happen to their parents. Most of delinquent children are victims of broken families; emotionally no one take care for them it is very difficult ask one of them and unearth a long time suppressed depression. Family is the basic unit of the Church as well as to society: the destruction of families results to the destruction of society. Let us all help pray that the minds of the congressmen passing this bill would be enlightened that they should remain a believer of God for if not they would continue of being a practical atheist ( There is no reason for us to be quiet with this issue and be passive with the legislators’ decision now that we have already the idea of what harm that divorce could Page | 13 The Immorality of Divorce
  15. 15. Layda, Alex S., Siena College, Quezon City Graduate School (2013) bring us. The above reasons are already enough for us to take a stand and be vigilant of the government’s every move. We may be small and powerless, but together we are too many to be defeated. VIII. REFERNCES Erikson, E. H. (1968). Identity: Youth and crisis. New York: Norton. Marcia, J. E. (1966). Development and validation of ego-identity status. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 3, 551–558. Merriam Webster’s (1993). Collegiate Dictionary Tenth Edition, United States of America Page | 14 The Immorality of Divorce