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Cases of Marital Nullity Should Be Guided by Truth, Pope Stresses
ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome ^ | Jan 30, 2004 | Zenit

Posted on 02/02/2004 11:51:36 AM PST by Maximilian


Code: ZE04013020

Date: 2004-01-30

Cases of Marital Nullity Should Be Guided by Truth, Pope Stresses

Calls for Renewed Confidence in Reason

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 30, 2004 (Zenit.org).- The tendency to extend declarations of marital nullity while disregarding the objective truth is a distortion of the whole process, John Paul II warned when receiving members of the Roman Rota in audience.

The Catholic Church considers marriage indissoluble for life, but, following a rigorous process, it may establish that at times there are marriages that were never valid for reasons established in canon law. This could include reasons of age, violence or mental incapacity.

The Pope told the judges, officials and lawyers of the Roman Rota, the Church's central appellate court, that theological reference to truth is what should guide all those involved in such a process. The Rota handles cases involving declarations of marital nullity.

Realizing that there is a "more or less open" skepticism "on the human capacity to know the truth on the validity of a marriage," the Holy Father stressed the need of "a renewed confidence in human reason, both in relation to the essential aspects of marriage as well as in that which concerns the particular circumstances of each union."

He said on Thursday that "often, the real problem is not so much the presumption [of the validity of the marriage], but the whole view of marriage itself and, therefore, the process to establish the validity of its celebration. This process is essentially inconceivable outside the horizon of the search for the truth."

"The tendency to extend nullities instrumentally, neglecting the horizon of the objective truth, entails a structural distortion of the whole process: The instruction loses its incisive character as the result is predetermined," the Pope emphasized.

John Paul II added: "An authentically juridical consideration of marriage requires a metaphysical vision of the human person and of the conjugal relationship."

Without it, "the marital institution becomes a simple extrinsic superstructure, the result of the law and of social conditioning, limiting the person in his free fulfillment," he stressed.

The Holy Father concluded: "It is necessary to discover again the truth, goodness and beauty of the marital institution which, being the work of God himself through human nature and of the freedom of the consent of the spouses, continues to be an indissoluble personal reality, bond of justice and love, ever united to the plan of salvation and raised in the fullness of time to the dignity of a Christian sacrament."

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TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Ministry/Outreach; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: annulment; marriage; truth
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To: 1stFreedom
I agree. However, it's an invalid anullment.

Yes, but its like an invalid communion. You'd never know, and we believe the Merciful God will grant the grace and righteousness due anyway.

51 posted on 02/03/2004 11:48:01 AM PST by Hermann the Cherusker
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To: Hermann the Cherusker
>>Speaking on the subject of Eastern Orthodox Marriage legislation, the Second Vatican Council noted:

>>In other words, the Catholic Church recognizes in practice the rulings of the ecclesiastical tribunals of the Orthodox. One can read more about these rulings here:

Ok, first let's put this in context of the various rites of the Catholic Church.

The Eastern rite of the Catholic Church governs itself -- it is not governed by the Roman Rite. It has it's own canon laws, separate from the Roman rite. The Bishops are left alone to run their dioceses as they see fit as long as it is in line with the faith and in union with Rome.

The sister churches {seperated brethren} are treated the same -- Rome doesn't expect to govern them. Rome would like them back in communion, but like the Eastern Church, they would be left to govern themselves.

(FYI, The Eastern litrugy has more in common with Eastern orthodoxy than with the Roman Mass.)

Now, cannot be prideful and refuse to recognize the holiness of the other apostolic Churches. The Roman Rite cannot call an Orthodox marriage invalid simply because it's not Roman. It can't say the Orthodox Eucharist is invalid when in fact it is.

The priests of the Orthodox Church do have apostolic lineage. What they bind on earth is also bound in heaven as long as it is in the context of holiness. (No Christian can bind a sin as being good.)

The bishops of the Orthodox Church also have this lineage as well as more authority. The Church recognizes this authority, even though they are out of communion with Rome. In fact, the Church has no choice but to accept it.

In practice, the Church does recognize the authoritative actions of the seperated brethren. However, implicit in this, is the rejection of practices and rulings which run contrary to the deposit of faith.

