Has the Magisterium made any official statements concerning no-fault divorce law?

In a debate with a homosexual-rights activist, I made the point that the Church’s vision of marriage has historically involved opposition to many practices that run contrary to our vision for human sexuality, and the bishops aren’t singling-out people with same-sex attraction.

Aside from the usual suspects (contraception, human trafficking) I included no-fault divorce law, and was subsequently challenged to find opposition of this by the Pope, Bishops, USCCB, etc comparable to their opposition to same-sex marriage today. So far, no luck.

Can you help?

The catechism is pretty clear.

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.178

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.

I don’t think this article specifically answers your question but it may be helpful.


I think if you do searches for just “divorce” as opposed to “no fault divorce” regarding Catholicism you will find far more info. The church denies “for fault divorces” so “no fault divorce” is somewhat irrelevant to the church as it denies ALL divorces.

I always wondered, what is the difference between no-fault and for-fault divorce?

I understand both claim to dissolve a marriage, right?

For fault divorce is required to prove fault such as infidelity or abuse to be given a divorce.

No fault divorce means the marriage can be dissolved for any reason whatsoever.

Until the 1970s, American law in all 50 states generally recognized marriage as for life. You had to prove “fault” to get a civil divorce, such showing infidelity on the part of one of the spouses. Without “fault,” no divorce would be granted by the state. Now you can get a divorce on grounds such as “irreconcilable differences.”


and only one partner in the marriage can file and receive the divorce even if the other partner didn’t want it. There also is no requirement to try and save the marriage, especially if children are involved. I believe the first state to offer no fault was Nevada and then it spread from there.

The first was my state of California.

thanks for the info. Like I said I thought it was Nevada which is next to California and has pretty loose marriage laws to begin with.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.