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 Post subject: Divorce
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 8:58 pm 
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I know that divorce is not allowed within the Catholic Church, unless it is an unlawful marriage (I got that from another thread).

What constitutes and unlawful marriage in the Church?

I know that we would like to believe that a marriage should never be ended, even in the case of adultery, but what is the solution, in the church's eyes, for an abusive relationship? And I mean ABUSIVE.

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 Post subject: Re: Divorce
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 9:03 pm 
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ErikB wrote:
I know that divorce is not allowed within the Catholic Church, unless it is an unlawful marriage (I got that from another thread).

What constitutes and unlawful marriage in the Church?

I know that we would like to believe that a marriage should never be ended, even in the case of adultery, but what is the solution, in the church's eyes, for an abusive relationship? And I mean ABUSIVE.



Legal Separation.

There is no reason for an abused spouse to remain while their life is threated.

But if the Marriage was Valid, there is nothing the Church or any human can do about it. The Church has zero power to break a valid marriage. The marriage became unbreakable the moment in was consecrated and consummated Validly.

Re-marriage by either party would be adulterous.

No declaration on the part of the Church, or any encylcical of a Pope could change that. Any more than a person could become un-Baptized.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 9:07 pm 
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So, that person could never be married again? They'd live out the rest of their life single?

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 Post subject: Re: Divorce
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 9:18 pm 
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ErikB wrote:
What constitutes and unlawful marriage in the Church?



The Church recognizes 2 types of Marriage


Sacramental and Natural.

In a Sacramental Marriage, the two parties are united by God at the moment of Marriage. In is an unbreakable bond.

When 2 Baptized parties enter into a Marriage it is Sacramental. There are some things that might prevent the Marriage from even happening. These are called either Defect of Form, of Defect of Intent.

Defect of Form is what happens when a Catholic marries a Baptized non-Catholic without a priest or deacon officating (an exception exists if they gain the Bishop's permission)

A Catholic 'marrying' a Baptist in a civil ceremony, or in the Baptist's Church is not a Marriage at all. The two parties are commiting the act of fornication.

2 Baptized non-Catholics are not bound by form, so there is no defect of Form.


Defect of Intent is when one party does not give full consent to marriage. This could be for a variet of reasons (mental illness, ect...)

Once again there is No Marriage.


But if there is no Defect of Form or Defect of Intent at the time the marriage is performed, the Marriage is Sacramental and can only be broken by the death of one of the spouses (God dissolves the Marriage).


The second type of marriage is the Natural Marriage.


A Natural marriage happens when one or both parties are not Baptized. 2 Jews for example, are Naturally married. There is no Sacrament, but they do not commit the sin of fornication.

Natural marriages are presumed Valid with some very rare exceptions that I won't get into.

A Catholic can only enter into a Natural Marriage (marry a non-Baptized person) with the consent of their Bishop. Otherwise, no Marriage occurs and both parties suffer the sin of fornication.


I hope this makes sense. It can be a very compliated issue, especially in today's world.


Canon's 1055 to 1165 of the Book IV, Code of Canon Law have all the specifics if you really want all the details.

http://www.ourladyswarriors.org/canon/

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 9:22 pm 
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ErikB wrote:
So, that person could never be married again? They'd live out the rest of their life single?


That is correct. Or at least until the death of their spouse.


Matthew 19:9 is very clear on the subject. The Church has no power to change Scripture.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 9:28 pm 
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I guess what kinda brings this up is my step-brother, who I don't think ever actually converted to Catholicism, but married a Catholic girl. Then one day, his wife came home and found him in bed with another woman. They then got a divorce. She is now planning to get married again. I'm not sure if her fiance is Catholic or not.

My question is, was the first marriage valid in the eyes of the church (assuming that my step-brother DID NOT convert, because I doubt that he did... he doesn't have the drive to follow through on anything).

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 9:38 pm 
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ErikB wrote:
..

My question is, was the first marriage valid in the eyes of the church (assuming that my step-brother DID NOT convert, because I doubt that he did... he doesn't have the drive to follow through on anything).


That depends on a lot of things that I am not qualified to answer.

The question would go before the Marriage Tribunal, and they would take testimony from both parties and from people who might reasonable know details of the wedding planning. The Marriage Tribunal will operate under an assumption of Validity, in other words, they will need to be convinced that the marraige was invalid.

The Tribunal will also investigate under what circumstances the wedding was conducted. Since one party was Catholic, it needed to be officated by a Catholic priest or deacon, or have permission from the local Bishop.

The Tribunal will then render a judgement, and the case will be sent to another Marriage Tribunal for review. Both Tribunals would need to agree that the Marriage was invalid for an Annulment to be granted.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 10:17 pm 
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Quote:
So, that person could never be married again? They'd live out the rest of their life single?



Not for the rest of their lives, if they got an annulment.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 10:26 pm 
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Alexander wrote:
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So, that person could never be married again? They'd live out the rest of their life single?



Not for the rest of their lives, if they got an annulment.