For example, if the EO church declared that women can be priests, deacons can have many wives, and that abortion is ok, this doesn't mean that the Catholic Church accepts these things as valid.

Ecclesiatical divorce of a consumated marriage is against the deposit of faith and not accepted by the Church. The Church cannot in good faith, accept the validity of an eclesiastical divorce when the Church believes beyond all doubt that marriage is indisoluable in the first place.

So basically, yes, the Church does recognize the authortative acts of other Churches as long as they are in line with the faith.

To say otherwise is to take it all out of context.


52 posted on 02/03/2004 3:00:28 PM PST by 1stFreedom
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To: Hermann the Cherusker
Petrine Privilege: The dissolution of a legitimate marriage between a baptised person and a non-baptised person in favor of the faith to allow the baptised person to remarry.

Does "legitimate marriage" = sacramental marriage? If so, in what official document do you find that the Church endorses it?

53 posted on 02/03/2004 3:02:28 PM PST by findingtruth
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To: Hermann the Cherusker
>> Or more precisely, in the past millenium or so (since the birth of modern Canon Law in the Gregorian period), the Western Church has not granted Ecclesiastical Divorces.

That's about 1000 years too short.

>>One need not look far back in Carolingian and Roman times to find that the Western Church did accept it. For example, the Code of Justinian of AD 528, which permits divorce for adultery and abandonment, was accepted by the Pope (then a citizen of the Roman Empire).

Justinian's code was a CIVIL code, not Church code. At most, this CIVIL divorce was tolerated by the pope. To say that Justinians code was canon law is an extreme stretch on the truth.

The church does recognize divorce in a sense, ie it realizes there is a legal end to the civil marriage. However, the spiritual aspect of a marriage is never ended by divorce -- not under Justinians code nor modern law.

And no, you cannot find any support for Ecclesiastical Divorce in the Roman Church. You'll have to do much better than Justinians Code. Please provide concrete evidence if you have it.

>>The formulation of Trent is that the Western Church has not erred in teaching as she does on matrimony, not that all who do not practice marital legislation by western standards are wrong. This formulation was due to the intervention of the Patriarch of Venice, who was familiar with the eastern custom.

This has nothing to do with the heretical practice of a Church Divorce, something the Catholic Church cannot do itself.
54 posted on 02/03/2004 3:59:41 PM PST by 1stFreedom
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To: Hermann the Cherusker
I said

>>Justinian's code was a CIVIL code, not Church code. At most, this CIVIL divorce was tolerated by the pope. To say that Justinians code was canon law is an extreme stretch on the truth.

After some research, I should have said is:

To say that Justinian's code concernig divorce as being binding on the Church as Church law is an extremete stretch of the truth.

From what I understand, his code is a combination of civil and ecclesial law.

The pope having accepted the civil law back then would be like a pope accepting a civil divorce law today but rejecting the disolving of the marital bond.

Civil divorce and the spiritual bond of marriage are two different things.
55 posted on 02/03/2004 4:12:18 PM PST by 1stFreedom
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To: Aquinasfan
If what you say is true then what's the rub?

The tribunal has the authority to do what it is doing.

I would think that should be the end of the story.
56 posted on 02/03/2004 4:52:28 PM PST by PFKEY
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To: findingtruth
A sacramental marriage is between two baptised persons. The Petrine Privilege concerns a baptised person and non-baptised person. The end result is the dissolution of a legitimate but non-sacramental marriage. The power to do this is inherent in the Papal power of the keys.
57 posted on 02/03/2004 5:52:04 PM PST by Hermann the Cherusker
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To: 1stFreedom; sitetest; Catholicguy
Here's a few items from history in the west on Ecclesiastical Divorce.

"After legitimate consent in the present case it is permitted to the one, even with the other objecting, to chose a monastery, as some saints have been called from marriage, as long as sexual intercourse has not taken place between them. And to the one remaining, if, after being advised, he is unwilling to observe continency, he is permitted to pass over to second vows; because, since they have not been made one flesh, it is quite possible for one to pass over to God, and the other to remain in the world.

