"Those things which were assigned to nature
when it was well established in its beginning belong especially to the law of
nature. Now the indissolubility of marriage is one of these things according to
Matthew 19:4, 6. Therefore it is of natural law. Further, it is of
natural law that man should not oppose himself to God. Yet man would, in a way,
oppose himself to God if he were to sunder 'what God hath joined together.'
Since then the indissolubility of marriage is gathered from this passage (Matthew
19:6) it would seem that it is of natural law." - St.
Thomas Aquinas ("Summa Theologica," 13th century A.D.)
"And it hath been said, Whoseoever shall put away his wife, let him
give her a bill of divorce. But I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his
wife, excepting for the cause of fornication, maketh her to commit adultery:
and he that shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery." - Matthew
"But to them that are married, not I but the Lord commandeth, that the
wife depart not from her husband. And if she depart, that she remain unmarried,
or be reconciled to her husband. And let not the husband put away his
wife." - 1 Corinithians 7:10-11
"A woman is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her
husband die, she is at liberty: let her marry to whom she will; only in the
Lord." - 1 Corinthians 7:39
"Every one that putteth away his wife, and marrieth another,
committeth adultery: and he that marrieth her that is put away from her
husband, commmitteth adultery." - Luke 16:18
"And there came to him the Pharisees tempting him, and saying: Is it
lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? Who answering, said to
them: Have ye not read, that he who made man from the beginning, made them male
and female? And he said: For this cause shall a man leave father and mother,
and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be in one flesh. Therefore now
they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let
no man put asunder. They say to him: Why then did Moses command to give a bill
of divorce, and to put away? He saith to them: because Moses by reason of the
hardness of your heart permitted you to put away your wives: but from the
beginning it was not so. And I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his
wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth
adultery: and he that shall marry her that is put away, committeth
adultery." - Matthew 19:3-9
"And the Pharisees coming to him asked him: Is it lawful for a man to
put away his wife? Tempting him. But he answering, saith to them: What did
Moses command you? Who said: Moses permitted to write a bill of divorce, and to
put her away. To whom Jesus answering, said: because of the hardness of your
heart he wrote you that precept. But from the beginning of the creation, God
made them male and female. For this cause a man shall leave his father and
mother; and shall cleave to his wife. And they two shall be in one flesh.
Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined
together, let not man put asunder. And in the house again his disciples asked
him concerning the same thing. And he saith to them: whosoever shall put away
his wife and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if the wife
shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth
adultery." - Mark 10:2-12
Catechism of the Catholic Church says on "Divorce:"
1614. "In his preaching Jesus unequivocally
taught the original meaning of the union of man and woman as the Creator willed
it from the beginning permission given by Moses to divorce one's wife was a
concession to the hardness of hearts. [Cf. Mt 19:8.] The matrimonial union of
man and woman is indissoluble: God himself has determined it 'what therefore
God has joined together, let no man put asunder.' [Mt 19:6.]"
1650. "Today there are numerous Catholics in many countries who have
recourse to civil divorce and contract new civil unions. In fidelity to the
words of Jesus Christ - 'Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits
adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she
commits adultery' [Mk 10:11-12 .] the Church maintains that a new union cannot
be recognized as valid, if the first marriage was. If the divorced are
remarried civilly, they find themselves in a situation that objectively
contravenes God's law. Consequently, they cannot receive Eucharistic communion
as long as this situation persists. For the same reason, they cannot exercise
certain ecclesial responsibilities. Reconciliation through the sacrament of
Penance can be granted only to those who have repented for having violated the
sign of the covenant and of fidelity to Christ, and who are committed to living
in complete continence."
2383. "The separation of spouses while
maintaining the marriage bond can be legitimate in certain cases provided for
by canon law. [Cf. CIC, cann. 1151-1155.] If civil divorce remains the only
possible way of ensuring certain legal rights, the care of the children, or the
protection of inheritance, it can be tolerated and does not constitute a moral
2384. "Divorce is a grave offense against
the natural law. It claims to break the contract, to which the spouses freely
consented, to live with each other till death. Divorce does injury to the
covenant of salvation, of which sacramental marriage is the sign. Contracting a
new union, even if it is recognized by civil law, adds to the gravity of the
rupture: the remarried spouse is then in a situation of public and permanent
adultery: If a husband, separated from his wife, approaches another woman, he
is an adulterer because he makes that woman commit adultery, and the woman who
lives with him is an adulteress, because she has drawn another's husband to
herself. [St. Basil, Moralia 73, 1: PG 31, 849-852.]"
2385. "Divorce is immoral also because it
introduces disorder into the family and into society. This disorder brings
grave harm to the deserted spouse, to children traumatized by the separation of
their parents and often torn between them, and because of its contagious effect
which makes it truly a plague on society."
2386. "It can happen that one of the spouses
is the innocent victim of a divorce decreed by civil law; this spouse therefore
has not contravened the moral law. There is a considerable difference between a
spouse who has sincerely tried to be faithful to the sacrament of marriage and
is unjustly abandoned, and one who through his own grave fault destroys a
canonically valid marriage. [Cf. FC 84.]"
2400. "Adultery, divorce, polygamy, and free
union are grave offenses against the dignity of marriage."
BELIEFS & ISSUES
WHAT THE EARLY CHURCH BELIEVED
Biblical quotations on this web site are
either from the King James Version or the Douay-Rheims Version of the Bible.
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