Skip to comments.The Dangerous Pressure for Change in Church Teaching on Divorce and Remarriage
Posted on 02/25/2014 6:42:42 PM PST by marshmallow
As the October meeting of the Synod of Bishops draws near, well hear more and more about one question: Whether Catholics who are divorced and remarried should be allowed to receive the Eucharist. Clearly this is the question on the minds of reporters, the question being posed by liberal bishops, the question that agitates Catholics especially in the German-speaking countries.
But this is not the question being asked by Pope Francis, or the question that was asked by Pope Benedict before him. Both Pontiffs spoke about the need to provide pastoral care for Catholics in these irregular unions. They both mentioned the possibility that some marriages should be annulled, and the process of annulment might be changed. But they did not talk about changing the perennial teaching of the Church.
Writing in the Boston Globe, John Allen suggests that the question might do for Pope Francis what Humanae Vitae did for Pope Paul VI. As he explains, in 1968 there were high expectations that the Pope would change Church teaching to allow the use of contraceptives. When his encyclical reaffirmed what the Church has always taught, Pope Paul dashed those expectations, liberal Catholics felt that they had been betrayed, and the Popes popularity (which, to be honest, had never been terribly high) plummeted. Now in 2014 there are high expectations that Pope Francis will change Church teaching, yet it seems highly unlikely that he wouldor coulddo so. The Churchs teaching on the indissolubility of marriage is not really open to question at all; it is based on the very clear words of Jesus Christ. Because of his phenomenal popularity, Allen argues, Pope Francis is probably in a better position to deliver what some people are likely to perceive as bad news. Still, the news will come as a shock.
(Excerpt) Read more at catholicculture.org ...
“What God has joined -—”
Guess what, you do not know who God joined and who He did not join.
The Church will recognize this truth. Current practice is hypocritical and contradictory. An annulment recognizes that no union existed. How often was that the case when no annulment was ever applied for?
Smaller, but stronger.
The apostates will wind up forming their own religion, just like they always do.
There’s been “dangerous pressure” regarding divorce since (at least) Henry VIII. There’s been “dangerous pressure” regarding contraception for getting on 100 years. Either we believe Christ, “On this Rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it,” or we don’t. Either we trust the Spirit working in the Church, or we don’t.
For the love of Pete, pun intended, the Church got through the Renaissance. She’ll get past the (fill in rude word for people whose entire life is oriented around genital pleasure), with the message of Christ intact.
Irrespective of whether this does or does not happen, I find it extremely offensive when someone who has been married for many years, and has children from that marriage, tries to get an annulment. It’s even more offensive if they are granted it. How can that not ever have been a legitimate marriage?
It could be that it was a long and torturous road that from all outward indications has now been murdered. It was never right from the start. Maybe the innocent individual wants an answer, was this nightmare a sacrificial marriage? If so, keep the covenant with God. If not, be released from the nightmare.
That is a ridiculous accusation against every person who uses contraceptives or marries again after a failed marriage.
That comment’s a keeper.
Marriages do not fail, the people in them do. The Christian response to personal failure (aka sin) is repentance.
All of those things are probably said by many in divorce, but it is, IMHO, not legitimate to eradicate the meaning of years of your lives, and a union that was blessed with children, by simply saying it never existed. It might not have been right, from the start, but it existed.
I’m not judging the failure of the marriage. That’s not for me to say. I’m just saying that annulment, IMHO, should be reserved for those cases in which someone was forced into marriage against their will, or were not of age when they got married, or were lied to about something very substantive (previous felony, HIV positive) etc.
well you could be right
The problem this. What do you do when a good Christian (or Catholic) had their marriage end?
It appears that annulments are used as a vehicle to say “You are without sin in this, and are free to marry”.
Looking at the stats, to do otherwise would shrink the Catholic church. To be honest I personally know at least three former Catholics who left the church because their marriage ended, and they were insulted when the other party got an annulment.
Oh, I was painting with a much broader brush. There’s almost nothing in our culture today that’s not corrupted by lust. I was listening to the radio just a few minutes ago, and the announcers were going on about what a “hot body” “Ariel, the Little Mermaid” had.
Nothing can simply be harmlessly enjoyable. Everything - casual civility, friendship, marriage, childhood - is dirtied by the urge to use others for sexual stimulation or gratification, if only in the mind.
I think it's worse than that. I think some are agitating for these changes, which won't be made, simply to turn folks away from the Church, when the changes don't happen.
Legitimacy is conferred by the governmental body that issues marriage licenses. The operable term in a Catholic marriage is 'validity'. Was the Sacrament of Matrimony 'valid' when the couple received it? In order to determine that, there is a Tribunal which hears testimony from parties close to the couple. It's not a snap judgement, nor is it a sure thing. And it has NOTHING to do with money, other than the costs incurred by the bureaucracy involved.
The Church, when granting an annulment, isn't saying that the MARRIAGE never existed, it is saying that the Sacrament wasn't valid. The children are still legitimate, because legitimacy is conferred by the STATE, not the Church, and if the divorce didn't make them illegitimate, neither will the annulment.
“And it has NOTHING to do with money, other than the costs incurred by the bureaucracy involved.”
It might have nothing to do ‘directly’ with money, or celebrity, but if you are telling me that under the exact same circumstances that some Catholic politicians and celebrities got annulments others without the same notoriety would have received an annulment, I have to beg to differ.
I became a Catholic as an adult, by choice, and the reasons for this are many. That said, the Church has a spiritual ‘sacred’ side, and a very real and historic ‘human frailty’ side, including selling indulgences.
“The operable term in a Catholic marriage is ‘validity’.”
I understand your point. My point would then be, how can you spend multiple years together, and have children together, and share all of that, and then try to say that the marriage ‘wasn’t valid’.
It’s just my personal opinion, but I have a hard time believing that God deals in technicalities. I don’t mean to be offensive saying that, so I hope it doesn’t come off that way. I’m not judging, and whatever the Church decides is what the Church decides. I would just not ever pursue annulment.
“The children are still legitimate, because legitimacy is conferred by the STATE, not the Church, and if the divorce didn’t make them illegitimate, neither will the annulment. “
I understand the distinction. That said, my father was brought up Catholic, and my mother was never brought up with any organized religion (small coal mining town, mixed religion marriage, other issues). They married in a civil ceremony, and later had my older sibling (conceived, to my knowledge, after the marriage). My father wanted my mother to become officially Catholic and redo their vows in a Catholic ceremony. The priest told them that my older sibling was born out of marriage - illegitimate. That’s not to say that the official Church doctrine was reflected in that response, but it really bothered my father.