Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What is the catholic teaching on Divorce?

Question: What does the church say on divorce? I know that a divorced person cannot get remarried in the Catholic church, unless they get an annulment. Is that the only standpoint of the church?

If you get an anulment, it actually means you were never really married in the firstplace. The marriage is 'anulled'- as in null and void. This happens if you did not enter into the marriage 'fully, freely, faithfully, open to life'. People often lie in their vows- like when they say they will welcome children, but they have no intention of having children, or they say they'll be faithful, while planning to cheat. For a sacrament to be valid, certain conditions apply, so just like if you lie in confession you don't actually get absolved, if you lie in matrimony you don't actually get married. In other words, for Catholics, there is no divorce!

It may be permissible to split up, like say if the situation is abusive, etc. However, you are not divorced. This means, you can't remarry- or even go on dates, etc, which would be unfaithful. If you need a legal divorce, (so that your 'spouse' is not your legal next of kin, has no decision making power in case of an accident, etc.) that can also be done, but you are not divorced by the Churches standards.
(Often abuse can be grounds for an anulment.)

I see why God hates divorce- it destroys a family. The whole reason God made marriage and sex in the first place is so we could have families and learn about self sacrificial love. Divorce is extremely selfish, and most often parents do not realize the long term effects that it has on their children.

St Rita is good to pray to, because she was in an aweful and even somewhat abusive marriage, but she stayed faithful and prayed for her husband and eventually he converted.

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