"If between the man and the woman legitimate consent ... occurs in the present, so indeed that one expressly receives another by mutual consent with the accustomed words, ... whether and whether and oath is introduced or not, it is not permissible for the woman to marry another. And if she should marry, even if carnal intercourse has taken place, she should be seperated from him, and forced by ecclesiastical order to return to the first, although som think otherwise, and also judgement has been rendered in another way by certain of our predecessors." (Pope Alexander III, "Ex publico instrumento", to the Bishop of Brescia, inter AD 1159-1181, Denzinger 396)

Pope Alexander III admits that Supreme Pontiffs in the past had allowed the dissolution of legitimate sacramental marriages in favor of a second marriage when one spouse had left the other, and the second had remarried, and that even in his own day others thought otherwise. Obviously, the matter is one of dispute at that time. No surprise when you consider previous rulings like this one:

"If anyone in a foreign land should take a slave woman in marriage, and afterwards on returning to his own country should take a free-born woman, and it should again happen that he return to the very country in which he had been before, and that slave woman, whom he previously had, had associated with another man, this person in such circumstances can take another woman, but not while that free-born woman is living whom he had in his own country." (Pope Stephen III, Denzinger, pg. 119, note 1)

The Canons of Elvira are also pretty straightforward. While Canon 8 forbids those "who have left their husbands for no prior cause and have joined themselves with others" from receiving communion even at death, Canon 9 allows the innocent party who has left an adulterer to receive communion "if perchance the necessity of illness urge that it be given", though otherwise they were then excommunicated. The remarriage of the innocent party was frowned upon, but clearly was not considered inherently evil, otherwise they would be disbarred from communion for life. The same position is staked out even more leniently towards the innocent party by Tertullian, Lactantius, St. Epiphanius, St. John Chrysostom, etc.

58 posted on 02/03/2004 6:43:53 PM PST by Hermann the Cherusker
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To: Hermann the Cherusker
Ok, I don't have access to Denzinger so I don't have the full texts of what the Popes said. So I'll do my best to handle the claims you present, however I cannot properly accept or refute your claims.

First and foremost, canon law can be erroneous. Popes are not infallible in a general sense. The infalliblity of a Pope is within certain narrow paramaters.

>>"After legitimate consent in the present case it is permitted to the one, even with the other objecting, to chose a monastery, as some saints have been called from marriage, as long as sexual intercourse has not taken place between them.

This is not Ecclesiastical Divorce. What you miss here is that the marriages has not been consumated and therefore incomplete, not valid.

Also, whan a couple is separated from room and board for abuse or adultery (a "limited divorce" or legal separation), the non-offending party may join a religious order without consent of the offender. The offender can do the same but requires the consent of the offended. But it is not a divorce and neither are free to remarry -- unlike Ecclesiastical Divorce.

>>And if she should marry, ...she should be seperated from him, and forced...return to the first, although som think otherwise, and also judgement has been rendered in another way by certain of our predecessors."

Judgement rendered "in another way" is vague. For example, she might not have been ordered to return to the first but still orded separated from the second. If indeed the judgement of his predecessor was to accept the second marriage, it was wrong to do so and does not give legitimacy to remarriage.

>>Pope Alexander III admits that Supreme Pontiffs in the past had allowed the dissolution of legitimate sacramental marriages in favor of a second marriage

IMO, this sounds like someone's interpretation on what the Pope said. If the Pope actually meant what you say, he obviously thought it was wrong since he refuses to do the same, unlike his predecessors.

>>"If anyone in a foreign land should take a slave woman in marriage, ...circumstances can take another woman, but not while that free-born woman is living whom he had in his own country." (Pope Stephen III, Denzinger, pg. 119, note 1)

Once again without the whole writing, the context is not clear. Was the slave woman forced to marry? If so, then the marriage wasn't valid to begin with.

>>Canon 9 allows the innocent party who has left an adulterer to receive communion "if perchance the necessity of illness urge that it be given", though otherwise they were then excommunicated.

If anything,this only points out it was sinful, but to a lesser extent. The fact that communion was to be denied is proof that the Church REJECTED the second marriage. Allowing communion upon illness may be an act of mercy since death could be approaching and there is a chance for repentace. But it is in no way an acceptance of the second marriage as being valid.

