[quote="Shoshana, post:3, topic:220261"]
This is interesting...it seems that the Church is saying that if your spouse has committed fornication with another, it is legal in the church's eyes that one could seperate from said spouse. Not divorced, but seperated. Seperation is allowed in the church and one could still go to communion. The church just doesn't divorce. As long as the affected spouse does not enter into another relationship. And hopefully, both spouses would reunite.
Here is the rest and explains what is being said:
A baptized couple can "remarry" after divorce only if the Church finds that a valid sacramental marriage never existed in the first place (a decree of nullity; see CCC 1629). The "remarriage" is actually their first marriage. If, however, the parties were genuinely and sacramentally married, they may in some cases live apart and even to obtain a legal separation, but they are not free to remarry (CCC 1649). This is not a command of men, but one that comes directly from Jesus Christ. As Paul said: "To the married I give charge, not I but the Lord, that the wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does, let her remain single or else be reconciled to her husband)—and that the husband should not divorce his wife" (1 Cor. 7:10–15).
Actually, what I get from St. Augustine is this:
Suppose that a man and a woman marry, even marry in the Church, but for some reason or other, they are not able to 'consent' to the marriage, and thus, their marriage (even though they believe it to be 'valid') is not valid.
If a couple is not validly sacramentally married, and are engaging in sex, they are fornicating, aren't they? Isn't that the definition of fornication?
So what I get from St. Augustine is that even 'way back when' the Church understood that there could be cases where no true marriage 'occurs' and that, in THOSE cases, the couple may separate and indeed, may seek a degree of nullity (which determines that, in fact, there was no valid sacramental marriage despite the legal act which occurred).
What I get from St. Augustine is a support of the Church's teaching on the decree of nullity.