Divorce and remarriage
Prohibition of Divorce in Catholicism
It was Jesus who prohibited divorce. This is not something invented later by the Church. When men (males) invent a religion, they make sure that they can either keep a harem directly (like Mohammed and Joseph Smith) or else have the benefits of serial polygamy (taking one wife after another, as with the a multitude of stars and celebrities in American culture--the Playboys of the western world).
The Roman Catholic Church is one of the few Christian bodies in all the world to obey Jesus. As with the "hard teaching" about Jesus' real presence in the Eucharist (Jn 6), so with this hard teaching about the permanence of marriage: Bible Christians find a way to interpret what they read to suit their fancy.
Some Pharisees approached him, and tested him, saying, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?" He said in reply, "Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female' 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'? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate." They said to him, "Then why did Moses command that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss (her)?" He said to them, "Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another commits adultery." [His] disciples said to him, "If that is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry." He answered, "Not all can accept [this] word, but only those to whom that is granted. (Mt 19:3-11)
Civil and Sacramental Marriage
Both the Church and the State have marriage laws designed to protect spouses and children.
In the United States, religious ministers are also allowed to act on behalf of the state in a marriage ceremony. In a single ritual, the laws of both Church and state are satisfied and the relationship is recognized and upheld by both authorities.
The state allows divorce; the Roman Catholic Church does not. Obtaining a civil divorce does not break the spiritual marriage bond. The bond is created by God, not by humans, and human decisions in a civil court cannot divide what God has joined.
Divorce begets divorce
The more we sin, the more we make ourselves vulnerable to sin. Our consciences deteriorate, and we become habituated to doing as we please.
The culture of death is fueled by lust. Our mythology encourages us to praise hedonism and narcissism, and to act as if there were no consequences for breaking marriage vows.
Women and children suffer the most from the breakup of marriages.
The divorced preach the gospel of divorce to others, and often break up another marriage besides their own.
The law of the land now protects adulterers and leaves the victims of adultery undefended.
- Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta
- Divorce breaks, destroys and causes terrible temptations. And it also causes suffering and pain to the heart, to the children and to the whole family. Divorce is one of the biggest killers of family, love and unity. … I also know that there are great problems in the world, that many spouses do not love each other enough to be faithful until death. We cannot solve all the problems in the world but let us never bring in the worst problem of all and that is to destroy love. And that is what we are doing when we tell married people they can divorce each other and go with someone else.
- Besides, a country that accepts divorce will soon have more and more broken families that lead to more disunity... and to more divisions in other families. This is not only because divorce is a destroyer of love, unity and peace but also because the divorced feel lonely and often find friends of their own age who are usually married. This kind of friendship breaks up other marriages and this just goes on and on.
- Buffalo Diocese
- We are an organization of peer ministers reaching out to separated or divorced men and women who need support in dealing with many issues at all stages.
- DivorceLINK is made up of people just like you who have been through it all and have volunteered to help others during one of the most difficult times in their lives. DivorceLINK also offers unique opportunities to grow spiritually and emotionally through various workshops, social events, and our RAPS & LEVELS programs.
- We minister by caring, listening, giving, and sharing.
- You are not alone. Hundreds have turned to DivorceLINK for help during the pain and confusion of their marriage breakup. DivorceLINK is a volunteer organization offering support and healing help to men and women of all ages who are going through separation or divorce. You are invited to our open-forum "RAP group" which meets twice a month. Divorce recovery courses are also available. For more information or a packet filled with information and resources, call your Office of Family Life Ministries at 716-847-2210.
- Peter F. Ryan, SJ, and Germain Grisez, "Indissoluble Marriage: A Reply to Kenneth Himes and James Coriden."
- "Communion to Divorced-Remarried Catholics: The CDF Says No."