>>The remarriage of the innocent party was frowned upon, but clearly was not considered inherently evil, otherwise they would be disbarred from communion for life.

Actually, I don't get that at all from the passage. Rather what I get is a recognition of the woman being wronged, and pastoral mercy being show if she were to get ill and death be around the corner -- she had a chance to repent. Obviously it was more than frowned upon. (Remember in those days, common illness could kill a person, so any illnes was serious).

There is a recognition in the West, of the injured party. However, unlike Ecclesiastical Divorce, that recognition does not allow remarriage. Why? Because a valid marriage cannot be dissolved.

>>The same position is staked out even more leniently towards the innocent party by Tertullian, Lactantius, St. Epiphanius, St. John Chrysostom, etc.

There is a vast difference between taking a position on this issue and how the the Church treats a second marriage.

Also, one must remember something about the Saints: The Church doesn't accept EVERYTHING they said or claimed. It's not wrong to recognize that a party has been injured. What is wrong is to give them permission to live a sinful life via a second marriage.

59 posted on 02/03/2004 9:55:08 PM PST by 1stFreedom
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To: Hermann the Cherusker
Your post was very challenging.

However, I think the evidence falls short.

Canons and popes may have erred in recognizing a second marriage, but they are the exception and not the rule.

Evidence of the rejection of second marriages is easily found in volume in the writings of the Popes and Saints -- unlike the few writings you cited.

There is a difference between errantly allowing a remarriage on an occassion and the historical practice of rejecting it.

Also, your post seemed to try and equate the recognition of an injured spouse with Ecclesiastical Divorce -- they are not the same.

It also attempts to take [errant] exceptions to the rejection of second marriages and make them seem like all along they were accepted.

Let me point out the larger issues:

(from the OCA website):

>>If, however, a marriage breaks down and collapses, the Orthodox Church does in fact allow a second marriage, without excommunication..

This is in direct conflict with our Saviour on the issue of divorce and remarriage.

>>>that is, exclusion from Holy Communion, if there is repentance and a good chance that the new alliance can be Christian.

Another error is commited here: remarriage isn't a single sin. Every time the couple has sex a new sin is committed. One cannot repent of the remarriage and then be free of adultery if they engage in sexual relations afterwards. Though the adulterous act of remarriage is forgiven, the couple still commits adultery every time they have sex.

The Orthodox Church has erred gravely in allowing a couple to live in a continual state of sin and to [unworthily] recieve the Eucharist in this state. This practice is far beyond any historical claim.

>>More than one marriage in any case, however, is frowned upon.

Jesus did more than frown upon it -- he condemned it.

As far as I understand it, the offended party can marry more than one time. If they keep marrying people who cheat on them, they can marry a few times more (I've heard that it's as much as 3 times, but I am in doubt of that.)





60 posted on 02/03/2004 10:18:50 PM PST by 1stFreedom
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To: PFKEY
I would think that should be the end of the story.

I'm not sure what you mean. Are you asking why the pope is exhorting tribunals to do a better job?

61 posted on 02/04/2004 4:51:59 AM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: 1stFreedom; sitetest; Catholicguy
This is not Ecclesiastical Divorce. What you miss here is that the marriages has not been consumated and therefore incomplete, not valid.

I didn't say that it was. I was giving you the entire selection for context.

IMO, this sounds like someone's interpretation on what the Pope said. If the Pope actually meant what you say, he obviously thought it was wrong since he refuses to do the same, unlike his predecessors.

No, not at all. Well, I don't think it is disputed that non-consumated marriages can be dissolved. The issue is over consummated marriages. It seems to me that the Pope is addressing the issue of whether a woman can remarry if the husband has turned to the religious life. he is saying no, but admitting others think otherwise, including some of his predecessors.

Once again without the whole writing, the context is not clear. Was the slave woman forced to marry? If so, then the marriage wasn't valid to begin with.

You are reading late-medieval canonical concepts (like canonical validity) into Roman-era documents written at a time where Marriages did not even take place in the Church. Roman Law prohibited the marriage of freemen and slaves. That is why this issue is arising in the letter.

If anything,this only points out it was sinful, but to a lesser extent. The fact that communion was to be denied is proof that the Church REJECTED the second marriage. Allowing communion upon illness may be an act of mercy since death could be approaching and there is a chance for repentace.