But that's the issue - you can't just get and annulment when the marriage goes sour.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 11:01 pm 
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Catholic marriage law is complicated and precise, and therefore it is impossible to fairly comment on any particular case on a message board. So I suggest that anyone with a serious marriage issue should consult a priest.

Having said that, I can reply to a couple of ideas expressed above.

A divorce does not end a marriage, in the eyes of the Church. However, it does end a marriage in the eyes of the government. There may be times when a divorce is advisable, for example to protect an abused spouse from serious harm, to protect financial assets when a spouse is squandering money through drink, drugs, gambling, etc. Such a divorce has effects in civil law, but the marriage really continues.

An annulment is a church finding that the marriage never really "took" because something that should have been there when the vows were exchanged was not there. For example, if a person exchanged vows while drunk or under the influence of drugs, was lying, viewed marriage so differently from the Church's conception of marriage that they did not intend to be faithful for life, to be open to having children, etc. One must be divorced to seek and annulment, but not all divorced people are successful in getting an annulment.

A Catholic who marries in a civil ceremony (judge, mayor etc.) marries invalidly. the Church does not recognize the marriage, and a decree of nullity due to lack of proper form (a type of annulment) can be readily obtained after a divorce.

A Catholic who marries in a non-Catholic religious ceremony must have obtained a formal Catholic Church permission for that marriage. Without such a prior formal Church permission, the Church does not recognize the marriage, and a decree of nullity for lack of proper form can readily be obtained after a divorce.

For a person to be married by a priest, or with a priest present, requires that a pre-marital investigation be done, and that almost certainly assures that the marriage meets the minimum requirements to be valid in the eyes of the Church.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 11:19 pm 
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Quote:
Catholic marriage law is complicated and precise, and therefore it is impossible to fairly comment on any particular case on a message board. So I suggest that anyone with a serious marriage issue should consult a priest.


I think someone seeking an annulment should seek first the services of a good canon lawyer, due to the complexities of this kind of problem. A priest could provide preliminary screening to determine if it would be a simple case which the people could go to the tribunal pro se, or whether the annulment would require expert assistance.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 11:39 pm 
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One thing I learned when my sister got an annulment is that until you have obtained a civil divorce, you can't file for an annulment.

The marriage must be ended legally first.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 5:36 am 
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ErikB wrote:
Alexander wrote:
Quote:
So, that person could never be married again? They'd live out the rest of their life single?



Not for the rest of their lives, if they got an annulment.


But that's the issue - you can't just get and annulment when the marriage goes sour.


In this case, she would have a pretty good chance at an annulment. I've had a few friends who've been in this position and even though it's a lot of paperwork, time and effort, it's well worth it. Tell her to get the annulment before she gets remarried, but I know that she can get it after she remarries too, just would be nice to be in alignment with the Church first. I think it's taken one of my friends something like 1 1/2 - 2 years to get her annulment. God bless

Oh, btw, an annulment doesn't mean the marriage never existed....it just means that the sacrament was not fulfilled (for lack of a better word).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 8:31 am 
What about Matthew 19:9? And Matthew 5:32? Both of these verses state fornication. How does the Church view this?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 11:52 am 
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Alexander wrote:
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So, that person could never be married again? They'd live out the rest of their life single?



Not for the rest of their lives, if they got an annulment.


The theoretical instance were Erik and I were discussing involved a valid marriage. There can be no Annulment from a valid marriage.

Such a person, would in fact, have to remain 'single'; there is no possiblility of re-marriage while the spouse is still alive.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 11:57 am 
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Fiat wrote:
Oh, btw, an annulment doesn't mean the marriage never existed....it just means that the sacrament was not fulfilled (for lack of a better word).


No, it does mean that a Marriage never existed. For Baptized persons, a marriage either exists, or it does not. There is no inbetween. What can vary is if the parties were also part to the sin of fornication.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 12:21 pm 
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Brendan wrote:
Fiat wrote:
Oh, btw, an annulment doesn't mean the marriage never existed....it just means that the sacrament was not fulfilled (for lack of a better word).


No, it does mean that a Marriage never existed. For Baptized persons, a marriage either exists, or it does not. There is no inbetween. What can vary is if the parties were also part to the sin of fornication.


Brendan this is truly a confusing topic (annulment). I was told by some that the annulment means that a marriage did not exist, while others said that the sacrament of marriage is what is anulled and not the marriage (legal). I asked my priest and he said it is the sacrament. I just don't know to be honest, because now I'm confused all over again when I finally thought I had been taught correctly. I just don't seem to get. things right in 101. Maybe for awhile I'll just read instead of posting. God bless.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 12:27 pm 
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BHayes wrote:
What about Matthew 19:9? And Matthew 5:32? Both of these verses state fornication. How does the Church view this?


The word in question (in Greek) is _porneia_, which can mean just fornication, but can also be more specific. I must disavow a claim to be a Greek scholar, but I am an amateur student! The following is admittedly too long and technical. It is a slightly edited version of a previous writing of mine on the subject.

