Divorce and the Greek-Orthodox

Hello everyone and Merry Christmas, I had a quick question and would love a good and lengthy answer, and not a wikipedia answer. I was told in Bible study that The greek Orthodox allow up to 3 divorces, can someone explain that to me please and thank you.

Yes. Up to 3 marriages can be allowed, depending on the circumstances. It isn’t necessarily the number 3, no matter what. This is at the discretion of the Bishop. A Bishop can deny an Orthodox Marriage to a divorcee if the circumstances call for it.

Divorce is viewed as a tragic and horrible thing, and the Church certainly doesn't condone it.  Second marriages are an act of Economy,  and certainly not handed out willy nilly.  The Marriage Ceremony for second marriages is penitential in character....not the joyousness of the first.

Merry Christmas to you.

Non-wikipedia resources:
Orthodox Church in America: Divorce and Remarriage
Orthodox Research Institute: Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage in the Orthodox Church: Economia and Pastoral Guidance

3-marriages? :eek: :confused: Why not 4 or 5. (depending on the circumstance’s) Is that an infallible number 3? Three for the Trinity? How did you arrive at 3? Why isn’t 4-or 5 keeping in mind with the salvation of the people?

“While the Church stands opposed to divorce, the Church, in its concern for the salvation of its people, does permit divorced individuals to marry a second and even a third time.”

Keeping in mind the “salvation of the people”.

“Doctrine regarding the indissolubility of marriage is based on its holiness. The holiness and indissolubility of marriage exalt monogamy. References are often made to the Old Testament in this regard (Mal. 2, 14).”

Third time is a charm? :smiley: :thumbsup:

Because the fathers forbade in canon law any marriage past a third (even after the death of a spouse). St. Basil calls third marriages unlawful and regards them only as being better than unrestrained fornication. In fact, it is perhaps a better question to ask why the West, in violation of these canons, does not regard remarriage after the death of a spouse to be sinful, and allows for such remarriages to be contracted theoretically without limit.

Keeping in mind the “salvation of the people”. the most holy Catholic Church takes each matter on an individual basis to give it the utmost priority of spiritual evaluation and reflection. Final authority=Church.

The most holy Catholic Church also discerns all the Saints in context and content in light of the Church to guard against all error in the matters of faith and morals. :wink:

Right, I don’t really see where the thinking in regards to either is much different here.

The re-baptism issue becomes the validity of the sacraments within the apostolic Church’s either way. I just didn’t know about the stricter thinking with St Cypian/Basil.

Merry Christmas to you also. :thumbsup:

In the Orthodox Church a person may, at the discretion of their bishop, be permitted to marry up to a third time. This does not in any way mean that a person may be permitted to divorce three times.
The most likely circumstances where a person marries three times is due to one marriage failing and ending in divorce, and the second marriage ending in the death of their spouse.
If someone had been divorced twice it would indicate a pattern of behavior that would likely lead to subsequent failure in marriage, so a third marriage would not likely be approved.

Right, I would imagine there are not many but rare instances.

I don’t know of any personally.

The marriage covenant lasts unto death of a spouse. What canon law are you referring to?

Do you have the texts/rubrics for a second marriage ceremony?
From what I have heard from an Orthodox priest (ROCOR), the ceremonies vary almost imperceptably.

It is an act of Economy. Ok :thumbsup:

Thank you, you said it best now the light bulb came on!

I believe it was at Trullo, a council which the Eastern Orthodox accept as ecumenical because it is believed to be part of the 5th and 6th ecumenical council (it is also known as Quinisext). This council however was not accepted by the West (except for a few canons which were already ratified at Sardica), i.e., the only Patriarch of the West aka the Pope never ratified it (the council was eastern in composition). Therefore, it cannot be regarded as ecumenical.

You just described every Ecumenical Council.

So, not only do the EOs accept contraception in marriage, but they accept divorce and ‘remarriage’, too? This is shocking to me. :eek: I wonder how many Catholics who say they are leaving Catholicism to become Eastern Orthodox are doing it for this reason. I wouldn’t do it, but I can imagine that it probably happens a lot. Theological arguments would not dissuade them.

Actually, the canons of St. Basil are what I was referring to, and these particular canons have been understood as implicitly having ecumenical approval according to the Fourth and Seventh Ecumenical Councils, which ratified in their own canons the canons of the Holy Fathers without enumerating them. In this way, one cannot simply dismiss the authority of the canons of St. Basil by dismissing the authority of Trullo, because even if it were true that Trullo has no binding power upon the West, Chalcedon does, and Trullo serves as an interpretative guide as to which unnamed canons of the Holy Fathers were considered by the ancient Church to have been ratified at Chalcedon.

I am not saying that it wasn’t accepted as ecumenical because it was eastern in composition, I am saying it was not ecumenical because it was not supported/accepted by the West, i.e., the (only) Patriarch of the West aka the Pope never ratified it, as such it cannot be regarded as ecumenical.

I do not know anybody personally who has done so for such reasons. In fact most of the converts I know are single, and have never been married, though one is even considering conversion despite the tension this causes with his Latin wife. But yes feel free to denigrate these people who seek only after the truth, with general blanket statements like this.

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