Actually, I don't get that at all from the passage. Rather what I get is a recognition of the woman being wronged, and pastoral mercy being show if she were to get ill and death be around the corner -- she had a chance to repent. Obviously it was more than frowned upon. (Remember in those days, common illness could kill a person, so any illnes was serious).

You are reading context into it which does not exist. The Church at that time frowned upon all subsequent marriages, whether from death, divorce, or other means. Read Tertullian's "To His Wife" on this if you need some context.

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0404.htm

Those which were intrinsically evil (remarriage of guilty adulterers and deserters, etc.) were denied communion even at death without repentance and seperation. This case (remarriage of the innocent party) was not treated in the same way. Something that is intrinsically evil cannot be accepted "in extremis" because there is no gray between right and wrong. The only logical conclusion was that the Church viewed this situation as seriously misguided, but not intrinsically evil.

In any case, there is no mention of a requirement of repentance, because the Canon clearly implies the conintuation of the new couple living together as man and wife. If they had seperated, they could have simply done the much shorter penance due for adultery.

IMO, this sounds like someone's interpretation on what the Pope said. If the Pope actually meant what you say, he obviously thought it was wrong since he refuses to do the same, unlike his predecessors.

And then we are stuck with "Pope vs. Pope".

There is a recognition in the West, of the injured party. However, unlike Ecclesiastical Divorce, that recognition does not allow remarriage. Why? Because a valid marriage cannot be dissolved.

But that isn't the concept held in the East. They don't view it as a valid marriage being dissolved, since sacramental marriage is permanent, but an indulgence being shown towards the innocent in favor of a second natural marriage.

Maybe it would be easier for you to think about it this way. The Patriarchs and Kings of old were not acting against the natural law in taking more than one wife. How is it really any different for a man with an adulterous spouse to follow the same path by marrying another woman? There is no natural law being violated, and the Eastern Church (and the Catholic Church in accepting the actions of the Eastern Church) does not consider the marriage being contracted as being a sacramental marriage, but a legitimate natural marriage.

Also, one must remember something about the Saints: The Church doesn't accept EVERYTHING they said or claimed. It's not wrong to recognize that a party has been injured. What is wrong is to give them permission to live a sinful life via a second marriage.

If this were an instance of one or two isolated Saints, we might agree that this principal applies here. But we are talking about an "error" allegedly held for millenia by most in the East, by doctors of the Church, by various western local Councils and Popes, and by many of the Fathers. The weight of evidence on the one side, and the lack of condemnation by the west towards the east over this practice says volumes.

62 posted on 02/04/2004 11:20:12 AM PST by Hermann the Cherusker
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To: Hermann the Cherusker
Dear Hermann,

"Maybe it would be easier for you to think about it this way. The Patriarchs and Kings of old were not acting against the natural law in taking more than one wife. How is it really any different for a man with an adulterous spouse to follow the same path by marrying another woman? There is no natural law being violated, and the Eastern Church (and the Catholic Church in accepting the actions of the Eastern Church) does not consider the marriage being contracted as being a sacramental marriage, but a legitimate natural marriage."

That's about the best explanation of this I've ever heard. Thanks.


sitetest
63 posted on 02/04/2004 11:27:04 AM PST by sitetest
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To: Hermann the Cherusker
OK, I'll have to break up my responses.

First concerning the Saints, fathers, doctors:

The weight of evidence on the one side, and the lack of condemnation by the west towards the east over this practice says volumes.

The East might not have been directly condemned, but the practice itself is condemed.

Hermas

"What then shall the husband do, if the wife continue in this disposition [adultery]? Let him divorce her, and let the husband remain single. But if he divorce his wife and marry another, he too commits adultery" (The Shepherd 4:1:6 [A.D. 80]).

64 posted on 02/04/2004 12:30:45 PM PST by 1stFreedom
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To: Hermann the Cherusker
Justin Martyr

"In regard to chastity, [Jesus] has this to say: ‘If anyone look with lust at a woman, he has already before God committed adultery in his heart.’ And, ‘Whoever marries a woman who has been divorced from another husband, commits adultery.’

