Remarried Divorcees and the Church – The Angelus

Considering the attack on Christian marriage today, both from within and without the Church, it is good to see articles clearly articulate Catholic teaching, unlike many in the Church who try to confuse and obfuscate Catholic principles.

THIS article from The Angelus lays out Catholic teaching plainly, clearly, in a way that has absolutely no confusion.  It also refutes some of the arguments of Cardinal Walter Kasper, a leading proponent of changing Church practice (and de facto doctrine), so that the Church’s regulations concerning marriage no longer match Truth.  A portion of the article follows:

Christ said that marriage is an unbreakable bond. In Matthew 19:3-12, Christ specifically ruled out divorce, saying, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.” “Whoever puts away his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if the wife puts away her husband and marries another, she commits adultery” (Mark 10:11; Luke 16:18).

Following Christ’s condemnation, the Church has always affirmed that remarrying after divorce or separation was sinful. The Church Canon Law (of 1917) imposes an automatic excommunication on those who marry before a non-Catholic minister (can. 2319). The Third Council of Baltimore explains how this applies to divorcees who remarry. Church law moreover denies Christian burial to public sinners (can. 855), and among these are included those known to be remarried divorcees.

Chesterton said: “We do not need a Church which moves with the world; we need a Church which moves the world.” The Church cannot be the salt of the earth without becoming a sign of contradiction. Her impeccable moral principles based on the natural law and the Ten Commandments (e.g. Thou shalt not commit adultery; thou shalt not desire thy neighbor’s wife) fly in the face of a permissive society where liberty translates as license. However, sexual liberation is bound to speed up the downslide of societies. Contraception has led to abortion; abortion led to divorce; divorce has led to civil unions of all kinds. Families and children are under direct attack from such immoral legislation.

Would a slackening of Church rules and of God’s commandments prove merciful? Some object that the Church is merciless to those who made hard decisions due to painful circumstances. Yet, for these as for all sinners, the Church has applied the balm of the faith and understanding, and is still offering them the support she bestows on all sinners. Indeed even public sinners are apt to receive succor from Holy Mother the Church, dependent on the circumstances. In the case at hand, the Church has always made the proper distinctions between notorious and hidden cases, between those locked in a free or necessary cohabitation, with the prerequisite that they live chastely as brother and sister to be able to receive any sacrament. Yet such a demand, not so uncommon in lawful marriage bonds, does not stand a hearing from a world sunk in filth.

The article is very good.  Read the rest there.

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