One can question the perhaps overly interpretive translation involving "unlawful marriage" given by the RNAB in Matthew 5 and 19. I find the connection of "porneia" (the Greek word actually used in Mt 5 and Mt 19) with "unlawful marriage" [because of incest] rather than just adultery or other immorality persuasive, if not 100% convincingly conclusive. I also have some reservations about the NAB (Revised NT) using such an interpretive translation; however *all* translations, especially of such a complex word, are interpretive in their own sense!

_Porneia_ as "Unlawful Marriage" Because of Incest

The question deals with a possible exception to Jesus' forbidding of divorce and "remarriage" as given in Matthew's Gospel (the prohibitions in Mark and Luke are reported as unconditional). Some interpreters take the "exception" for _porneia_ (the Greek word actually used in the two Matthean divorce sayings in Mt 5 and Mt 19) to mean "adultery", i.e. if a spouse commits adultery then Jesus is allowing divorce and "re-marriage" to another person. This is not the Roman Catholic view which holds that if a marriage was valid, it remains valid, and it is not allowed to be broken (with re-marriage allowed) even for adultery. ["Annulment", i.e. the procedure of determining and declaring null an "invalid" one, is another question, not relevant here.]

The answer to the question of exactly what the "exception" actually is supposed to be for is not unanimously held, even by Roman Catholic exegetes. What is increasingly held by many (as by some recent commentaries or by the actual translation in the Revised NT of the NAB) is that the "exception" is not from a real marriage but from an incestuous one! That "incest" is not the first thing that comes to one's mind on reading the texts in Mt 5 and Mt 19 is not surprising.

However, if the Gospel of Matthew was written to a mixed community (early Christians from both Jewish and Gentile backgrounds), the "exception" to an absolute prohibition of divorce and remarriage to another (but not really an exception) is probably a Matthean parenthetical addition to the words of Jesus to prevent members of the community from pagan Gentile backgrounds (who may have been in a "marriage" with a close relative to a degree previously allowed to them, but not acceptable to a Jewish-influenced group) from using Jesus' prohibition of divorce to continue in the offensive relationship. [Gentiles too had their own incest prohibitions but they differed, some allowing even brother-sister marriages.]

I will conclude by appending several paragraphs from an earlier article of mine on _porneia_ in Acts 15 and the Matthean Divorce texts.

Edward Pothier in a previous paper wrote:

_Porneia_ in Acts 15 and Matthean Divorce Texts

The Revised NT of the New American Bible (NAB) of 1986, a Roman Catholic translation, actually translates _porneia_ in Acts 15:20,29; 21:25 as "unlawful marriage". A question could be raised on whether this is the "best" translation of the word, but it is probably better than the bland, general ones in showing what was forbidden. The Revised NT of NAB also similarly translates _porneia_ in the two places in Matthew's Gospel which discuss divorce.

The NT is quite clear that Jesus forbade divorce [1 Cor 7:10-11; Mk 10:2-12; Lk 16:18; Mt 5:31-32; Mt 19:3-9(12)]. Paul immediately makes an exception for a case Jesus did not cover in 1 Cor 7:12 [I say (not the Lord)] versus 1 Cor 7:10 [not I, but the Lord].

In both occurrences in Matthew there is a parenthetical exception, usually called the Matthean Exceptive clause, usually translated as except for "unchastity" or "immorality". The actual phrasing of the "exception" is slightly different in Matthew 5 and Matthew 19 but the key Greek word in both cases is _porneia_ which can be a fairly general word; but which the Revised NT of the NAB probably rightly translates "(unless the marriage is unlawful)".

[That the "exception" to no-divorce is not for adultery, i.e. that divorce is allowed if there has been adultery committed, is shown by the fact that Greek had a word _moicheia_ for adultery, and the related verb _moicheuō_ is used by Matthew in both passages for what happens after divorce. But the "exception" is not for _moicheia_ but _porneia_.]

Thus even in Matthew there is no exception since what is being excluded from the no-divorce decree are marriages within forbidden degrees of lineage and affinity, i.e. incestuous "marriages". In Acts 15 one of the things which Gentile Christians are still forbidden is _porneia_ which in context with the other things forbidden is not sexual immorality in general but unlawful marriages as in Leviticus. This is also the meaning of _porneia_ in 1 Cor 5 where a man is "married" to his step-mother. Such a "marriage" is not covered by a forbidding of divorce since it is not a marriage.



Edward Pothier


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 12:42 pm 
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Fiat,
try these two links for more info.

http://www.catholic.com/library/Permane ... rimony.asp

http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/1999/9909fea2.asp

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 Post subject: Re: Divorce
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 8:57 pm 
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ErikB wrote:
I know that divorce is not allowed within the Catholic Church, unless it is an unlawful marriage (I got that from another thread).

What constitutes and unlawful marriage in the Church?

I know that we would like to believe that a marriage should never be ended, even in the case of adultery, but what is the solution, in the church's eyes, for an abusive relationship? And I mean ABUSIVE.


A true Sacramental marriage where consent of both parties are not tampered by lack of free will by either party.

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