According to our Teacher, just as they are sinners who contract a second marriage, even though it be in accord with human law, so also are they sinners who look with lustful desire at a woman. He repudiates not only one who actually commits adultery, but even one who wishes to do so; for not only our actions are manifest to God, but even our thoughts" (First Apology 15 [A.D. 151]).

65 posted on 02/04/2004 12:31:52 PM PST by 1stFreedom
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To: Hermann the Cherusker
Clement of Alexandria

"That Scripture counsels marriage, however, and never allows any release from the union, is expressly contained in the law: ‘You shall not divorce a wife, except for reason of immorality.’

And it regards as adultery the marriage of a spouse, while the one from whom a separation was made is still alive. ‘Whoever takes a divorced woman as wife commits adultery,’ it says; for ‘if anyone divorce his wife, he debauches her’; that is, he compels her to commit adultery. And not only does he that divorces her become the cause of this, but also he that takes the woman and gives her the opportunity of sinning; for if he did not take her, she would return to her husband" (Miscellanies 2:23:145:3 [A.D. 208]).

66 posted on 02/04/2004 12:33:15 PM PST by 1stFreedom
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To: Hermann the Cherusker
Origen

"Just as a woman is an adulteress, even though she seem to be married to a man, while a former husband yet lives, so also the man who seems to marry her who has been divorced does not marry her, but, according to the declaration of our Savior, he commits adultery with her" (Commentaries on Matthew 14:24 [A.D. 248]).

67 posted on 02/04/2004 12:34:05 PM PST by 1stFreedom
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To: Hermann the Cherusker
Basil the Great

"A man who marries after another man’s wife has been taken away from him will be charged with adultery in the case of the first woman; but in the case of the second he will be guiltless" (Second Canonical Letter to Amphilochius 199:37 [A.D. 375]).

68 posted on 02/04/2004 12:34:57 PM PST by 1stFreedom
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To: Hermann the Cherusker
Ambrose of Milan

"No one is permitted to know a woman other than his wife. The marital right is given you for this reason: lest you fall into the snare and sin with a strange woman. ‘If you are bound to a wife do not seek a divorce’; for you are not permitted, while your wife lives, to marry another" (Abraham 1:7:59 [A.D. 387]).

"You dismiss your wife, therefore, as if by right and without being charged with wrongdoing; and you suppose it is proper for you to do so because no human law forbids it; but divine law forbids it. Anyone who obeys men ought to stand in awe of God. Hear the law of the Lord, which even they who propose our laws must obey: ‘What God has joined together let no man put asunder’" (Commentary on Luke 8:5 [A.D. 389]).

69 posted on 02/04/2004 12:36:15 PM PST by 1stFreedom
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To: Hermann the Cherusker
Jerome

"Do not tell me about the violence of the ravisher, about the persuasiveness of a mother, about the authority of a father, about the influence of relatives, about the intrigues and insolence of servants, or about household [financial] losses. So long as a husband lives, be he adulterer, be he sodomite, be he addicted to every kind of vice, if she left him on account of his crimes, he is her husband still and she may not take another" (Letters 55:3 [A.D. 396]).

"Wherever there is fornication and a suspicion of fornication, a wife is freely dismissed. Because it is always possible that someone may calumniate the innocent and, for the sake of a second joining in marriage, act in criminal fashion against the first, it is commanded that when the first wife is dismissed, a second may not be taken while the first lives" (Commentaries on Matthew 3:19:9 [A.D. 398]).

70 posted on 02/04/2004 12:38:01 PM PST by 1stFreedom
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To: Hermann the Cherusker
Pope Innocent I

"[T]he practice is observed by all of regarding as an adulteress a woman who marries a second time while her husband yet lives, and permission to do penance is not granted her until one of them is dead" (Letters 2:13:15 [A.D. 408]).

71 posted on 02/04/2004 12:38:56 PM PST by 1stFreedom
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To: Hermann the Cherusker
Augustine

"Neither can it rightly be held that a husband who dismisses his wife because of fornication and marries another does not commit adultery. For there is also adultery on the part of those who, after the repudiation of their former wives because of fornication, marry others.

