Religion: Divorce for Catholics?

A quiet reformation that may have profound effects on Roman Catholic discipline concerning divorce and remarriage is gaining ground among U.S. Catholics. It is being led by theologians, canon lawyers and even concerned bishops. The latest arguments for change include a sharp criticism of Roman Catholic annulment procedures by the Canon Law Society of America, and a thoughtful book entitled Divorce and Remarriage for Catholics? (Doubleday) by Monsignor Stephen J. Kelleher, onetime presiding judge of the marriage tribunal of the Archdiocese of New York.

The reformers do not attack Jesus’ injunction: “What God has joined together, let not man put asunder,” which the Catholic Church has long cited in forbidding divorce and remarriage. They argue that Jesus was stating a moral objective that not everyone, even with the best efforts, can always achieve. The reformers note that even St. Paul recognized that some marriages fail when he accepted the divorces of new Christians who could not get along with their pagan spouses. Now, say Kelleher and fellow critics, Rome should acknowledge other exceptions for modern-day Catholics.


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7 replies

  1. You do not understand Catholicism. Become Catholic and begin to learn about a God who loves you so much that He gives you the freedom, NOT to choose Him. That is real love. He does not need us. We need Him.

    One cannot really learn something by studying it. One can learn ABOUT something that way.

    Just imagine sending your beloved Son to die at the hands of your own creations, in order to give them a chance to share eternity with you, even as they are utterly unworthy of that chance. In my wildest imagination I cannot comprehend the nature of a love, so profound. I simply want to be with such love.

    That is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. That IS love.

    Marriage is not meant for everyone. But the choice to follow God is open to everyone. The relationship in marriage reflects the unity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The reformers as you call them, long ago, as they drifted from Catholicism and splintered Christendom, lost site of unity in the Body of Christ and in marriage. Their understanding of marriage is flawed. Hence, marriage is reduced to a “civil right” in the United States, as if the laws of the State can overrule the Creator. How arrogant!

    The Catholic Church is filled with sinners. We all sin. That is why Christ died. But it cannot dissolve a marriage which has been blessed by God. It does not have that power. A mere civil ceremony does not make a marriage, what ever a particular state says. That is why the Catholic Church administers marriage as it does.

    It is impossible to say it all here. Become Catholic sir and you can learn. Then you will have cause to pray, in earnest, for the misguided souls who presume that “change” is coming to the Catholic Church in regards to divorce/remarriage and the mischief they are really about.

    If men who call themselves Catholic, behave as pagans or as other religions do, it does not change the Catholic Church, or what it teaches. Even if these men are priests and bishops, this does not change the Catholic Church or what it teaches.

    Such is called SCANDAL, it is an everyday occurrence in these days. These scandalous men lead others astray, from within and outside the Catholic Church and they misrepresent God. They lead men to believe caricatures of the Catholic Church because they cannot bring themselves to surrender to Christ, their will, so they may become more like him. We all do the same, in our human weakness, but some make a show of it to lead others astray.

    A promise in marriage is certainly able to be honored, even if one spouse is unfaithful and leaves. It is folly to think a man or woman cannot, or should not, remain faithful to a promise made before God. Rubbish. A vow before God, in marriage, is binding, for life, when it has been properly understood and executed between baptized Christians. The bond is beyond the authority of even the Pope, as the human head of the Body of Christ, to loose. His authority to loose the bonds of “apparent marriages” is limited and specific in its limitations.

    Not everything that appears to be gold, is gold. Not everyman who says he speaks the truth, does so. Not every marriage which seems to be a marriage, is a marriage as the Catholic Church understands marriage. Therein resides your quandary.

    But you really need to come to a Catholic understanding of this in order to get beyond the distractions of worldly opinions about the nature of marriage.

  2. Thank you for your post. You write:

    You do not understand Catholicism. Become Catholic and begin to learn about a God who loves you so much that He gives you the freedom, NOT to choose Him. That is real love. He does not need us. We need Him.

    But, unfortunately the Trinitarian God of Catholicism does not exist, it is like tooth fairy or santa claus. I have several articles about Trinity and Christian theology, the links are provided at the end. Not to speak of Trinitarian God, the dual and hybrid Jesus, fully God and perfect human cannot exist, it is a philosophical and scientific impossibility. It is perhaps time to grow up and get real please!

    In Islam we regard God the Father as Allah and Jesus, may peace be on him, as a noble prophet. In the links below, allow me to demystify the Christian assertions based on 2000 year old stories.

    Two natures of Jesus: another Christian mystery:

    Maria: Pope Benedict XVI on the Mother of God:

    The God of Jesus Christ: meditations on the Triune God:

    A collection of more than 100 articles on different aspects of Christianity:

  3. Once I said to a Catholic priest: What was the need of God to sacrifice his one and only son for our (inherited) sins? Could He not have either not give us the (inherited) sin or simply said to us: “I forgive you”? The answer of the Catholic priest: “You know, when I was in the seminary studying to become a priest I had many sleepless nights about this very question.”

  4. The concept of ‘three in one’ is not logical as Dr Joseph priestly writes;
    …. the Father, the Son, or the Spirit, to constitute each of them truly and properly God; each being equal in eternity and all divine perfections ; and yet that these three are not three Gods, but only one God. They are, therefore, both one and many in the same respect, viz., in each being perfect 6od. This is certainly as much a contradiction as to say that Peter, James, and John, having each of them everything that is requisite to constitute a complete man, are yet, all together, not three men, but only one man. For the ideas annexed to the words God or man cannot make any difference in the nature of the two propositions” (p-321)

  5. Quoting (from memory) from a pamphlet in Africa “how to convert a Muslim to Christianity”: “Do not speak to a Muslim about trinity, he will not understand it, just speak to him about the love of Jesus”…

    The first part is surely true. Love of Jesus? We have Allah, the Merciful!!! Alhamdolillah!

  6. My comment was made to address the subject of the post, from the perspective of a practicing Catholic. I appreciate that it was included and thank you all for your comments.

    I am content to continue believing as I do but I have come not to wonder, too much, why God acts as He does or about the exact nature of God. It is enough for me that, I am relevant enough to Him that He has blessed me with a desire to seek Him and to do so as best I understand things, even as He loves me through my weak human failings.

    For me, it seems, a reflection of blasphemy(by this I mean being perilously close to attempting to speak for God or to say that I, fully, comprehend God), for a creation to attempt to define the creator with limitations(which I actually see as vain reflections of our limitations as created beings rather than the being who IS). As a Catholic it is part of my faith that nothing is impossible for God. Science knows only what can be measured. Philosophy, for me, seems as varied as religion varies, with as many varieties, seemingly, as there are stars.

    Certainly, Catholicism and Islam view God very differently, but that is not why I posted what I did, although we all will look at things from the perspective of our beliefs. Nor am I here now seeking a debate, and most certainly not to insult.
    I would like those who read this blog, to understand that the opinions in the post do not accurately reflect Catholic thought or teaching. They do reflect the thoughts of other Christians, Mr. Atif and likely, I think, Monsignor Kelleher, but those thoughts are not consistent with Catholic teaching.

    To be sure, I am not saying there is the intent to misrepresent what the Catholic Church teaches. I may have said things here that offend some of you, but I certainly, have not intended that. I simply wanted the clarity, not to judge a motive.

    Thank you all and may the pursuit of God lead you to Him.

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