This post is about heterosexual divorce. Jesus also hates divorce. When a man and woman marry, they are required per God’s law to stay together for life. The only exception to a complete ban on divorce is adultery. Jesus allows divorce because of marital infidelity. Listen to what Jesus says about divorce. "It has been said, 'Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.' But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.” Matthew 5:31-32. "Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery." Mark 10:11-12. And the physician, Luke, in his gospel continued the same theme. "Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” Luke 16:18. The Apostle Paul, also known as Saul of Tarsus, was of like mind. “A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 7:39. “For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage. So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man.” Romans 7:2-3. We see from these quotes that Jesus wanted men and women, once married, to stay together for life. The glue that was to hold them together was love, the love that Jesus preached, the type of love that caused one to love God and his neighbor as himself. This brand of love that Jesus preached has long since disappeared from our society. Love now only means satisfaction of one’s sexual needs or fulfillment of one’s personal desires. But Christ knew the weaknesses of man and knew that the command would be impossible for man to uphold much less to enforce. So Christ made an exception to the lifetime commitment of marriage- adultery. Christ allows divorce based on adultery. Only problem is that adultery is a violation of one of the Ten Commandments, a mortal sin. Yet Christ gave man another out, confession. Man can be forgiven for his mortal sins. THUS THE ADULTERER OR ADULTERESS CAN BE FORGIVEN. How about the other spouse who was the victim of the adultery? He or she is the innocent party in the marriage dissolution. Is he or she a sinner? The question becomes “is divorce a sin?” The answer must be “yes,” divorce is sin. But if divorce is a sin, it can be forgiven by God. Thus the commandment by Jesus, if broken, can be forgiven. What about divorce based on other grounds? The civil law allows divorce based on other grounds such as living separate and apart but God’s law does not. If neither spouse commits adultery, then the couple should not ever get divorced. But what if they do get divorced anyway? Can they be forgiven for their sin, can they remarry, and can they participate in the sacraments of the Church?
The Catholic Church takes an extreme position on marriage. Marriage in the Catholic Church is indissoluble. But marriage can be annulled for any of a number of reasons. Here are a few examples. You or your spouse married intending, either explicitly or implicitly, not to create a permanent relationship, retaining an option to divorce. You or your spouse married intending, either explicitly or implicitly, not to remain faithful. You or your spouse married believing that civil law had the power to dissolve marriage and that remarriage was acceptable after civil divorce. You and your spouse married believing that marriage is not a religious or sacred relationship but merely a civil contract or arrangement. The church tries to enforce its rules on divorce by not allowing divorcees to receive communion or remarry unless they get an annulment. These rules about annulments are man-made laws. These rules are a sham. The Church must not accept divorce for divorce’s sake but it has been forced to accept divorce because everyone is getting divorced. The Church must realize the times in which we live. Catholics do not take the marriage commitment seriously anymore for a number of reasons but the main one is that we are not taught our faith. Catholics must be continually re-evangelized so that they stay in tuned with God and the Holy Spirit
Divorce and homosexuality, just as adultery, theft, lying, covetness and idolatry are sins. God forgives us sinners after a period of penance. The divorced, just as the thief or homosexual, must be allowed back into full sacramental participation in the Church after a period of penance. Divorce is a badge (a scarlet letter) just as homosexuality because it is public unlike the other sins. Divorcees should go through two years of catechism and for two years should communicate with the people in prayer, but without oblation (the Eucharist). Annulment in the church is a sham. There are so many reasons for annulment especially Cannon 1099 (belief that marriage was only a civil contract) that the process becomes meaningless. If you were not married in a Catholic Church (for example, by the Justice of the Peace in his office), one can get an annulment, yet with a Catholic Church marriage, one cannot. (Canons 1157, 1160) Why punish the practicing Catholic (Catholics married in the Church and still attending) more severely than the non-practicing Catholic (Catholics who were not practicing their religion when they got married but may now wish to come back to the Church). Let these sinners, divorcees and homosexuals, go through a period of public penance. They should become catechumens and participate in the RCIA process again for two years. These newly evangelized may stay married the second time and the marriage just may be with the opposite sex.