This adultery, nevertheless, is certainly less serious than that of men who dismiss their wives for reasons other than fornication and take other wives.

Therefore, when we say: ‘Whoever marries a woman dismissed by her husband for reason other than fornication commits adultery,’ undoubtedly we speak the truth. But we do not thereby acquit of this crime the man who marries a woman who was dismissed because of fornication.

We do not doubt in the least that both are adulterers.

We do indeed pronounce him an adulterer who dismissed his wife for cause other than fornication and marries another, nor do we thereby defend from the taint of this sin the man who dismissed his wife because of fornication and marries another.

We recognize that both are adulterers, though the sin of one is more grave than that of the other. No one is so unreasonable to say that a man who marries a woman whose husband has dismissed her because of fornication is not an adulterer, while maintaining that a man who marries a woman dismissed without the ground of fornication is an adulterer. Both of these men are guilty of adultery" (Adulterous Marriages 1:9:9 [A.D. 419]).

"A woman begins to be the wife of no later husband unless she has ceased to be the wife of a former one. She will cease to be the wife of a former one, however, if that husband should die, not if he commit fornication. A spouse, therefore, is lawfully dismissed for cause of fornication; but the bond of chastity remains. That is why a man is guilty of adultery if he marries a woman who has been dismissed even for this very reason of fornication" (ibid., 2:4:4).

"Undoubtedly the substance of the sacrament is of this bond, so that when man and woman have been joined in marriage they must continue inseparably as long as they live, nor is it allowed for one spouse to be separated from the other except for cause of fornication. For this is preserved in the case of Christ and the Church, so that, as a living one with a living one, there is no divorce, no separation forever" (Marriage and Concupiscence 1:10:11 [A.D. 419]).

"In marriage, however, let the blessings of marriage be loved: offspring, fidelity, and the sacramental bond. Offspring, not so much because it may be born, but because it can be reborn; for it is born to punishment unless it be reborn to life. Fidelity, but not such as even the unbelievers have among themselves, ardent as they are for the flesh. . . . The sacramental bond, which they lose neither through separation nor through adultery, this the spouses should guard chastely and harmoniously" (ibid., 1:17:19).

72 posted on 02/04/2004 12:43:53 PM PST by 1stFreedom
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To: Hermann the Cherusker
>>The issue is over consummated marriages. It seems to me that the Pope is addressing the issue of whether a woman can remarry if the husband has turned to the religious life. he is saying no, but admitting others think otherwise, including some of his predecessors.

The key here is your own words: "Seems" I think we need more than "seems" in the debate. The pope's wording is too vague. It could indeed be what you think it means, but then again, it could not.

>>You are reading late-medieval canonical concepts (like canonical validity) into Roman-era documents written at a

This isn't true. The divorce exception Jesus spoke of in the Scriptures, allowed divorce for unlawful (invalid) incestious marriages (one of the meanings of Pornea). While the word/concept of "valid" may have been later, they are one in the same (invalid=unlawful).

>>You are reading context into it which does not exist.

That's not true. Herman, Martyr, Clement, Origen all condemn a second marriage well before the council of Elvira and it's canons.

The implicit context is that the second marriage for an 'injured spouse' is sinful, though with a lesser degree of guilt.

>>The Church at that time frowned upon all subsequent marriages, whether from death, divorce, or other means.

Condemnation is much more than frowning. Even for an injured spouse who remarries, frowning is too nice of a description. (Calling someone an adulterer is not a small charge, and not just a case of frowning.)

>>Read Tertullian's "To His Wife" on this if you need some context.

I will when I have a little more time, but I suspect he writes about a lesser guilt instead of approval of a second marriage.

>> Something that is intrinsically evil cannot be accepted "in extremis" because there is no gray between right and wrong. The only logical conclusion was that the Church viewed this situation as seriously misguided, but not intrinsically evil.

To say that the Church viewed it is as misguided is not credible and is an attempt to "dumb down" the the condemnation from the Church of a second marriage.

The Church a second marriage as adultery, but with a lesser amount of guilt involved. Regardless of the extent of the guilt, it was still sinful.

However, adultery is always evil and as you say, there is no gray between right and wrong. The only logical conclusion is that the Church viewed it as adultery (sinful) but also viewed the sin as less malicious.

In any case, there is no mention of a requirement of repentance,

Sin always requires repentance -- it's an implicit concept.

>> because the Canon clearly implies the conintuation of the new couple living together as man and wife.

No. Take a closer look:

A baptized woman who leaves an adulterous husband who has been baptized, for another man, may not marry him. If she does, she may not receive communion until her former husband dies, unless she is seriously ill.

First of all, there is the prohibition: "may not marry him". Why? It's obvious: it's adultery.

If she does, she may not receive communion until her former husband dies, unless she is seriously ill.

The word former doesn't imply that the first marriage is over, but rather distinguishes between the men.

And since lesser guilt is involved in the SIN, she is offered communion if she is *seriously* ill -- due to the threat of death. (Often times in the early Church sacraments were not given till serious illness/pending death. Most people had time to partake in them since there was some amount of time before death.)

73 posted on 02/04/2004 1:16:27 PM PST by 1stFreedom
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To: Hermann the Cherusker
>>And then we are stuck with "Pope vs. Pope".

We still have that today.

I must say your post caused me to do quite a lot of work in responding!

74 posted on 02/04/2004 1:21:41 PM PST by 1stFreedom
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To: Hermann the Cherusker
I'll respond more tomorrow. I don't have any more time to post today!
75 posted on 02/04/2004 1:23:22 PM PST by 1stFreedom
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To: 1stFreedom
The divorce exception Jesus spoke of in the Scriptures, allowed divorce for unlawful (invalid) incestious marriages (one of the meanings of Pornea).

What is your basis for suggesting that Jesus was speaking only of this particular meaning of Pornea ?

76 posted on 02/04/2004 1:47:21 PM PST by Quester (Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart. Psalm 73:1)
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To: Quester
It's not the only basis. Fornication, another translation of pornea, is grounds for divorce of an unconsumated marriage (betrothal).
77 posted on 02/04/2004 1:58:54 PM PST by 1stFreedom
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To: 1stFreedom
Specifically, ... on what basis do you exclude adultery as one of the meanings of pornea in Jesus' statement ?

78 posted on 02/04/2004 2:10:29 PM PST by Quester (Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart. Psalm 73:1)
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To: Hermann the Cherusker
Something I pulled from New Advent on marriage/remarriage/divorce:

The practice of the faithful was not indeed always in perfect accord with the doctrine of the Church. On account of defective morality, there are to be found regulations of particular synods which permitted unjustifiable concessions.

However, the synods of all centuries, and more clearly still the decrees of the popes, have constantly declared that divorce which annulled the marriage and permitted remarriage was never allowed.

The Synod of Elvira (A.D. 300) maintains without the least ambiguity the permanence of the marriage bond, even in the case of adultery. Canon ix decreed: "A faithful woman who has left an adulterous husband and is marrying another who is faithful, let her be prohibited from marrying; if she has married, let her not receive communion until the man she has left shall have departed this life, unless illness should make this an imperative necessity" (Labbe, "Concilia", II, 7).

The Synod of Arles (314) speaks indeed of counseling as far as possible, that the young men who had dismissed their wives for adultery should take no second wife" (ut, in quantum possil, consilium eis detur); but it declares at the same time the illicit character of such a second marriage, because it says of these husbands, "They are forbidden to marry" (prohibentur nubere, Labbe, II, 472).

The same declaration is to be found in the Second Council of Mileve (416), canon xvii (Labbe, IV, 331); the Council of Hereford (673), canon x (Labbe, VII, 554); the Council of Friuli (Forum Julii), in northern Italy (791), canon x (Labbe, IX, 46);

all of these teach distinctly that the marriage bond remains even in case of dismissal for adultery, and that new marriage is therefore forbidden.
79 posted on 02/04/2004 3:11:04 PM PST by 1stFreedom
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To: Hermann the Cherusker
If you want some HEAVY reading on this subject, from the Catholic perspective, read this: Divorce (in Moral Theology) It's heavy reading and not well formatted, but it's very thourough. It got me cross eyed, but then again I've been staring at the screen for hours now and I'm tired.
80 posted on 02/04/2004 3:16:19 PM PST by 1stFreedom
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